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"Marine growth" refers to all of the different types of plants and animals that find a home on submerged surfaces in saltwater such as boats, docks or rocks. When barnacles, algae and other marine plants and animals attach themselves to the surfaces of boats, it's called "fouling."





















Corrosion caused partly by barnacles, considered bio-fouling





The variety and severity of marine growth commonly found on boat hulls changes from place to place and depends generally on the temperature, salinity, and oxygen content of the water and how much light penetrates the water's surface. 

Marine growth can be hard growth which includes hard algae that creates relatively thin but hard encrustations that are often found on hulls. Another sort can be the soft growth which includes everything from the thin slime to the hairy and leafy algae that is frequently found on the waterline and running gear of the boat.

However, the marine growth which causes the biggest problems and is the hardest one to remove is the animal growth on a boat. It includes invertebrate organisms such as barnacles, mussels, tubeworms, and others. These organisms can attach themselves anywhere on the hull, especially in areas that are not well protected by bottom paint such as bare spots in the paint, the running gear or the vents.

By our Marine Biologist Sandra Schibler