Long recognised as one of the most lubricating compounds on Earth, Tungsten disulfide (WS2) was created for NASA by researchers at Stanford University in the United States. Its properties have been recognized by the aerospace and military industries for decades, and unsurprisingly have been picked up by auto racing engineers.

Numerous companies have been offering WS2 fuel additives for years, though marine applications have only very recently been explored. The Florida-based company N1 Technologies has refined WS2 by milling the atomic structure down to nano-scale hollow spheres—a process which they've patented. In fuel, N1's additive—which is simply the WS2 compound suspended in pure mineral oil—forms a nano-layer of slick beads that improves the movement and efficiency of degraded engine parts.

Chris Gabriel, who distributes the NanoSave N1 oil lubricant line is based in South Florida and has connections to the superyacht market through his work selling the Clean Exhaust system, says that NanoSave N1 is really suited to older, out-of-warranty engines, though he will be speaking with a representative from MTU at FLIBS this autumn about OEM certification. Anecdotal evidence collected by the manufacturer and distributors show impressive fuel savings of up to 7 per cent—a level which should arouse the curiosity of many late-model yacht engineers. Indeed, fuel economy improvements by automobile engine manufacturers are being attributed to WS2 being permanently coated to the interior surfaces of the moving engine parts.

“In marine applications, and with generators which don’t have pre-oil pumps, they can often be left to sit for weeks or longer while on shore-power,” Gabriel says. “When they get cranked up, the tops of the engine and the crankshaft are all dry. That’s when the damage happens. That’s where WS2 can be a preventative on top of the healing properties of the material.”

The latest offering from NanoSave is a WS2-based hull coat anti-fouling paint. A non-copper based, metal-free biocide, the paint creates a slick film that encapsulates the hull providing enhanced speed and prevents hull growth. The addition of WS2 and nanofullerenes into hull paint, the manufacturer claims, reduces the friction of water molecules against the hull, increasing glide through the water when the boat is at speed, while the slick surface provides no purchase for marine growth to adhere to. The paint will accept the addition of biocides if desired by the yacht. Gabriel explains that the paint will make cleaning the hull significantly easier as well.

"We're going to probably paint a large yacht in mid-September in Spain, and it'll be coming over to Fort Lauderdale so we'll be able to do a real-deal before and after assessment on it then," Gabriel reports. "Once she sits in the water for six months, you'll be able to see the impact."

N1 Technologies is based in Daytona, Florida and so far has focused its marketing on the automotive industry. N1 Technologies is preparing to list its shares on the London GXG exchange in early 2014, with further plans for listing on Bœrse Stuttgart and eventually the New York Stock Exchange. According to a statement from the firm, the company is offering 120 million shares and will open the listing at $.50- $.70 per share. The hull coat is its first superyacht offering and can be procured through http://www.nanooiltechnology.com/