Novalent® is a US biotechnology engineering firm which has pioneered the development of long-lasting technology to protect against bacteria and viruses. Its new cleaning product is reportedly the only of its kind to have the certified claim of providing the highest level of antimicrobial protection for up to 90 days. This is potentially a game-changer for the industry, and for superyacht crew, for which frequent disinfection has always been a key priority – and will be even more so from this year forward.

“[Novalent] has been of huge benefit to the superyacht crews who have already adopted the product since it has been introduced in New Zealand,” comments Rafael Figueroa, head of New Zealand at Novalent. “Urban Sea and NZ Luxury Marine Yacht Services have also already added Novalent to their product and service offerings.”

Having just completed six years working on board yachts as a crewmember, Figueroa can see the potential impact of this product. “On deck, I know that mould and fungi contamination is a constant, damaging and costly problem,” he adds. Novalent surface treatment provides a long-lasting added layer of sanitation and microbial defence on all surfaces, and has recently been tested and proven to combat viruses such as the COVID-19 strain.

Coronavirus has heightened the awareness and desire for cleanliness, hygiene and managing bacteria contamination across all industries on a global scale. Hygiene standards and protocols are now stricter than ever before, and they will be expected as the new norm. 

Unique to the product is the fact that Novalent remains active for up to 90 days and in between regular cleaning regimes to further protect surfaces and ensure safety, health and wellbeing. Regular sanitising and disinfectants can be short-lived solutions, but Novalent’s patented nano-coating technology is EPA approved to inhibit the regrowth of harmful microorganisms and is FDA approved safe for ‘food contact surfaces’.

"Offering and implementing superior hygiene regimes for the added protection of crew and guests on board has become a heightened priority" - Rafael Figueroa, head of New Zealand at Novalent

“We understand that vessels, especially private and commercial yachts, will be experiencing similar circumstances,” continues Figueroa. “Offering and implementing superior hygiene regimes for the added protection of crew and guests on board has become a heightened priority. Novalent is a non-corrosive product that is ideal for external and internal marine application and offers a wide range of benefits. As Novalent is the only surface treatment in the world to receive ‘food surface contact safe’ approvals by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) USA, we have found it has been extremely popular within the interior departments.”

The product can be applied to air filters, crew and guest areas, cabins and mattresses, the galley, lounges, uniform and bedding. Deck Crew have also found it to be a powerful tool, according to Figueroa, due to the strong anti-mould & anti-fungal properties. “It has helped to reduce the frequent and costly replacement of outdoor items and saves time-consuming exterior vessel maintenance too,” he adds. “They easily and safely apply it on; teak, awnings, covers, outdoor furniture, spas and pools, in lockers and bilges to prevent mould build-up and odour and fungi contamination, and protecting expensive equipment from stain and discolouration organisms.  Ultimately, it can be sprayed directly onto almost any surface and fogged in almost any environment due to its non-toxic and non-corrosive properties.”

According to Figueroa, independent tests conducted in 2020 at two independent laboratories demonstrated that Novalent® Technology has an immediate kill of greater than 99 per cent of the virus strain causing COVID-19. On June 16, 2020, Novalent® Technology demonstrated to have a residual kill rate of 99.9 per cent of the virus strain that causes COVID-19. Post-application, Novalent® Technology continues to destroy bacteria and viruses (including those that cause COVID-19) for up to 90 days.

“While we are not certified to put this on our product label, we can share facts about our testing data as appropriate,” commented a Novalent representative, with regards to these groundbreaking results.

Over the next few months, the pressure on individuals responsible for the cleanliness and immaculate hygiene standards on board superyachts will be incredibly high. Therefore, as products such as the above come to market, it will be imperative for the industry to take note, research, and invest in its health and safety.


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