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A Golden Opportunity

  • Propspeed
  • Lightspeed
  • Barca a motore
  • Barca a vela
  • Commerciale & Superyacht
  • Testimonial

"When people saw that Propspeed was working, I couldn’t keep it on the shelf."

Ben White
Owner, Bristol Professional Yacht Refinishing

Summary

Ben White fell in love with Costa Rica back in 2002 then decided to offer visiting yachties the same full range of products and services available in the United States, including Propspeed.


Propspeed applied to a rudder, propeller, strut and shaft

About

Ben White has been the owner of Bristol Professional Yacht Refinishing Services in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, for 16 years, specializing in full paint and woodwork on production and custom yachts of all sizes. He also operates Bristol Marine Supply at Los Suenos Marina and is Costa Rica’s sole Propspeed distributor.

“We have 25 guys—three in our office and four in the marine store—so 29 total,” he says. “Five full-time applicators and bottom-crew members. We’re very busy!”

Ben began learning his craft at a young age, working alongside his father at Bristol Conditioning in Fort Lauderdale. He would later name his business after his dad’s, applying the same “ship shape and Bristol fashion” work ethic as well.

In 2002, Hatteras Yachts sent Ben to Costa Rica to refinish one of their 65-footers. There he met the owner of Los Suenos Resort and Marina, and the two formed their own business in 2003. “Costa Rica was just the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen and offers some of the best fishing in the world, to this day.”

Propspeed applied to Volvo IPS units

Once word about Costa Rica got out, “all of the new custom boats and yachts came here by the boatload—literally.” Naturally, Ben decided to stay, a decision that has since proven to be a very good call.

“All the new custom sport fishing boats you read about in magazines are coming to Costa Rica for our exceptional billfishing and beautiful landscapes. Costa Rica has also become one of the few places in the world where you can have all the amenities of the United States in Central America,” he says. “You can have your yacht or sport fisher completely refit from bow to stern, just like in the States, no questions asked. We have everything you could ask for in the US in Costa Rica now.” Including Propspeed.

“I first started using Propspeed in 2012, if I had to guess. This was when it was a fairly new product and not many people wanted to spend the money on something that wasn’t proven yet.” But Ben was a believer from the beginning: “We really pushed people to use it. After we did a few boats, we would take them out once every year or every other year. When people saw that Propspeed was working, I couldn’t keep it on the shelf.”

Around that time, Ben met Propspeed’s Clint Jones and Mark Billingsley at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and encouraged them to establish a Propspeed distributorship in Central America. “We’re marketing Propspeed in Central America now and we’ve sponsored three tournaments so far.”

“Since we’ve been distributors—in January [2019] it will be two years—we’ve sold over 250 liter kits. More than that. Probably close to 300, about 150 kits a year. That’s 150 boats in two years! That’s a lot of boats for what we do.” Ben estimates that each application uses two to three liters of product. “We do about 75 boats a year with Propspeed. We’ve gone through over 300 kits in the last two years.”

Pod drives and through-hull fittings with Propspeed applied

Ben sees Propspeed as an important part of bottom paint, a necessity rather than a nice-to-have. “I can’t stress enough how important it is. It definitely helps boats be more fuel-efficient,” he says. “I’ve seen some boats where their load has gone down five to 10 percent on the motors and some boats have gained 1 to 2 knots, so the price of the product is definitely paid for by how much fuel they save.

“Propspeed is not only good for propellers; this is what people need to understand. We put it on everything, for example: brass steering ramps. It keeps them from oxidating and it lasts. We put it on all intake screens and strainer baskets. It’s also good for any metal on the bottom of a boat—stainless steel, brass, bronze. We use it on trim tabs, lifting brackets, and on swim steps.” And now that it’s on the market, Ben highly recommends Lightspeed for underwater lights as well.

Ben first heard about Propspeed from some of his yacht painter colleagues in Fort Lauderdale. “Everybody in the industry talks,” he says, and boy was he glad they did. In the generous spirit of marine industry camaraderie, Ben also likes to spread the good word—and the proper technique.

“Before, a lot of people in the States didn’t know how to apply it properly. They didn’t know how to do it properly here either; that’s why I had to go do training in the US, so I could teach everybody here how to properly apply the product. Now it’s a proven product and it’s showing results. You have to Propstrip or grind it to get it off, even after two years. This stuff really made a difference.”

"When people saw that Propspeed was working, I couldn’t keep it on the shelf."

Ben White
Owner, Bristol Professional Yacht Refinishing

Propspeed

Foul-release coating for all underwater metals.

Vessel

Superyacht, Powerboat, Sailboat, Sport Fisher

Location

Costa Rica

Benefits

  • Product performance
  • More speed, less fuel