Rule Number One- Always clean your hull with the softest cleaning media possible.
Originally Posted by tapske
Advice humbly requested.
I went out and bought some of the course green (SOS type) of scrubbies. The type usually found in the sponge/dishwashing section of the grocery store.
Then, on the way home, I started thinking.... What if these are too course/hard.... and they do a great job eliminating the current growth... but then they cause countless tiny scratches that not only compromise the longevity of the hull coat... but also allow countless microscopic crevices for new marine life to get a foothold....thereby increasing my future problems 10 fold.
What that turns out to be is completely dependant on the age and condition of your anti fouling paint and how foul you have allowed it to become. You will not hasten fouling by creating "countless microscopic crevices." Fouling organisms will begin attaching themselves to your hull rgardless of how smooth or not your anti fouling paint is. But what you do not want to do is remove more paint than necessary during in-water hull cleaning. By using cleaning media (be it a scrubber, brush, carpet or whatever) that is overly abrasive, you will not only shorten your paint's lifespan but will introduce more copper into the water column than you otherwise would.
Clean your hull relatively frequently and gently. This is the way to maximize your boat's performance both under power and sail and minimize your fuel consumption and carbon emissions.