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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-25-2007
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Underwater gear for hull cleaning

I tried searching and didn't find any threads about gear for doing hull cleaning.
I know most people pay somebody else to do the zincs and hull cleaning but I really want to be able to do it myself.

So what do I do for air? it looks like the professionals all have somekind of small air compressor. are there DC compressors available? and what would I use for a mouth piece?
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Old 04-25-2007
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What you're looking for is called a hookah rig. It is essentially a scuba regulator hooked up to an oil-less air compressor.

You should probably get some SCUBA training before using a hookah rig, as you can cause yourself serious injury if you're not properly trained.
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Old 04-26-2007
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Sail to a beach area or somewhere shallow. Mask, suction cup devise, 3M scrubby and a drywall knife. Gets it done for me.

Fair Winds,

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Old 04-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66luders
I tried searching and didn't find any threads about gear for doing hull cleaning.
I know most people pay somebody else to do the zincs and hull cleaning but I really want to be able to do it myself.

So what do I do for air? it looks like the professionals all have somekind of small air compressor. are there DC compressors available? and what would I use for a mouth piece?
At FastBottoms Hull Diving, we use 110 volt hookah rigs for most of our work. They consist of a 3/4 hp oilless compressor, 50' of breathing hose and a 2nd stage regulator. The regs we use have been modified for use in a low-pressure application like a hookah rig. You can buy 12-volt systems commercially. I have never used one and cannot comment on their performance.
I personally like to use a suction cup (the business end of a small plunger attached to a PVC pipe "pistol grip" that I make myself) to keep me close to the work but some of my guys go without. Basic cleaning tools consist of 3M Doodlebug pads (again, attached by velcro to a base/handle that I make myself), a 6" metal scraper for the ocassional barnacle and a wire brush or stainless steel wool for the running gear.
A basic kit of hand tools for zinc replacement includes a flat-head screwdriver, a set of Allen keys (metric and SAE), a hammer and a pair of pliers.
With these items you should be good to go for most hull cleaning activites and related tasks.

Last edited by Fstbttms; 04-27-2007 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 04-27-2007
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everyone of the cleaners at our marina uses a tank w/ 50' of hose
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Old 04-27-2007
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Does anyone really know how many boaters think urine isn't restricted in NDZs? Additionally, there are over 500 boats in my marina with toxins painted on their bottoms, and who knows what else being discharged from their bilges. Knowing I'm ingesting enough toxic stuff from rubbing my bottom, wetsuit or not, I'm not taking any chances with additional toxic poisoning.

When I do clean my bottom, I cruise to a protected cove outside the marina and do similarly as Fastbttms by using a ScotchBrite pad w/ attached plastic handle. However, one of my standard AL80 Scuba tanks, integrated weight BCD, regulator - wetsuit, mask, fins and ankle weights are what I use to stay down.
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Last edited by TrueBlue; 04-27-2007 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 04-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
Knowing I'm ingesting enough toxic stuff from rubbing my bottom, wetsuit or not, I'm not taking any chances with additional toxic poisoning.
Any biocide or other chemicals released during a hull cleaning event settle out of the water column fairly quickly, within 10 or 15 minutes at most. So cleaning your boat in your slip is unlikely to expose you any more than doing it outside the marina. Fecal coliforms, are hopefully not an issue in your marina. Urine is water and unless someone is peeing on your head, you are not coming into contact with it.
I have been cleaning hulls for over 12 years and have never (twitch!) been sick (jerk!) or had an infection (drool) due to my time in the water... due to my time in the... due to my... what was I talking about?
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Old 04-27-2007
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Case in point . . . .
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Definitely do not go down in a marina. countless divers have been killed or seriously injured over the years in marinas from stray currents.
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Old 04-27-2007
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I will definitely try and make a section cup... that sounds like a great idea. how do you keep a piece of pvc stuck in the pluger?...with glue?
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