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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #21  
Old 09-03-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groundhog View Post
Round 2: Try again same as above. Wire brush just doesn't seem to bother the barnacles much. More barnacle bites.
I lost round 2 too.
A wire brush/scraper combo like the one Rubbermaid makes makes short work of anything on the running gear. I get 'em at Ace Hardware.

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Old 09-04-2007
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My prop is fairly close to the surface. I only need to stick my head down about a foot to reach it. It's just about 8" too deep with arms extended to be reached without going under. What I did was to attach a 13 inch piece of hose to the end of my snorkel with a hose clamp. I then tied the skyward end to a fender to keep it above water. I then had my wife hold the snorkel leash just in case it decided to dip under the surface. I was then able to wrap my feet around the prop apeture & rudder (rudder attached to full keel) duck my head down below normal snorkel depth with both hands free to scrape the prop without coming up for air. It worked great. I was even able to change the zinc at the end of my MaxProp (three bolts). It's amazing that just being a foot under water did make it a bit difficult to draw breath because of the increased pressure.

Someone told me what I did was dangerous, but he didn't know why. Anyone know it this is true?
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Old 09-04-2007
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It is dangerous. By extending the length of the snorkel, you are increasing the amount of air that you have to pull in before you get fresh stuff. So each breath has more CO2 than you should expect. (Eventually if the hose is long enough you are never getting any fresh air down to your lungs, and it is essentially the same as breathing into a paper bag.)

Add to this the fact that the increased water pressure will mean that you won't be able to breathe as deeply as you would normally (and that you need to do to get past the increased hose length).

The risk is then that due to increased CO2 content you start to hyperventilate to compensate, shortening your breath further, resulting eventually in asphyxiation and blackout..... (obviously blackout underwater is a bad idea).

You're probably on the edge of OK since you're still alive. Definitely wouldn't lengthen the hose at all though - and ultimately not doing it at all is a safer idea.

Last edited by BritAbroad; 09-04-2007 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 09-04-2007
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The good news is that if you keep up with it, it is not such a big job. Tiny barnacles are much easier than 2 inches of growth! Another tool: waterproof headlamp: this allows you to see much better and still have 2 hands free. Find any issues? use a waterproof camera with flash (even a throw-away, but digital is better) and then analyze images blown up on your computer.
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Old 09-04-2007
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Has anyone considered just running the engine ever couple of days with the transmission in gear?
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Old 09-04-2007
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Cool Praise God!

One of the very few advantages of sailing in the Midwest, we don't have barnacles in the Mississippi. They laughingly call it fresh water! However, you guys who say you have to get within 6-8 inches of the prop before you can see it should try my river! 1-2 inches is good on a VERY sunny day! I once told a sailor in the North Channel in all seriousness that if you pour strong coffee in my sailing ground, you will leave a clean spot. But there are no barnacles, only Zebra Mussels! I'm not certain which is worse -- Zebras will close up your thru-hulls and foul your prop too, but probably more slowly. Ever known someone who burned up an engine because the cooling water supply was shut off by zebra mussels? I have, but then, who would expect a power boater to watch his engine temp gauge! It's hard to see little things like that at 50 mph. Do the barnacles close your thru-hulls?
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Old 09-04-2007
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Advantages, sailing and midwest in one sentence and related? Humm?? On that note, a big advantage to moving life to warm water is ease of things in the water like props, hulls, etc. On my daily swims, I take a quick pass of the hull and prop, cleaning seagrass from the strainers and noting prop foul (needs a 5 min green scrubby dance).

Clogged plumbing? Yes! In my search for the issue causing a low volume of sea water going to my fridge, I discovered quite an intense colony of tiny barnacles in the hose just past the seacock and before the strainer. Next haul all through hulls are getting a full ream out.
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Old 09-05-2007
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Two quick comments:
1. If you're working on a larger boat, tie an empty milk jug to the end of a short line and tie the other end to the prop shaft when you first find it. Makes it easy to find it again.
2. Use a hatchet for a barnacle scraper. Keeps your fingers away from the sharp shells and won't bend. Personally, I use an old ax head.

Jerry
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Old 09-05-2007
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If you are re-breathing air and the hose is too long, your CO2 in solution will rise and you will want to breathe so bad you'll want come up anyway.

Use a narrow hose, and blow hard.

At 1 foot, I think you'll be ok.

Hey, you don't get barnacles in the fresh water of Loch Ness.... come visit you barnacle-dodgers.
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Old 09-05-2007
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Dangerous for two reasons:
The CO2 buildup is something you can work around, if you INhale through the snorkel and EXhale out your mouth or nose--so you don't exhale used air back into the snorkel.
But, lungs are also more fragile than you think. There is some slight risk that if you have a thin spot in your lungs (some people do, there's no way you'd know) the extra effort of sucking the air in could blow it out. Note that I say "slight" risk, you're not pushing it much.
When I was a kid they used to sell 3' long snorkels for kids...that's like trying to breath through a straw, because of the extra water pressure on your lungs. Every foot makes a difference.

CO2 problems have been getting a lot of press this year as kids are dying from "shallow water blackouts", i.e. they are flushing their lungs and then doing breath-holding contests under water. If you flush the CO2 out that way, your body can also fail to sense the normal CO2 buildup and you wind up passing out for no obvious reason--and drowning. Not your problem, but one of the complications when land mammals try to be marine mammals.

BTW, a plain wool watch cap makes good protection for your head. No added buoyancy, some added insulation, some added "banged my noggin on the hull!" protection too. It isn't armor by any means--but it HELPS.
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