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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 03-04-2008
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Cleaning bottom in water???

Howdy there, I'm thinking about making a trip down the California Coast this summer in my Cal 27. I know I'm going to take the boat out and get a bottom job on in before I leave, but I wanted to put on my wetsuit and check out the bottom of my boat while it's in the water for two reasons; to see what I'm really in for before I take the boat out, and to do this for the first time (sounds fun). While I'm in there I was thinking I should give her a good scrub down.
What should I use to scrub the boat down while in the water?

Steve
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Old 03-04-2008
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A scotchbrite pad will work if you've got a hard epoxy paint. Plastic putty knife if you've got barnacles. If you've got an ablative...leave it alone.
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Old 03-04-2008
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When I lived in Marina Del Rey, in Southern, California, I cleaned the bottom of my Catalina 27 myself with just a snorkel, fins, and wet suit. It usually took me about 30 minutes.

My primary weapons were a Scotchbrite pad (with attached plastic handle) and a soft plastic 3" putty knife/scraper.

I found that in the summer, I needed to clean the bottom every month, and every 2 months in the winter.

Mostly, it was a matter of brushing off the slime with the Scotchbrite pad, and using the plastic scraper on the tube worms.

I invested in one of those suction cup - holder - onner thingys, but didn't find it to be of much use.

We look forward to hearing more of your adventure, and hope, and trust that you will do this in the safest possible manner.
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Old 03-04-2008
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I have a custom made bent piece of flat bar stock aluminum with scotchbrite pads covering most of its surface - fits my hull curve so I don't have to get in the water (gets cold here in winter). Boat only draws 18 inches so it's simple to dinghy around and scrub it.
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You can also use a nylon scrub brush, but I think the scotchbrite pad is faster and easier with a hard epoxy paint. Just remember to shower after doing this, since bottom paint is basically a heavy metal poison and you don't want it sitting on your skin or hair.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Just remember to shower after doing this, since bottom paint is basically a heavy metal poison and you don't want it sitting on your skin or hair.
So is the water in Marina Del Rey.

Seriously.
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The water in most major harbors isn't what I'd call clean.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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I use a product called Dry Diver (or maybe Dri-Diver, you'll have to google it). It's a large length of scotchbright pad over a foam float. The float holds the pad against the hull. I keep my bottom very clean for racing and, while it doesn't do as good a job as getting in the water and scrubbing, it makes in-water scrubbing easier and it's great for quickly scrubbing the bottom before a race.
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I "snorkel" my hull every month or so and use the blue cut to size air filter media for air conditioners. It's less abrasive then scotch brite and I can cut a large piece to hold flat against my hand to cover larger areas. Barnies get the plastic putty knife.

Good Luck!
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Or you can use the ancient way of keelhauling. Two men pull in turn the same rope, going under the boat and by this clean the boat for barnacles etc.
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