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  #1  
Old 02-01-2009
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Want to clean boats ?

I am thinking about getting certified to Scuba dive so I can scrub boat bottoms. I already have a bussiness as a licensed contractor (roofing) in Maryland would I need a license to clean boat bottoms? Would people want me to be qualified to clean there boats? My only experince is cleaning my own boat and diving on a few vacations.
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Old 02-01-2009
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It's is in great demand, partially due to the economy. If you can delay a haulout to 2 years from one you are saving a lot of money. I think that's what a lot of people are doing including me. If the bottom craps up before two years I may change course.
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Old 02-01-2009
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Would you care about how little experience I have?
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I wouldn't care, since I'd probably put a mask on and inspect the hull afterward.

You don't need a SCUBA certification if you aren't using tanks but are using one of thise floating compressors instead. That would be easier IMHO since you wouldn't have to keep running to town for a tank refill.
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Old 02-01-2009
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I haven't seen any of the guys doing boat bottoms as a business use a hookah. I've seen snorkeling and tanks, but no hookahs. YMMV.

I think there is plenty of room for another diver around Annapolis. Lots of folks seem to be asking about divers.

I do my own.
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I never seen anyone use floating compressors maybe there is a reason? If not then I'll have to find one. Compressor sounds like a good idea but I wanted an excuse to be certified.
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Old 02-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapworth View Post
would I need a license to clean boat bottoms?
There is no licensing requirement to clean boat bottoms anywhere in this country. Washington does require that hull cleaners obtain a state permit, but that is the only place that is required, AFAIK. A business license is a different matter. I service marinas in 5 or 6 different municipalities. Technically, I should have a business license in each, which could end up being a decent chunk of change for renewal each year. But I have been able to get by for 15 years with the one I keep current in the city in which my business is based.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapworth View Post
Would people want me to be qualified to clean there boats?
SCUBA certification is meaningless. No boat owner gives a rat's ass about what level of recreational diving instruction you've attained. What they care about is if can you do the job they've asked you to do. Remember, diving is just the way we get to the job, like driving your car to get to the office. Diving is not the work, the work is cleaning the boat bottom and replacing zincs, among other things.

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Originally Posted by lapworth View Post
My only experince is cleaning my own boat and diving on a few vacations.
Every hull cleaner has to start somewhere. I get asked all the time if I'm hiring. I had a guy walk up to me in my garage yesterday, right off the street and ask me for a job (he's a certified SCUBA instructor). I'll tell you what I told him; I do hire divers but my personal preference is to hire divers who already have a hull cleaning business. Failing that, I want them to have some boating knowledge. Being able to dive isn't the important thing in this business. Knowing about boats and boat systems and having the temperment to be able to work on them underwater is the important thing. You've got most of that covered already.
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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I haven't seen any of the guys doing boat bottoms as a business use a hookah. I've seen snorkeling and tanks, but no hookahs. YMMV.
Most of the hull cleaners I know use electric hookahs. I and all my divers do. Why anybody would want to lug bottles around is beyond me. And why anybody would hire a hull cleaner who has to hold his breath to do the work is beyond me as well.
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Originally Posted by lapworth View Post
I never seen anyone use floating compressors maybe there is a reason? If not then I'll have to find one. Compressor sounds like a good idea but I wanted an excuse to be certified.
I have never seen a hull cleaner using a floating hookah. I suspect the reason is that they are expensive, cumbersome and heavy, not to mention require fuel. The gear you use will depend on where you are working. Here in the East Bay Area, we have no mooring fields. That means all hull cleaning is performed at the dock. That means free shore power. Why pay for air or fuel when an electric hookah is unlimited free air? Not to mention lightweight, compact and inexpensive to buy.

I personally work out of a boat but still use an electric hookah. If you plan to service boats at anchor or on a mooring, of course you will need a gas-powered hookah (or an electric, run off a gas-powered generator.) But you should get certified regardless (he said, acknowledging that he has never been certified ) for the safety aspects, if nothing else. Plus, you never know when you might need to use bottled air for a job and, of course, you need SCUBA certification to get refills (but not to SCUBA dive).
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I am amazed at the level of help I can get from everyone at sailnet even other businesses offer there advice. Thanks Fast Bottoms and SVA appreciate your help.
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