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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-02-2009
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How to Clean a dirty bottom

My new boat was left to sit in a freshwater slip for who knows how long. There is a about an inch of of algae dried on the bottom and the boat is on a trailer.

I was told to use a caustic style bottom cleaner but read the label about proper disposal of the run off and chose to try a biodegradable cleaner first. I have made one attempt to clean the bottom and had to apply the cleaner and then scrape it off. It was tough slow work and with limited access because of the trailer.

I plan on putting the boat in a freshwater lake today and see if the algae softens up and will come off easier.

I am looking for any suggestions on how to get the bottom clean. This is my only day off this week and I plan on cruising this weekend, so I hope to get it clean today.
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12hp 3500psi pressure washer ... it will even take the bottom paint off
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Power Sprayer

I'd rent or borrow a power sprayer if you can get any kind of access through the trailer, which sounds like the case. It'll make quick work of that stuff. You can get the spots that the trailer is sitting on by taking a quick swim with a brush once its in the water.

The caustic stuff (On&Off) works great both above and below waterline too but if you end up going that route, heed the warnings about eye/skin contact.
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You can REALLy do a LOT of dammage with a powerwasher at should not be used cloesr than about 12" with a fan type nozzle

A 3500 psi unit can lift gelcoat doing untold dammage in the wrong hands
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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the title of this post was just to funny to pass up. the obvious answer is "toilet paper". a pressure washer could do some serious damage to your bottom. oh wait, you were talking about the bottom of you boat! never mine.
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Get a pressure washer, use the 'fan' nozzle, and keep it 24" away until you get the 'feel' of it. Then get closer to get the really stuck on stuff off.
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another option is a garden sprinkler, set to keep the hull wet for a day. if you cant use that much water mix up some soapy water in a garden sprayer and spray it hourly for a day. the soap will help the water "stick"
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second wind just dont put them in the head when done with em
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Yep I knew it would good advice......

Quote:
Originally Posted by thaikarl View Post
the title of this post was just to funny to pass up. the obvious answer is "toilet paper". a pressure washer could do some serious damage to your bottom. oh wait, you were talking about the bottom of you boat! never mine.
as well as smart*ss comments. Mission accomplished. Looks like I inspired you to make your first post.

I will look into the pressure washer. I think they are available from Home Depot. My one problem is the boat is a West Wight Potter and and the trailer is so low to the ground and the trailer covers up a good portion of the boat. It will be hard to spray much of the boat without getting very close.
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