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  #1  
Old 09-20-2010
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Question for Charleston, SC boaters

I've been having a friendly little "discussion" on another board with a hull cleaner from Charleston, SC, who claims (backed up by at least one other diver) that it is SOP there to clean boats with a metal scraper, regardless of paint condition. My question to you is; is this actually the case and if so, do you approve of your diver using this hull cleaning technique?
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Old 09-20-2010
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I know the diver that cleaned my boat for several years used a metal scraper until I started using one myself!
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Old 09-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz87 View Post
I know the diver that cleaned my boat for several years used a metal scraper until I started using one myself!
How often do you clean your hull?
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Old 09-20-2010
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I wouldn't approve of that... especially if you've got an ablative bottom paint.
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Old 09-20-2010
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I have used a metal scrapper myself when cleaning my Trinidad75 bottom for many years. I do file down the corners to a rounded edge.
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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When the water's warm it was every month. I have an epoxied bottom job and micron 66 bottom paint. It lasted 2 years in the petrie dish known as the Ashley River, which I thought was pretty good.

When I hauled out to repaint, I didn't see anything like scrapes or gouges or anything - it looked OK.

Lately I have just been doing it myself when I get a chance. Mostly working on the boat now as aposed to sailing her, so I'm not really that worried about the gunk on the bottom. Is there something I'm missing. Should I use something else?
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Old 09-27-2010
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Speak with Teddy Turner Jr @ charleston boat works

He's one smart guy...honest too! Also...lotsa fun afterhours
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Old 09-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz87 View Post
When the water's warm it was every month. I have an epoxied bottom job and micron 66 bottom paint. It lasted 2 years in the petrie dish known as the Ashley River, which I thought was pretty good.

When I hauled out to repaint, I didn't see anything like scrapes or gouges or anything - it looked OK.

Lately I have just been doing it myself when I get a chance. Mostly working on the boat now as aposed to sailing her, so I'm not really that worried about the gunk on the bottom. Is there something I'm missing. Should I use something else?
Are you saying your diver used a scraper on your Micron 66 bottom? Or are you saying you don't know what he used and couldn't tell by looking at the paint?

Even though you are not sailing the boat right now, you should still be cleaning the bottom, especially if you went with Micron 66 again. That paint absoultely cannot stand up to abrasive cleanings and if you let the bottom get more than just a little dirty, you will have to clean it with something more abrasive than you should. All paints benefit and will last longer if you maintain them with relatively frequent, gentle cleanings. Micron 66 especially.


BTW- 2 years on a Micron 66 bottom is very good and probably not the performance you could expect from it in a saltwater environment.
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Old 09-28-2010
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I know the diver used a metal scraper because I met him at the boat one day when I was doing other work. When I first got the boat back in the water I called him and told him what type of paint I had. He did a ton of boats in the marina and was well liked. Like I said- the paint seemed to last well (it was 2 coats) and I didn't see anything wrong when I hauled out. I'm definitely a novice though, and if you could get me 3 years by suggesting a different method or a different paint I would gladdly change my ways!

One question I did have - I was thinking (sounds like wrongly) that the more you clean, the faster you "use up" the bottom paint - that was why I was holding off and not cleaning so often while I'm not sailing much. How does cleaning more often make the paint last longer? I not doubting, I'm asking because I don't know.

Fitz
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Old 09-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz87 View Post
One question I did have - I was thinking (sounds like wrongly) that the more you clean, the faster you "use up" the bottom paint - that was why I was holding off and not cleaning so often while I'm not sailing much. How does cleaning more often make the paint last longer? I not doubting, I'm asking because I don't know.
Well, first you have to buy into the premise that scraping anti fouling paint with a metal blade is a bad thing (which it is). Would you routinely clean the walls in your house with a scraper? No, you'd use something soft like a sponge or cleaning pad because it's easy to understand how a scraper would damage your interior latex. It's no different with anti fouling paint. Not to mention, it doesn't really do a very good job of "cleaning". Sure it gets the thick, 3-dimensional stuff off the bottom (which shouldn't be allowed to grow there in the first place, BTW) but is the surface of the paint truly clean? No. That being said, scrapers are necessary to remove the ocassional barnacle or other spotty hard growth. But they should not be used as an everyday cleaning tool on paint in good condition.

By having your bottom cleaned frequently enough that it never gets very dirty, your diver can always use the least abrasive implement possible to clean it. Let it get even moderately foul and the diver has to use a more abrasive tool to get the job done. A course cleaning pad or scraper is absolutely going to take paint off the bottom, thereby shortening its lifespan and causing unneeded pollution. And of course, keeping your bottom relatively clean has other advantages like better performance under sail (and power) for more of the time, reduced fuel consumption and carbon emmissions and, what we find here in the Bay Area, you can stretch the time between haulouts for paint by as much as a year or more. With a quality hard paint, properly applied, three years or more is absolutely possible.

Last edited by Fstbttms; 09-28-2010 at 09:56 AM.
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