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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-18-2010
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Barnacle removal

Got a diver coming to the house on Saturday to give the hull a scrubbing.

What's the best method to remove barnacles while the hull is in the water? Just a metal scraper? Is there anything better?
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Old 10-18-2010
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It depends on the condition of your paint and the adherance of the barnacles. When my anti-fouling paint is active or possibly sometimes related to what algae is on the surface before the barnacles attached, I can wipe the barnacles off with a 3M pad. If they are not easity removed by this method, I sometimes scrape them off with a wood or plastic scraper,- sometimes a winshield ice scraper. I only use the metal scraper when they are difficult to remove with something less apt to damage my paint surface. If I do use a metal scraper I file down the corners so I won't have a point that could gouge my bottom surface. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Use good bottom paint, sail the boat often, and you wont have that problem...just kidding, sort of

But once I bought this sailboat for $400 bucks and took it out to Dobbins Island and scrapped all the barnacles off with a plastic scrapper and it worked fine, but I don't know what kind of bottom paint it had
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Last edited by T37Chef; 10-18-2010 at 11:56 PM.
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Unfortunately, I bought the boat with aging bottom paint and now I'm getting into cleaning it and getting it ready for painting.

I'm betting those suckers are really on there. The windshield scraper is a great idea.
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I use a metal scraper because the barnacles here in Florida eat those plastic ones for breakfast.
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I'd start with a plastic scraper...because a metal scraper may remove too much paint. Generally, when dealing with the boat's bottom, you want to start with the least aggressive approach that will be effective.
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Lol..Dog, my diver buddy seems to take the opposite approach. He wanted to use my pneumatic chisel attached to my air compressor!
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If you have allowed the hull to become fouled with barnacles (and by this I mean a large percentage of the hull is covered with them, not a just a few here or there) then it is likely that a metal scraper is the only tool that will really do the job. Don't worry about it damaging the anti fouling paint as it is probably already shot. A quality anti fouling paint in good condition, properly maintained, will not allow barnacles to grow.
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I'm not really sure how bad it is. Guess I'll find out this weekend.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fstbttms View Post
A quality anti fouling paint in good condition, properly maintained, will not allow barnacles to grow.
Put any copperbased bottom paint on you like and anchor your boat in Charlotte Amalie for a month around Christmas.

I guarantee a good growth of healthy barnacles, ok they can be knocked off easily but boy o boy do they grow.

I scrape my own bottom out here in the Caribbean and the best tool I have found is a flexible stainless steel scraper 8 inches wide attached to an 8 foot pole at a slight angle. Using this I can scrape the entire 44 foot boat in about an hour using a snorkel and flippers to see what I am doing and help provide some drive but I usually take to goes to do it. Age is getting to me.

No actual diving is needed.
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