Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 163 Times in 133 Posts
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You can pull a 24 footer over by its mast, but its not easy and frankly it does not expose that much of the bottom. And if there are any defects in your rigging you risk the mixed blessing of learning about it the hard way (but at least you are at the dock and not far offshore. Frankly, while I have pulled boats over by their masts for other reasons, it is way too much trouble just to clean the bottom of a 24 footer.
Obviously in summer the easy thing is to snorkle and clean the bottom with only the keel and rudder being the hard part. If you are not racing there are simple tools that allow you to clean your bottom from the dock. My favorite tool for this is what I jokingly call the Jeff_ H Mark III bottom scrubber. This is can be made for a less than 10 dollars by buying a 12 foot length of 1" electrical conduit (EMT- Electrical Metal Tubing) and carefully bending it using a forked tree into a 'J' shape with the radius slightly larger than your bottom and the curve equal to half your beam.
Then get a 2 foot or so length of 4" rigid PVC drain pipe. Pack the inside of the PVC pipe tightly with rigid styrofoam (this can ususally be salvaged from foam packing material) into the tube. Drill a 1 1/8" hole through the center of the PVC tube and through the foam. Insert the curved end of the J of the conduit through the hole. Drill an 3/16" hole in the conduit just above and below the 4" PVC. Put an 1/8" dia. bolt each hole and tighten. (There is a fancier, concealed fastening Mk II version where there is a short length of 2 x 4 inside the PVC pipe but that versionis harder to build and the last one that I made I decided that it not worth the effort.)
Wrap the entire PVC tube with carpet (which can usually be gotten free in small offcut pieces from a carpet installer). The carpet should be longer than the PVC pipe and hang over the ends an inch or more. Screw (with perhaps 3 self-tapping screws each side) the carpet sample over the outside of the pipe with the screws in line with what will the top 1 1/8" hole of the scrubber,and if you really want to get fancy put a crutch tip on the open ends of the EMT.
Now you are done. Here is how it is used. You stand on deck and sweep it down over the bottom perpendicular to the center line of the boat. The stryrofoam floats the end of the scrubber up against the hull, and the carpet does the scrubbing. You can do the whole boat in less than 10 minutes. If you only draw 4 feet you should be able to do the rudder and keel.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay