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  #1  
Old 09-19-2011
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Thumbs down Barnacles?

This is my first year with the boat. I keep her in Narragansett Bay.

Last year, before I purchased her, the owner, surveyor and I tried to motor over to the haul out dock. However, the prop was so covered in barnacles, that we were unable to make sternway to back away from the mooring that she was kept on. The owner jumped over the side with a spatula (I believe that he was fearing for the sale) and proceeded to scrape the prop free-er so that we could make our way over to the haulout. The trip to the haulout slip was very slooow. Once she was hauled, this is what the prop looked like;

I remember the broker stating that his observation is that last year was a banner year for marine growth.

This spring, I cleaned and painted the prop, and prop shaft with two coats of Interlux Transducer paint. The shaft and the prop are bronze, and I know that I need to replace the cutlass bearing this year. Strangely, the prop shaft moved up and down, but not side to side. Here is a pic taken before I painted the prop;


She has been great all summer, and I scrubbed the bottom, but not the prop, once in July and again in August. I've taken her out about once a week, except for the past three weeks, when Hurricane Irene kept everyone in their slip, and the week after when I was cleaning up.

This past weekend I motored out, and she seemed sluggish in response to the throttle. Also, there seemed to be a LOT more vibration than usual (amplitude) over a much wider RPM range. At one point the vibration was so bad that I left the crew at the helm as we were motoring, and checked the engine. I thought that the motor mount had failed! The engine (normally very smooth) was jumping about ˝" (total) with each revolution of the shaft.

Would any of you care to guess; Do you think that this could be marine growth? Or is it something mechanical?

Also, any suggestions about how to handle the inspection? The water is murky and getting cold. (I don't own a wetsuit)

TIA!
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Old 09-19-2011
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Last year, in my area of the Chesapeake, it was a banner year for tiny barnacles. Short of a haul out the only way I know to check the prop is to take a swim and just feel it. If it's bad enough to cause vibration you'll know it when you put your hand on it.
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Old 09-19-2011
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I'm in Narragansett also (Allen harbor) I too have had major barnacle growth on the prop...I read andolphus?sp? lanolin works...also don't use bottom paint with copper in it on the prop as it promotes alloy breakdown...
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Old 09-19-2011
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How about rigging a waterproof video camera in some way (using a pole). Some cheap cameras now are good to 15 feet or more, or build your own water proof housing out of plexiglass and use a web cam type camera to your computer screen.

A shorty wet suit is cheap also, and keeps your core temp up if you decide to dive it. A wet suit cap would be good as most heat lost through your head. Try your local surf shop to see what they might have. I have the same problem with barnacle growth, have to dive boat at least once a month. I will try barnacle buster next hull out. But at least my water temp is a constant 78 deg. Get some good gloves, them barnacles are sharp.
Keep warm
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Old 09-19-2011
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Is there nowere to dry out for a look see.
Safe sailing
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Old 09-19-2011
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I'm sure you could get a diver to take a look and clean it off for under $100. More if you want the whole bottom cleaned. Compared to what it might cost you to fix a more serious problem, it seems like an easy decision.

I hauled for Irene and found some barnacle growth on the prop blades. Maybe a half dozen on each side of each blade. Not too bad, I just knocked them off with my leatherman. There were many more on the shaft. She has been in the water since early May, had no anti-fouling on the prop and was never cleaned until then.
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Old 09-19-2011
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In a high nutrient environment you likely have some growth on your prop. Further and of greater concern, in the second snap you have two Zincs, one somewhat wasted and the other looking new, roughly midway between the shaft strut and the hull. Zincs do not give themselves up uniformly and there is a good possibility that they have wasted asymmetrically and have "gone out of balance" and are causing "whip" in the shaft between your strut and stuffing box, leading to vibration, to say nothing of unnecessary wear on your cutlass bearing (in the strut). Considering how warm the water is in your locale, at least during the summer months, do yourself a favor and (1) take a dive over the side from time to time with a scraper to clean your prop and shaft and (2) install a new zinc roughly 2" inboard of your shaft strut, ensuring that you have clean, bare, metal for a good contact when you do.

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Old 09-19-2011
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Thanks for the tip on the zinc's. The "old" one is the same one as in the first pic. Because it was less than 10% depleted, I just put it back on, along with a new one. The shaft was scrubbed clean (well, sanded actually), so I know that there is no issue with the electrical connection between the shaft and the zinc. I will have to move it closer to the strut though.

I did jump in and clean the bottom - I should have scrubbed the prop too. Problem is that the water in Narragansett bay is so "nutrient rich" that it is hard to see - even with my $5 mask, so I didn't clean the prop. I couldn't see it!
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Old 09-19-2011
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You're in RI? Job Lot has full 3mm wetsuits for $50. I was in the water last Dec. in one, they're actually great
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Old 09-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minnewaska View Post
i'm sure you could get a diver to take a look and clean it off for under $100. More if you want the whole bottom cleaned. Compared to what it might cost you to fix a more serious problem, it seems like an easy decision.
+1
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