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  #1  
Old 10-27-2012
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Cleaning Hull in the water

Advice humbly requested.

Salt water-ish (brackish estuary, but mostly salt). I have a 32' full keel fiber-glass boat. I am an accomplished diver (NITROX cert. as well). I can see some minor algea growth on the upper part of my rudder, so I am sure the entire hull (below water) is in similar shape, or not far off. Obviously the amount of sunlight reaching it is a factor as well.

I intend to clean it myself since I already own all the scuba gear. However, I have never done this before, and have VERY limited hull maintenance experience of any kind.

I went out and bought some of the course green (SOS type) of scrubbies. The type usually found in the sponge/dishwashing section of the grocery store.

Then, on the way home, I started thinking.... What if these are too course/hard.... and they do a great job eliminating the current growth... but then they cause countless tiny scratches that not only compromise the longevity of the hull coat... but also allow countless microscopic crevices for new marine life to get a foothold....thereby increasing my future problems 10 fold.

Perhaps, I'm over thinking this. I would really appreciate anyone's input that has first hand experience in doing this. Any advice on proper products to use...and which ones to stay away from.

Thank you !!

---Fair winds...

---tapske...
NIF
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Cleaning Hull in the water

I wrote a pretty detailed article on bottom cleaning for Cruising World back in 2006. Rather than try to repeat it all here, I'll just link to the manuscript for the article, which is on my blog (as far as I know, the article is no longer on the CW site):

DIY Bottom Cleaning

Hope that answers some of your questions . . . being a diver, you've got one skill that's helpful!
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Cleaning Hull in the water

30' Boat in brackish water. Lottsa slime this summer. Scuba diver with own gear. This summer I tied lines under the boat from side to side. I used this to hold on to while scrubbing with the other hand and a plastic bristle brush. Slime came off very easy. Green scrubbie pads are indeed too course. About an hour to do the job. Quite the aerobic work out. I'm glad I never smoked. Visibility sucked BTW, so after a while your scrubbing by feel.
Oh I forgot I used a pony tank instead of full 80. Much lighter and less bulk in the water.
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Last edited by jppp; 10-27-2012 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Cleaning Hull in the water

That is a great article, Carolyn. I wish I had known to clean out barnacle cuts right after getting out of the water the first time I scrubbed the bottom on my boat - I had one cut on my elbow that got infected and it took forever for it to heal. Now I wear gloves and a dive skin every time I go under the boat.
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Cleaning Hull in the water

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynShearlock View Post
I wrote a pretty detailed article on bottom cleaning for Cruising World back in 2006. Rather than try to repeat it all here, I'll just link to the manuscript for the article, which is on my blog (as far as I know, the article is no longer on the CW site):

DIY Bottom Cleaning

Hope that answers some of your questions . . . being a diver, you've got one skill that's helpful!


THANK YOU CAROLYN !!

In one swoop you provided more information than I hoped for in the coming week !

Great basic info... technical realistic approach.. and some good FYI hints....all sprinkled with the safety conscious angle.

*hugs* you probobly saved me a Texas size can of frustration. Or, at the very least, a fair amount of second guessing my actions.....(two feelings that are not mutually independent..)

Thanks again,
---tapske...
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Cleaning Hull in the water

I do all of our hull cleaning and I use a long handled brush I made by copying one that my friend Ray (Erps here on SN) has. It's basically just a long section of 2" or maybe 2 1/2" PVC pipe with a 45 near the end and a "T" section at the working end. I started with coarse brushes on it but they were too aggressive on our ablative paint so I just wrapped some old carpet around the brushes and it does a good job. Ray dives and cleans his boat too and he told me that using the brush first saves about half the time diving, and it's a lot easier. He's right, you just need to dive to do the keel and skeg/rudder, and the prop and look for any spots you might have missed with the brush. Of course you need a dock to work from so it's not going to help much if you are on a mooring or anchored. I think I've seen the brushes advertised commercially but they're simple and cheap to make.
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Cleaning Hull in the water

I've been happy with berber carpet cut in 6-inch squares. A professional hull cleaner suggested this to me. The loops give it just the right amount of abrasiveness and they shed slime nicely.
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Cleaning Hull in the water


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Old 10-28-2012
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Re: Cleaning Hull in the water

a easy way for diving scrubing is getting one of those suction cup dent pullers works great for holding or self in place.
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Re: Cleaning Hull in the water







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