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  #11  
Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Bottom Damage by Pressure Washer

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Originally Posted by davidsmcse View Post
The yard used a 5000 psi and possibly a fine/needle tip.

So... who is at fault? Is the yard for using such an over powered pressure washer? Was the bottom job so bad this would have happened with any wash? Should the yard have stopped at the first sign of exposed gel coat?
All good questions. Typically a yard would use a tip with a wide spray pattern to avoid damaging the gel coat. The goal here is to wash the bottom, not remove it.

Look at it this way, in a twisted sort of way the yard has done you a favor. If this hadn't been done you'd be floating around on a boat wondering why your water line is getting lower. Next step would be to have someone hit the hull with a moisture meter so you can decide the next course of action.
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Re: Bottom Damage by Pressure Washer

You need to pressure wash to remove growth and alge to minimize sanding of antifouling as its not allowed in most yards. Shouldnt hurt the boat. They may have used a sand and water pressure wash that can do big damage if done wrong.
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Re: Bottom Damage by Pressure Washer

Even with the proper nozzel and pressure, a careless worker can do damage to the hull. For example, try putting that nozzel and inch away from the hull a leave it there and see what happens. It really depends on how aggressive the pressure washer is set up. I had a haul out several years ago and apparently damage was done to the depth transducer. I wish that I had made some pictures, but I really was uncertain if the pressure spray caused it and did not try persueing it with the yard. I'm now a little more vigilant when watching the haul out.
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Re: Bottom Damage by Pressure Washer

If there were a lot of blisters under the bottom paint I could see an aggressive pressure washing cutting into them. Surveyor (independent) would be in order at this point.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Bottom Damage by Pressure Washer

Ask the yard owner to put that 5000 psi beast up against the hull of his boat (or car)... no? Then ask for a discount on yard fees, while you repair the bottom. Probably it just exposed issues that were already there, and saved you hours of scraping and sanding.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Bottom Damage by Pressure Washer

I really fail to see how ANYBODY can comment at this point without at least some pictures of what we are wildly guessing about ?
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Re: Bottom Damage by Pressure Washer

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I really fail to see how ANYBODY can comment at this point without at least some pictures of what we are wildly guessing about ?
I think we are assuming there is some damage. The question is, could it have been caused by pressure wash that had too much psi, or too concentrated stream.
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Re: Bottom Damage by Pressure Washer

I can't think of an advantage for a yard to use such a high-pressure washer with a needle point.
A spray head will be faster.
A lower pressure will be safer.
Unless they do most of the bottom painting themselves and think they can reduce prep time.
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Re: Bottom Damage by Pressure Washer

I can't even imagine why a boatyard would have a 0 degree nozzle for their pressure washer. Most either use a rotating head multi jet nozzle or a fan. Even with 5000 psi I think you would have to work at damaging FG in good condition with either of those nozzles.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Bottom Damage by Pressure Washer

The actual pressure of the pressure washer is pretty much irrelevant by itself. The spray head used and the distance between head and work area is just as important as the pressure rating. I can peel paint off with a 4000 PSI unit but if I know what I am doing then it will never get to that stage by accident.
I find it surprising that a yard would use a 5000 PSI unit because if handled by somebody inexperienced it can cause a lot of damage (I would not be surprised if it could cleanly cut the boat in half). In addition to the danger of damage, it takes a lot of horses to generate that kind of pressure and the washer would be disproportianately expensive. Cleaning effectiveness is also highly dependent on the water flow rate - a 3000 PSI washer with 10 gal/min will be much cheaper to buy, to run and more effective than a 5000 PSI unit at 2 gal/min.
To sum it up, yes an inexperienced operator can cause lots of damage (even with a 3000 PSI unit) but you need an independent qualified professional to make that determination (as has been mentioned)
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