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post #1 of 8 Old 04-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Prop anti-fouling gadget

Hetre in the Fl panhandle, I do not sail in Summer, it is too hot with almost no wind except in Thunder-storms or hurricanes. Consequently, my poor boat sits growing stuff on the prop. I used to put on mask and snorkel and clean it before use but the sleazy water and presence of alligators discouraged that.

I do have a guy who uses scuba to scrub the bottom from time to time but that does not prevent the extreme rapid growth of stuff on my prop.

So...........other sailboaters must have this problem too ........
OK, here is my latest scheme.
A 5 gal bucket with most of the sides and ends removed to allow it to easily move thru water. Inside, I put poly mesh that has a silver coating on it. The silver is a great biocide and the actual amount is very but has high surface area. It does not entirely obstruct movement of water but slows it down a lot so a sufficient density of silver ions builds up in the enclosed volume.

The trick is to get it onto and off the prop from the dock. Here is how it works. On my boathook, I have a powerful rare earth magnet. Attached to the inside of my 5 gal bucket is a plastic coated piece of soft steel so the bucket adheres strongly to the boathook.
The open end of the bucket has the lid cut so half the opening is exposed allowing one to slide it over a prop but orient it so the enclosed part catches behind the prop. From the dock, slide it over prop and pull the magnet off.

Note, there is a long poly line attached to the bucket that should be tied to your throttle so you cannot engage the throttle without knowing the bucket is there.

Bucket is removed in same manner it is put on.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-09-2013
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Re: Prop anti-fouling gadget


Joe - s/v Assignment, Catalina 320
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-09-2013
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Re: Prop anti-fouling gadget

Froggie,

Another option that is frequently used is to cover the prop with a black garbage bag.

That'll do two things:
1. Cuts off the flow of water around the prop (no flowing water, no passing nutrients for the buggers to eat.)
2. No light passing through the bag means that photosynthesis cannot take place (which keeps the other kind of buggers from making their own food.)

Don't forget to remove the bag before you take her back after her summer nap.


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post #4 of 8 Old 04-09-2013
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Re: Prop anti-fouling gadget

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Originally Posted by PorFin View Post
Don't forget to remove the bag before you take her back after her summer nap.
I knew I forgot something

Lessons learned are opportunities earned.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-09-2013
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Re: Prop anti-fouling gadget

If you have a really ugly boat you can use the two bag method!
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Prop anti-fouling gadget

I've heard of this but how do you get the bag on and off without going in the water?
Seems like you'd have to somehow slip it on and then somehow pull the drawstring. When you want to use the boat, you could just tear it off with the boathook. Getting it on is the problem.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-10-2013
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Re: Prop anti-fouling gadget

Well, that is a downside.

First off, don't worry about the alligators. I grew up in Gainesville, and used to swim in/around gators all the time. They won't bother you (but don't take your poodle with you for your swim )

If you don't want to get wet, find a 10-15 year old kid who's looking for a little pocket change. Hand him/her the bag, a long zip tie, explain the process and let them do the dirty part. Could well be the best $10 you spend all week.


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post #8 of 8 Old 04-10-2013
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Re: Prop anti-fouling gadget

I find a coat of zinc spray paint helps here in our harbor. It is a fairly thin coating and I haven't had any barnacles attach to my prop since I began using it. I put one coat of ablative af on top of it. The af paint goes away but the combination helps keep heavy fouling to a minimum if I don't run the engine for a month.
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