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  #1  
Old 09-01-2006
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How do you scrub your hull?

I am not speaking of the topsides above the water but the underwater portion. Is important to have smooth bottom for racing and we all know this should be done frequently but rarely do so.

Over the past few years I have tried all of the following at least once.

1. Mid season haulout. Scrub & relaunch. Effective but expensive

2. Stand on dock with long handled scrub brush. Move the boat out about 4 feet from finger to do this. Seems effective when you do it but you cannot see the results and two weeks after this scrub was the haulout - the hull was filthy with unmentionable growth

3. Motor to a sandy cove and beach the keel and then anchor. Can stand on the bottom and walk around the boat with a long handled or other scrub brush. Can visually inspect with mask & snorkel. This worked very well but it takes time to get to the sandy cove (about 5 miles from dock). Works well but time consuming.

4. Swim under boat with scrub brush wearing mask & snorkel. Very hard to hold breath effectively for keel and under the boat.


I have thought about these techniques.

1. Get certified as a diver or hire a diver. Great for inspecting the hul as well.

2. A long strap can be seesawed back and forth behind and in front of keel. Good for fore & aft but misses allongside keel area.


Would love to hear how others do this. It makes a tremendous differnce in a race.

Any other ideas on how to frequently do a quick scrub to keep the boat clean all season?

Mike
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Old 09-01-2006
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I'm a certified diver and wouln't do it any other way.
I generally go under once a month with a flexible 6" wide joint knife to get those barnacles off, just be careful how you apply the knife so you dont scratch the bottom up and one of those green nylon pads to get the soft growth off the hull.

E.
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Old 09-02-2006
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Get a diver. In the Rolex Middle Sea Race, most yachts hire a diver to clean the bottom of the hull even daily to gain that competitive advantage
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Old 09-05-2006
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Go buy a hooka system. Probably cheaper than getting certified as a diver.
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Old 09-05-2006
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Another alternative might be to improve your antifouling paint. What do you use, and what do others in your area use? We've had good luck with Micron CSC with biocide. We hauled after using it one season and almost decided not to pay to powerwash the bottom at the yard- there didn't seem to be anything on it, after three months and NO scrubbings.
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Old 09-06-2006
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One word of caution. If you have an ablative anti-fouling paint, and you scrub your hull too often or too vigorously, you will prematurely wear through the ablative paint, and that will require you to haul the boat and re-paint. Ablative paints are best treated by sailng the boat—the movement of the boat will usually wear the ablative paint off and take the nasty slime/sludge/barnacles with it.
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Old 09-06-2006
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With a small enough boat, a stationary dock or float, a place on land or dock to lead a halyard to, and a quiet wake-free area, try careening the boat over with the halyard. this'll get the waterline area much higher up, and raise the keel on an angle to where it's closer and easier to scrub with a long-handled scrub brush from a dinghy. Scrub the mossy stuff, then wet-sand what you can reach, for smoothness. Heeling the boat in this way will enable you to sand and scrub "downward", which is much easier and less tiring than "upward".

Then reverse the whole process and do the other side.

Be careful. there will be lots of strain on the halyard, be sure it doesn't jump the sheave, and watch your dock lines and passing traffic carefully.

This isn't easy, and may not be physically possible on the bigger boats, but if you can work it, it's effective, and it's definitely cheap, costs no more than the wet-dry sandpaper.
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Old 09-06-2006
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Unless you're someplace very convenient for careening, I think the practical solutions will be to hire a diver. Most YC's and anchorages are serviced by at least one bottom cleaner who comes around weekly or twice monthly for a fee. Getting a hookah rig would also be reasonable and while you don't have to be certified to use it, I think you'd appreciate the extra education about breathing compressed air and all. It is much easier to blow out a lung and get in trouble than you'd think, with any compressed air source. (And easily avoided, too.)
With fins and air, you can "swim against" the hull while scrubbing but you probably will find a large glazier's suction cup set useful, so you can "hold on to the boat" with one hand while scrubbing with the other. Same ones used to lift computer floors, maybe $10 on eBay for a plastic set.
Holding your breath...yeah, makes it a long job! Weekly cleanings are just one of the hidden expenses to getting serious about racing, time or money, often both.
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Old 09-06-2006
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One caution I would also make is that swimming or diving in a marina can be a dangerous proposition. There have been cases of people being electrocuted by a bad power installation leaking AC into the water. Many marinas have a no-swimming policy for this reason.
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Old 09-06-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
One caution I would also make is that swimming or diving in a marina can be a dangerous proposition. There have been cases of people being electrocuted by a bad power installation leaking AC into the water. Many marinas have a no-swimming policy for this reason.
ROTFLMAO
Thats gotta be the best spoof I've heard this year.

Huh? you were being serious Dog?

The only way that could happen is for someone to actually touch "SOMETHING THATS LIVE" to make a circuit while being "EARTHED" by the water.

Swimming a diving IS PERFECTLY SAFE, touching anything thats not insulated properly is the only danger and thats exactly the same on land.

The reason for a no swimming ban along those grounds is that a swimmer may attempt to board a dangerousley wired boat from the water, ie grab hold of a metal part thats holding a residual floating voltage but is otherwise insulated from earth (ie the water) by the fiberglass hull. Exactly the same thing would happen touching the same part from the dock unless you where wearing insulated footware etc.
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