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post #11 of 25 Old 11-29-2010 Thread Starter
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I heard the 6 month line too, and I have to say I cannot agree with it either. After 4 months my buildup was getting pretty bad, knotmeter totally clogged, and it was lucky I checked as my 2 zincs were 50% gone (!) (stray corrosion? Working on that). Cleaning is also inspecting.

I have to agree with fstbttms - every two months seems about right in the Bay. My diver was doing a great job, but as I am a PADI master diver I have the kit to do it myself.

"the softest you can get away with" is good advice. I'll get some 3m doodlebugs. I put a double layer of paint on, and so I hoping to stretch it to 3 years....dunno what we're going to do when California further reduces the copper content!
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post #12 of 25 Old 11-29-2010
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Originally Posted by Fstbttms View Post
Koehler has a well-known antipathy for hull cleaners (as do many boat yards), so it does not surprise me that he would give you any rationale for reducing the use of a diver. He would be happy (I'm sure) if hull cleaning were banned altogether and he never again had to explain to another boat owner why his diver found that a new bottom was flaking off or didn't deliver the perfomance that had been promised. Further, this "curing" he speaks of is complete BS and any paint manufacturer or their representative will tell you so. If in doubt, read the lable or tech sheet for any anti fouling product and see if you can find any reference to a curing period after the boat has been launched with new paint. You won't.
I have yet to see any boat in the Bay Area (much less San Diego) that didn't need cleaning long before 6 months on a new bottom and I don't care how much water is moving past the hull. He does his clients a disservice by telling them this. But again, I am not surprised. A certain yard owner here had been telling his clients that the Micron 66 he pushes very hard never needed cleaning at all (based on his personal experience, of course ) and that boat owners should tell their divers not to touch it. It wasn't until I started showing pictures of the foul Micron 66 bottoms to the boat owners and the Interlux reps that he changed his tune.
I have to admit while at that seminar after I asked him about the use of divers, I could tell he was struggling a little bit in finding the words he wanted to use to explain why not to use a diver...at least for 6-9 months. He agreed divers were useful for checking zincs and cleaning shafts and props, but not for cleaning hulls for some period of time later. Knowing how I felt about his answer to the diver question at that time, and seeing what you have to said in the past (I've agreed with you several times in the past), I'm inclined to believe you.

It's hard for me to understand why he wouldn't want to know how his work holds up, since his claims of what a good job that try to do. Do you think it's something more, something personal he has against divers?
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post #13 of 25 Old 11-29-2010
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It's hard for me to understand why he wouldn't want to know how his work holds up, since his claims of what a good job that try to do.
That's just me taking a poke at him. I'm sure they do wonderful work at Koehler Kraft. No, really.

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Do you think it's something more, something personal he has against divers?
Boatyard owners understand that a properly maintained bottom (and by this I mean one that receives frequent, gentle cleanings) needs to be painted less often than one that is not. This means dollars out of their pockets. Further, they would like nothing more than for boat owners to be forced to haul their boats for routine hull cleaning. Think of the increase in revenue for San Diego boatyards if every boat in the water needed to needed to be hauled 15 times a year for cleaning rather than once every two or three years for new paint.

So it is in the boatyard's best interest to bad mouth hull cleaners at every opportunity, do what they can keep them ignorant of proper maintenance techniques and to advocate for the banning, or reduction, of in-water hull cleaning. Not every yard takes this point of view, but plenty do. Koehler (for instance) will not allow hull cleaners to work at his docks. Hmm... I wonder why?

Last edited by Fstbttms; 11-29-2010 at 04:41 PM.
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post #14 of 25 Old 11-30-2010
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I am a fan of DYI cleaning. The best part is that you get to SEE the condition of the bottom. If cleaned regularly, then it takes very little time. I spend most of the time checking and inspecting.

In the summer time, I clean/check every month. I use a mask, plastic scraper, and a hand-hold suction cup (purchased at Harbor Freight for few $). I place the hand-hold above the water line on the hull, hold it with one hand while I dunk under and scrap with the other. I can get the whole bottom save for the lower keel that way. After that, I dive down without the hand-hold to finish the job. The suction cup hand-hold works great, but I do not recommend placing it on the bottom paint.

It the winter, I have been know to stretch the cleaning for several months (sometimes just a quick inspection). I then break out the scuba gear & wetsuit.

Also, I prefer to do this in a nice anchorage rather than at the dock. Some folks worry about stray electricity, I just don't like the barnacles and oysters growing on the docks... they can cut you and an expensive wetsuit up in short time...


Here is a link to the hand-hold suction cup: 4-1/2" Diameter Suction Cup

Here is a link to the scraper I like to use. The plastic wears over time. I go through 2-3 a year. Sears: Online department store featuring appliances, tools, fitness equipment and more

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post #15 of 25 Old 11-30-2010
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The suction cup hand-hold works great, but I do not recommend placing it on the bottom paint.
So you won't use the suction cup on your bottom paint but you will scrape it with a taping knife?
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post #16 of 25 Old 12-01-2010
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So you won't use the suction cup on your bottom paint but you will scrape it with a taping knife?
First off, take a look at the "taping knife", it is a nice soft plastic edge which wears easily as apposed to damaging the bottom. Most of the bottom growth here along the FL gulf coast is barnacle growth which starts mainly along the waterline, prop, shaft, and rudder. It's not that I don't want to place a cup on the bottom paint, I just don't need to. And since suction cups work on smooth surfaces, i.e., surfaces that have no barnacles, the anti-fouling paint is still working well, so why screw with it, especially with soft ablative bottom paints. I agree it may not be a big concern.

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post #17 of 25 Old 12-01-2010
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OK, two points from a professional hull cleaner's point of view:

1.- Scrapers of any kind (plastic, metal or otherwise) are not appropriate tools for everyday, all-over hull cleaning. Removing hard growth, yes. Cleaning the entire hull, no. Besides that, a scraper really doesn't "clean" the hull. Yes, it gets most everything, especially the big stuff. But is the bottom truly clean? No. At least not by my standards.

2.- If a scraper actually is required to clean your hull every time you clean it, you are not cleaning it frequently enough.

Hey, it's your dime and your bottom paint. But scrapers remove more paint than soft scrub pads or carpet, which is what you should be using, IMHO. I can't imagine my customer's reactions if they saw me going after their bottoms with a scraper.
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post #18 of 25 Old 12-01-2010
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Great two points. I am glad that you agree that in bottom areas where there are no barnacles, no scrapping, attaching, or any hammer & chisel treatment is needed. I do appreciate you comments on soft scrubbing materials. Thanks.

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post #19 of 25 Old 12-01-2010
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Quote:
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What goes on the hull below 3ft below the waterline?
Any 'normal' antifouling paint (VC Offshore is becoming very popular for this). This practice of 'anti-slime + anti fouling' for the first 3-4' down from the waterline and just 'about anything below that' is becoming quite popular on the SE US coast.

The anti-slime coating prevents the barnacles from gaining a 'foothold' in the thick slime coating. Barnacles on the E Coast usually form at the waterline, with a vengence.

Of course, nothing will stop barnacle attachment near/on the prop etc. --- unless you dont use zincs. When you dont use zincs its probably a 'reverse' ion flow from the prop to the water that keeps the barnacles from adhering.

I will definitely agree with Fast Bottoms in his observation that "the cleaner you can keep your hull bottom, the longer the bottom paint will last". I again also add that the *smoother* you can apply the bottom paint the longer the paint will last - probably because its easier for the crud to 'release'.

Last edited by RichH; 12-01-2010 at 10:17 AM.
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post #20 of 25 Old 12-01-2010
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This practice of 'anti-slime + anti fouling' for the first 3-4' down from the waterline and just 'about anything below that' is becoming quite popular on the SE US coast.
Umm... OK. We don't do that here. Thankfully.
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