Join Date: Apr 2006
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You can CLEAN a bottom in the water, but from experience I'll tell you that it takes a long long time to do well. Among the problems, every time you push against the boat you move away from it, unless you can hold firm. Banging your head under the hull or working with sharp barnacles, ouch. It is somewhat faster with SCUBA, or if you can stand instead of being free.
But if you want the bottom to stay fairly clean, it will require bottom paint which requires hauling anyway. Sometimes you can get a break if you ask for an overnight haul--they haul you last thing in the day, the launch you again the next day, you do your work while it is in the sling and they're already off for the evening. A short haul like that *might* give you enough time to get it clean and get on two fast coats of bottom paint. But without bottom paint...you're going to have growth again, fast. Even with it, you may need to scrub weekly to really keep it clean.
And before there were slings...the traditional way to clean a bottom is to careen the boat. In tidal waters, you take it someplace where there is a soft (rock-free) sloping shore, pull it in, and as the tide runs out, lay it down on one side of the hull. Clean the exposed side, reverse and repeat as the tide changes. Probably not possible in Florida since you've got "no" tides?