Anyone dive to clean their own bottom? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 86 Old 09-12-2015
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?







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post #22 of 86 Old 09-13-2015
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?

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None of the above will shift hard coral growth, barnacles or mangrove oysters once they are established except maybe the bottom item.

Where I hang out for hurricane season is exceptionally fertile due to the proximity of a rum factory which cleans out it's tanks straight into the bay. Also the water temp is 80+f year round. Things like coral, barnacles and oysters grow FAST.

If you try to use a typical fibre pad you quickly find that it is torn to shreds by the barnacles which are mostly untouched and you produce clouds of colored stuff which I assume is AF.

Last edited by TQA; 09-13-2015 at 11:16 AM. Reason: typo / spelling
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post #23 of 86 Old 09-13-2015
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?

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I clean my own bottom. I use standard snorkel gear and work from the surface. NO DIVING REQUIRED!

The secret is I have an 8 inch wide flexible stainless steel scraper mounted on an 8 foot pole. It takes me about 1/2 an hour per side to do my 44 ft monohull. If you use a brush or a green scrubber pad you will remove lots of ablative antifouling as evidenced by the colored clouds in the water. With a scraper you don't get the cloud effect.

The next point I make may not apply to all areas. Where I sail you get quantities of tiny shrimp and larvae coating the hull. These will migrate to your person as you scrape them off the hull. It is essential that you have a real good wash down afterwards paying particular attention to any creases and important little places.

BTW I am 68 years young.
Heh I've dived on my bottom.

The first time I came up, stood up straight in the cockpit, looked down at myself and almost had a heart attack when I saw 1 million small brown squirming things covering me. I stiped naked right there in broad daylight in Boston harbor and jumped down below.

I quickly assessed that the mystery creatures were harmless small shrimp but that was pretty fun. Now I start from the stern and keep my body towards the bow such that prevailing current should take them away (which applies to the clouds of paint as well) and don't freak out when I do see them.


I find that diving is pretty effective on my boat where with its narrow beam it's not hard to get under to the keel with a brush on a handle. The prop is also far enough aft that I can reach it with one hand with my head above water.

With the prop in particular its incredibly important to keep it clean.
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post #24 of 86 Old 09-13-2015
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?

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Where I hang out for hurricane season is exceptionally fertile due to the proximity of a rum factory which cleans out it's tanks straight into the bay. Also the water temp is 80+f year round. Things like coral, barnacles and oysters grow FAST.
OK, allow me to blow your mind a little bit.

When you use a scraper on your bottom, you are leaving a layer of silt or slime behind, The scraper (unless you are willing to actually get down into the paint) does not leave a clean paint surface. This means two things:

1.- The slime or silt layer inhibits the ability of the anti fouling paint's biocide to get into the water. The leaching copper or zinc remains trapped behind the fouling layer. Even a very thin fouling layer.

2.- By leaving a layer of silt behind, you are providing barnacle larvae with a good surface to begin colonization.

So while you may think you are helping yourself by scraping (as opposed to relatively frequent, gently wiping), in reality you are probably hastening the hard fouling you say occurs so rapidly.
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post #25 of 86 Old 09-13-2015
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?

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The first time I came up, stood up straight in the cockpit, looked down at myself and almost had a heart attack when I saw 1 million small brown squirming things covering me.
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post #26 of 86 Old 09-13-2015
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?

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OK, allow me to blow your mind a little bit.

When you use a scraper on your bottom, you are leaving a layer of silt or slime behind, The scraper (unless you are willing to actually get down into the paint) does not leave a clean paint surface. This means two things:

1.- The slime or silt layer inhibits the ability of the anti fouling paint's biocide to get into the water. The leaching copper or zinc remains trapped behind the fouling layer. Even a very thin fouling layer.

2.- By leaving a layer of silt behind, you are providing barnacle larvae with a good surface to begin colonization.

So while you may think you are helping yourself by scraping (as opposed to relatively frequent, gently wiping), in reality you are probably hastening the hard fouling you say occurs so rapidly.
You just don't understand tropical growth. Barnacles and coral are hard from the get go and unless we want to be in the water cleaning our bottoms 3 times a week, we are not dealing with a slime, but shell and a grass like growth (which also takes a hard scraper) for the most part. These things can and do grow on an ocean crossing; one need not be at anchor or in a slip to get a foul bottom in the tropics.
For most of us, cleaning our bottoms is not our profession and gets done when we can get to it or just before voyaging.
No way in the world a soft scrub pad is going to handle the growth we get down here. After a good scraping, one can go back and 'polish' the hull, if one wishes.
Since not one of the antfouling paints on the market actually antifouls, I believe we are each experts at this by now and though your advice may be of value in temperate waters, it isn't a lot of help to us tropical sailors.
As for adding a beer to the mix, rum is cheaper than water down here, so you'll probably find rum in our bottom cleaning kit, rather than beer.
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post #27 of 86 Old 09-13-2015
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?

No doubt that tropical waters are a different beast. I'm wondering how the charter companies deal with it. Clean as a whistle this past winter and, when we returned a week later, it was as clean as when we departed. Not all that bad.


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post #28 of 86 Old 09-13-2015
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?

There was a guy in Boot Key Harbor that used a variety of scrapers with various curves. He cleaned the boat for just $2 a foot. He did a fantastic job and the bottom looked like it had just been painted.

The next best thing I've found, at least for do it yourselfers, is a sanding screen used to sand dry wall. Really does an incredible job and removes everything with very little effort. They are available from Home Depot, Lowes, etc... http://www.amazon.com/3M-9089NA-Drywall-Sanding-Fine-Grit/dp/B00004Z4AI/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1442168198&sr=1-3&keywords=3m+drywall+sanding+screen
The best technique was to attach the sanding screen to a padded pole, which those in the drywall business use all the time.

Another discovery while in the keys was how effective transducer paint was for keeping the prop completely clean for 7 months. Yep, after 7 months that prop looked like it had just been painted the same day. Nothing, absolutely nothing, attached to that prop. I purchased a spray can of this at West Marine for about $30 and applied three coats to the prop before leaving for the keys. That was three years ago. I guess I'll put on another coat this winter - just to be on the safe side. PETTIT PAINTS Transducer Paint | West Marine

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post #29 of 86 Old 09-13-2015
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?

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Barnacles and coral are hard from the get go...
That is simply not true. These animals do not magically appear on your hull, fully grown with a hard shell. They start as larvae. While I understand that it may not be convenient or feasible for you to clean your hull frequently enough to keep them at bay, the reality is as I've explained. A dirty hull provides not only a fertile settlement area for these animals, but actually reduces your anti fouling paint's ability to retard their growth. That's just the nature of the beast, regardless of where you do your boating.
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post #30 of 86 Old 09-13-2015
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?

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The next best thing I've found, at least for do it yourselfers, is a sanding screen used to sand dry wall. Really does an incredible job and removes everything with very little effort.
Yes, including your anti fouling paint.
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