Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: SF Bay area
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Re: Anyone dive to clean their own bottom?
Just cleaned Laelia's hull for the first time, freediving only. What a blast! I haven't been in a wetsuit in ten years or so, the smell of salt+neoprene+shampoo brought back lots of good memories from BC. With six pounds of ballast I was still a bit buoyant, but I did it in our slip and was able do most of the shallow work by going supine with my feet on the side of the dock. Scrape scrape scrape with a bamboo spatula, then push off to get the deeper bits, the surface and repeat. To hang out near the keel I could just hold on (again upside-down, so I'm essentially pulling myself down). In other areas I found I could sort of go on all foursThe hull was mostly free of hard growth with the exception of the bottom of the keel, the paddlewheel, and the raw water intake (eek). There was a thin layer of slime and lots of .... I dunno, something that looked like shrubbery but was very loose and easy to remove (even swishing with water would take it off). The process took about an hour with plenty of surface time to exchange bad air for good. Can't wait to go again... probably a month from now.
However the prop and shaft were pretty heavily fouled -- I'll have to bring a steel scraper next time -- and the zinc is noticeably eroded. I'd like to replace it on my next dive but I'm concerned about getting a good electrical connection with the shaft. Can I wire brush the shaft where I plan to install the zinc? I'd also appreciate any hints or tricks on zinc replacement when freediving.
s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch