Barnacles on the prop and shaft - SailNet Community
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Barnacles on the prop and shaft

I had the marina pull my boat out of the water while I was on vacation; I just got back and saw her in the parking lot, all shrinkwrapped and winterized. Good thing, as it's been getting down below freezing here at night.

Two surprises: barnacles on the bottom of the keel, and on the prop and shaft. I'm thinking that the barnacles got a foothold on the keel because a lot of the paint got scraped away when I had to plow along the muddy bottom at dead low tide right next to my dock one day.

But I expected the prop and shaft to be mostly clean. I had them specially painted before launch. I need to remember what was used in the spring (so I don't use it again), but my main concern now is: how do I get the barnacles off? Is this a hand-sanding activity, or can I use a sander? How aggressive can I get? I don't want to scratch or damage the shaft or the prop. And does anyone have any recommendations for paints that work? FYI, I'm in Long Island Sound.

Thanks.
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Re: Barnacles on the prop and shaft

Barnacle buster is popular if you dont want to $pend for prop speed.
Putty knife for the coarse work
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Re: Barnacles on the prop and shaft

Is it a folding prop, and if so did it open with all of those darn barnacles?
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Re: Barnacles on the prop and shaft

I have a bbq brush with a scraper edge that I use to clean the prop in the water during the summer. When the boat is out of the water I use a similar scraper to get the barnacle hold-fasts off. They are very hard and take forever to sand. Once I have all traces of barnacles off I use 180grit plumber's mesh sandcloth to clean up the shaft.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Oatey-1-...2020/202078175

As for antifouling, I have never used any kind of antifouling paint. The previous owner of our new boat used some kind of grey antifouling paint, and it didnt do much good. It took even longer to clean the barnacles AND the old paint off everything!

I usually polish up the shaft and prop whenever it is out of the water, and slather everything with vaseline which keeps things from sticking for a couple of months. I go snorkeling and clean it regularly in the summer.

This time I am going to try using Forespar Lanicote on the shaft and prop. It works the same way as the vaseline did, but is thicker and sticks to the metal surfaces better. Apparently you can even reapply it under water. I have never used it before but it comes highly recommended by a friend who has been using it for years.

Coatings like this work best when the boat is being used regularly. Growth will still try to attach but it cant hang on when the prop spins. If growth does accumulate from lack of use it is easier to clean off.

There are more expensive and exotic solutions such as Propspeed. A lot of people swear by it but it is expensive and finicky to apply properly and only lasts a year or so. After that it all has to be taken off and reapplied on bare metal again.

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Re: Barnacles on the prop and shaft

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstern View Post
I had the marina pull my boat out of the water while I was on vacation; I just got back and saw her in the parking lot, all shrinkwrapped and winterized. Good thing, as it's been getting down below freezing here at night.

Two surprises: barnacles on the bottom of the keel, and on the prop and shaft. I'm thinking that the barnacles got a foothold on the keel because a lot of the paint got scraped away when I had to plow along the muddy bottom at dead low tide right next to my dock one day.

But I expected the prop and shaft to be mostly clean. I had them specially painted before launch. I need to remember what was used in the spring (so I don't use it again), but my main concern now is: how do I get the barnacles off? Is this a hand-sanding activity, or can I use a sander? How aggressive can I get? I don't want to scratch or damage the shaft or the prop. And does anyone have any recommendations for paints that work? FYI, I'm in Long Island Sound.

Thanks.
Here's what I do: https://biankablog.blogspot.com/2012...ning-prop.html
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Currently: Heading to warm waters over the winter on a variety of boats.

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Re: Barnacles on the prop and shaft

This is the stuff you want. Take a putty knife to the big stuff. Personally, I donít mind letting them die first. Fresh live barnacles spatter everywhere, when you scrape them off. Use a course scotchbrite, after spraying on the dissolver. Rubber gloves are a good idea.

Osborne's Barnacle Dissolver 16oz Spray https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0169AL3D2..._INGWDbJF5G7VN
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Re: Barnacles on the prop and shaft

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Originally Posted by Whalerus View Post
Is it a folding prop, and if so did it open with all of those darn barnacles?
Nope. Two blade fixed. I'll get some pictures next time I'm there.
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Re: Barnacles on the prop and shaft

Here's what I do that seems to work ok. Scrape the course stuff off, then coat with a poultice of flour and vinegar and cover with a plastic bag to prevent drying out. Leave for a few hours and then remove the bag and rinse off then finish up with a paint stripper disk on a small angle grinder.

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Re: Barnacles on the prop and shaft

Good advice above on how to clean and remove the barnacles.

For barnacle protection I have had success (In Florida and Bahamas) with putting epoxy barrier cost on the prop and shaft followed by two coats of hard bottom paint.

YMMV

Andy
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Re: Barnacles on the prop and shaft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
This is the stuff you want. Take a putty knife to the big stuff. Personally, I donít mind letting them die first. Fresh live barnacles spatter everywhere, when you scrape them off. Use a course scotchbrite, after spraying on the dissolver. Rubber gloves are a good idea.

Osborne's Barnacle Dissolver 16oz Spray https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0169AL3D2..._INGWDbJF5G7VN
Hmm, the (3) reviews are not exactly gushing about the product
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