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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have had my 32 ft sailboat for a year now. The bottom got a fresh paint job in the spring of 2000. I plan to get another paint job in the spring of 2002.

Anyways, I just learned to scuba and for my first dive, I wanted to go under my sailboat to clear barnacles, etc. (cozumel will prob be my next time ... ;-)

Question 1: any tips on doing this in terms of what type of tool to use to scrape (so as not to damage the bottom paint, etc.)?

Question 2: i will check on my zinc sacrifice as well ... being a newbie sailor: what does it look like if it needs to be replaced?

Any feedback is appreciated ... thanks !
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Wear a wet suit or heavy clothing if you are in warm water, have someone stand by on dock/deck for safety and you would be wise to have a safety line to the dock/boat. Wear heavy gloves..barnacles can be very sharp and have a line from your wrist to the scrapper/scrubber you are using. It is extremely easly to bump head/body so make sure to know where you are in relation to keel/shaft/prop and dock. All this is commom sense but a diving emergency at 5 feet is still a serious problem especially if you are wedged where you shouldn''t be. One last point if you are cleaning the bottom in a marina check with them to make sure that it is allowed and check with the authorties if it is legal. As long as 50% of the Zinc is present leave it for later replacement, you can do it in the water later and why waste money by not getting all you can out of the old one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Walt,

Appreciate the note ... but any suggestions on the tool to use to actually scrape the barnacles with?

Thanks very much.
 

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Lucky:

A common scrub pad used by commercial divers in our homeport (St. Pete) is the longish white, soft scrubby pad sold by WM. It''s inexpensive & won''t remove too much paint (or anything else, so it''s most helpful when used regularly). Every WM store in which I''ve looked for this pad carried it.

Fish out a long screw driver and a putty knife, and tie a lanyard on each one that won''t come off. The screwdriver should be used to clean out each thru-hull hole, while the putty knife will come in handy if your running gear are picking up growth (and have no paint on them).

There''s a good reason to replace partially-consumed zincs: despite good intentions. some don''t scrub or check the zincs often enough. Zincs provide protection even when away from a dock if you have some stray current running around the boat (one common source: a frayed compass light wire, grounding out on a piece of the steering pedestal). Carry the tool that removes old/tightens new zincs, and be sure to pound on the zinc *after* you think it''s installed nice & tight, assuming you''ll be doing this underwater.

Good luck; keep her nice a clean & you''ll enjoy the sail to Mexico all the more.

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jack and Pat have got it right..but I still wouldn''t change the zinc untill less then 1/2. That if you dive on the boat frequently you will have not problem
 

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I use a hookah diving system - no tanks - dive all day at no cost. It consists of an on-board oilless compressor - about 100psi and a hookah regulator. Check with a diving supply for details.

It is better not to remove barnacles unless you are ready to haul out and re-do the bottom since they adhere so well they will take the anti-fouling paint off with them and leave areas of your hull exposed. They don''t do any harm except for water resistance while underway.

When you are ready to remove them, use a heavy cold chisel. I use one about 3 to 4 inches wide on the blade and with a heavy handle about 8" long. The weight helps to pop the barnacles off. If you use a conventional scraper, you are relying on the inertia of your arm and hand to pop them off and believe me you will be very sore after a couple of hours.
 

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By the way - you don''t need to scrub zincs. The electrolysis currents have absolutely no trouble passing through the white fluffy stuff on the zincs and by leaving the soft surface, barnacles can''t adhere to it and reduce the surface area.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also, if you are going down under your boat with scraping tools....you will also want to have "stainless steel gloves", you can get them in boat stores....the ones that are made to use primarily when you are fileting fish to keep you from cutting yourself....they keep you from cutting your hands up on barnacles.
 
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