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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about getting certified to Scuba dive so I can scrub boat bottoms. I already have a bussiness as a licensed contractor (roofing) in Maryland would I need a license to clean boat bottoms? Would people want me to be qualified to clean there boats? My only experince is cleaning my own boat and diving on a few vacations.
 

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It's is in great demand, partially due to the economy. If you can delay a haulout to 2 years from one you are saving a lot of money. I think that's what a lot of people are doing including me. If the bottom craps up before two years I may change course.
 

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I wouldn't care, since I'd probably put a mask on and inspect the hull afterward.

You don't need a SCUBA certification if you aren't using tanks but are using one of thise floating compressors instead. That would be easier IMHO since you wouldn't have to keep running to town for a tank refill.
 

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I haven't seen any of the guys doing boat bottoms as a business use a hookah. I've seen snorkeling and tanks, but no hookahs. YMMV.

I think there is plenty of room for another diver around Annapolis. Lots of folks seem to be asking about divers.

I do my own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I never seen anyone use floating compressors maybe there is a reason? If not then I'll have to find one. Compressor sounds like a good idea but I wanted an excuse to be certified.
 

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would I need a license to clean boat bottoms?
There is no licensing requirement to clean boat bottoms anywhere in this country. Washington does require that hull cleaners obtain a state permit, but that is the only place that is required, AFAIK. A business license is a different matter. I service marinas in 5 or 6 different municipalities. Technically, I should have a business license in each, which could end up being a decent chunk of change for renewal each year. But I have been able to get by for 15 years with the one I keep current in the city in which my business is based.

Would people want me to be qualified to clean there boats?
SCUBA certification is meaningless. No boat owner gives a rat's ass about what level of recreational diving instruction you've attained. What they care about is if can you do the job they've asked you to do. Remember, diving is just the way we get to the job, like driving your car to get to the office. Diving is not the work, the work is cleaning the boat bottom and replacing zincs, among other things.

My only experince is cleaning my own boat and diving on a few vacations.
Every hull cleaner has to start somewhere. I get asked all the time if I'm hiring. I had a guy walk up to me in my garage yesterday, right off the street and ask me for a job (he's a certified SCUBA instructor). I'll tell you what I told him; I do hire divers but my personal preference is to hire divers who already have a hull cleaning business. Failing that, I want them to have some boating knowledge. Being able to dive isn't the important thing in this business. Knowing about boats and boat systems and having the temperment to be able to work on them underwater is the important thing. You've got most of that covered already.
 

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I haven't seen any of the guys doing boat bottoms as a business use a hookah. I've seen snorkeling and tanks, but no hookahs. YMMV.
Most of the hull cleaners I know use electric hookahs. I and all my divers do. Why anybody would want to lug bottles around is beyond me. And why anybody would hire a hull cleaner who has to hold his breath to do the work is beyond me as well.
 

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I never seen anyone use floating compressors maybe there is a reason? If not then I'll have to find one. Compressor sounds like a good idea but I wanted an excuse to be certified.
I have never seen a hull cleaner using a floating hookah. I suspect the reason is that they are expensive, cumbersome and heavy, not to mention require fuel. The gear you use will depend on where you are working. Here in the East Bay Area, we have no mooring fields. That means all hull cleaning is performed at the dock. That means free shore power. Why pay for air or fuel when an electric hookah is unlimited free air? Not to mention lightweight, compact and inexpensive to buy.

I personally work out of a boat but still use an electric hookah. If you plan to service boats at anchor or on a mooring, of course you will need a gas-powered hookah (or an electric, run off a gas-powered generator.) But you should get certified regardless (he said, acknowledging that he has never been certified :rolleyes: ) for the safety aspects, if nothing else. Plus, you never know when you might need to use bottled air for a job and, of course, you need SCUBA certification to get refills (but not to SCUBA dive).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am amazed at the level of help I can get from everyone at sailnet even other businesses offer there advice. Thanks Fast Bottoms and SVA appreciate your help.
 

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I would like to add that many marinas don't like divers to clean boat bottoms there (and if they let you in you may need insurance and have an agreement with them). It is partially due to clean water requirements, and partially for fear of liability (if diver gets electrocuted by stray current) or who knows what else.

So, it may be that you'll have to meet these people at anchor or some other place.
 

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I used to know a guy that had a few girls working for him.
They wore 2 pice suits and rode aroung the anckorage with a can of wax asking if anyone wanted there mast shined........Just a different business if your looking for a idea...
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm not trying to run a side show business I am just trying to make a few bucks. I would be using my company name so I wouldn't want to upset people. Thanks for the tip about liability I will check with my insurance they cover my roofing ( Over 40% in MD.). They tell me it's a free country but think I might be paying for everything I use. So those girls could ask if you want your pole waxed?
 

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Be aware that scrubbing hull bottoms is rapidly becoming outlawed in many areas, due to restrictions on heavy metals.
 

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I plan to leave our Beneteau 50 in the water next winter, both to save haul-out costs and to be able to sail on good winter days. Long Island NY area, with sailing trips to CT or NJ (depending on whether we go for the sound side or the ocean side of Long Island).

Anyone know how much can I expect to pay to have a diver clean our hull and replace the prop zinc?
 

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Be aware that scrubbing hull bottoms is rapidly becoming outlawed in many areas, due to restrictions on heavy metals.
There is no state in the U.S. where in-water hull cleaning is illegal or banned. Washington has a restriction in place regarding the cleaning of ablative paints, but that's it. Otherwise you are free to clean as you please.
 

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Thanks for the tip about liability I will check with my insurance they cover my roofing ( Over 40% in MD.)
Your business insurance will not be accepted by those marinas with an insurance requirement. They will want a Ship Repairers Liability policy, generally in the $500,000-$1,000,000 range. Expect to pay in the vicinty of $2000/year premium for this coverage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What $2,000.00 for Liabilty ? My roofing covers $500,000.00- $1,000,000.00-$500,000.00 and I keep that under $ 2,000.00. My insurance is based on Gross income. Houses cost more than boats around here and I was only planning on grossing 1 or 2 thousand. If I can't work out the liablity it's not a big deal ( I will keep my work away from Marinas ).
 

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What $2,000.00 for Liabilty ? My roofing covers $500,000.00- $1,000,000.00-$500,000.00 and I keep that under $ 2,000.00. My insurance is based on Gross income. Houses cost more than boats around here and I was only planning on grossing 1 or 2 thousand. If I can't work out the liablity it's not a big deal ( I will keep my work away from Marinas ).
Houses cost more than boats were I live too but that's not the point. The marinas will want the kind of insurance from contractors that their insurance companies require. Your roofing business insurance isn't going to cut the mustard.

I was thinking about charging $2.00 or $3.00 a foot, Hope that's cheep.
Hull cleaning rates vary widely from region to region but where I work, those prices are par for the course.
 
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