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Old 04-07-2017, 13:21   #1
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Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

Cruising Lesson #753 - If you leave your dink in the water (Chesapeake) for 2 months, you will be sorry!



OK, lesson learned!

After much hosing & scraping in the heat of the day, she's almost back to normal.
BTW, for anyone that was not aware, as I was not, a 2x4 makes a great barnacle scraper! A fellow cruiser mentioned it to me in passing and it worked beautifully! Well, it was actually a piece of scrap 4x4 I found in the boat yard, but you get the point!



Based on some info I found in this forum, I'm going to try some Vinegar to see if I can get the final residue off - looks like the dink is made of alligator skin!

If that doesn't work, then I'll take it up a notch and try the Muriatic Acid.
Will let everyone know how it goes.

All that said, I do have a question - I don't have, nor do I want davits. How do folks deal with this issue? Find a beach and scrape the bottom on a weekly basis?

As always, Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2017, 13:53   #2
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

Better to have barnacles than lesions.

I don't know if they've developed a bottom paint for inflatables but I'd certainly look into it. I used to use bottom paint on all my fiberglass dinks in the past. It kept those nasty critters away.
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Old 04-07-2017, 15:06   #3
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

Bleach.

Vinegar is bull.
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Old 04-07-2017, 15:07   #4
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

Muriatic acid works great.
Wear gloves, and let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse.
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Old 04-07-2017, 15:43   #5
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

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Bleach.

Vinegar is bull.
That's interesting, we've always used an acid for calcareous growth residue, never even tried bleach. The chemistry is quite different.

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Old 04-07-2017, 16:09   #6
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

Yep, In fact small ones will grow in a couple weeks, creating perfect little sharp cutting devices to gouge your lifelines and decks if you are a "stow it on the bow" person. People often trivialize bow storage, and when I mention the 2 hours going to shore, emptying the dink and motor, turning it over and scraping it and restoring everything.. they think I'm crazy.....
Davits are at the top of any cruising boat gear I want on a boat of decent size... It's not like you have to use them 100% of the time... the 95% you are not "crossing" is fine.
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Old 04-07-2017, 16:26   #7
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

Muriatic acid will work. Put it on and let it soak for 20-30 minuets then wash it off.
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Old 04-07-2017, 16:30   #8
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

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Muriatic acid will work. Put it on and let it soak for 20-30 minuets then wash it off.
Does it matter what material?
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Old 04-07-2017, 16:34   #9
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Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

Muratic even in high concentration shouldn't hurt fiberglass, PVC or Hypalon if not left on for extended periods. It comes in plastic bottles.
The acid will remove the calcification, the bleach ought to get anything soft and living, care to not mix the two though even in open air it could be problematic.
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Old 04-07-2017, 17:26   #10
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

Quote:
. if you are a "stow it on the bow" person.
That be me:
Stored it between the stays'l and the jib.
Easy if you have an inflatable floor dink. Not so easy with a porky RIB.
Never leave the dink in the drink for more than 4-5 days, slime starts building and for every day it takes more muscle to clean.
2 months without bottom paint seems excessive.
Never had davits, had small or light dinks instead.
In a perfect world we would have everything under the sun and life would be just so sweet.
In reality I have been happy with a basic sailboat without davits, air conditioning, generator, microwave oven, tv/vcr, water maker, washer/dryer, etc, etc. Happy life and good sailing with just solar panels and a strong Diesel for power, airfloor dink and a 4HP outboard for propulsion and no davits.
Each to his own and in a perfect world we would have it all. Not.
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Old 04-07-2017, 19:34   #11
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

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Bleach.

Vinegar is bull.

Gotta disagree with you there. A vinegar and flour paste is my favourite enviro friendly prop cleaning solution for dissolving the little bits of barnies that get left over after a scrub and scrape- when out of the water, of course! The trick is to leave it on for around 20 minutes covered in a plastic bag. Having said that, it might be a little hard to implement on a dinghy backside.

Now, if stains are a problem try oxalic acid aka wood bleach. Brilliant stuff.
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:01   #12
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

Curious where you are on the Chesapeake ... kept our boat up on the Northern end and few issues, Annapolis a much different story. Oh, guess where our dink currently rests ...
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:21   #13
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

Thanks folks, will definitely be going the vinegar route as a first pass. I definately prefer to escalate my chemical attacks only as it becomes necessary!

Also had a small leak from an old patch... fixed it yesterday, so assuming it held, I'll be applying the vinegar solution today and let everyone know how it goes.

CaptCanuck, we're currently south of Annapolis - Herrington Harbour North Marina
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:06   #14
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

All caustic cleaners will harm the material eventually, but honestly, the barnacle feet will do more damage.

Use acid bottom cleaner...and I would recommend applying some bottom paint in the future.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/petti...paint--5436910
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:30   #15
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Re: Oh no! I've got Barnacles on my Dink!

You are clearly spending far too much time in the water.
Scraping them off will definitely be painful.
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