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Old 12-05-2017, 01:39   #1
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Hull cleaning

I suffer with an aluminium hull and barely achieve 6 months between anti-fouling. A diver advised that if I brushed the hull ,approx. each 2 months, ( Coral Sea - Australia ) , it would prevent barnacle growth from becoming serious. Has anyone made up or able to lead me to a device that could be used either on board or from a dock ? I would hope to clean at least 50% of the underwater and will still dive on the props.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:07   #2
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Re: Hull cleaning

Do you have ablative anti-fouling paint applied or hard paint? If ablative, I would think brushing the hull with any aggression would reduce the life of the paint and make the problem worse. If it's hard paint, and your brushing is very gentle, maybe not so bad.

I've heard mixed reviews about ultrasonic anti-foul systems. I wonder if such systems might work much better on aluminum hulls rather than fiberglass. The Navy seems to like them for their steel ships.
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Old 12-05-2017, 22:30   #3
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Re: Hull cleaning

Usually I can do a good 2/3 of the hull via a long handled scrub brush. Especially when I'm in a dinghy. Sometimes it helps to lash a small fender to the backside of the brush, so that it's buoyancy presses the brush up against the hull, when the brush is underneath of the boat.

Also, it helps to have a few strategically placed lines around the boat's toerail for you to grasp with one hand, to help you remain on station while scrubbing. Some times a "plumbers helper" (toilet plunger) is useful for holding onto the hull as well. And there are some of these which are made specifically for that/for divers, which have 2 suction cups about 1' apart, with a handle running between them.

What I'm saying is that when working from the dink, or while in the water, you need a reliable way to hold onto the boat, in order to be able to scrub effectively.

And when it comes to paint, it pays to have a good strategy in terms of what you'll apply, & in what order, prior to heading into the yard to add a few coats of antifouling. Such as first putting on several coats of a hard antifouling, in say, black. And then ovetop of it, put on several coats of something which wears away a bit more easily, perhaps in red.

That way, with the different colors per layer, you get lots of warning as to how much antifouling you have left. And can (loosely) schedule your next haul out for repainting. Plus it gives you a bit of time to watch for sales/good deals on paint. So that you're not buying it at the last minute, & having to pay full retail for it.

PS: Of course when you're painting, it's just common sense to add a couple of extra coats near the waterline, as well as on the keel, rudder, & bow. Particularly their leading edges. Since those are the areas which will get worn down the most. Both by water flowing over the boat, & via scrubbing your boat's bottom.
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Old 12-05-2017, 23:35   #4
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Re: Hull cleaning

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
And there are some of these which are made specifically for that/for divers, which have 2 suction cups about 1' apart, with a handle running between them.
I would argue that those are made specifically for computer data centers for pulling up floor tiles to access cables

That's not right - it's for handling large panes of glass.

No wait! They're for superyacht ceiling panels!

NO NO! They're for spies to climb the sides of skyscrapers!

A suction handle has many uses. Holding on to the side of a boat is just a really good example

However, I've been told they can prematurely wear out the antifouling. Personally I don't believe that's correct, considering you'd be using it in the process of removing *even worse* damaging material. Do you have personal experience with suction cupping yourself to the underside of your boat? Does it seem to impact the longevity of the antifouling?
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Old 12-05-2017, 23:38   #5
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Re: Hull cleaning

The guy I used to race with on a lake had something very similar to this.

DRI-DIVER - Boat Hull Cleaner, Remove hull growth from the dock

I don't know that he liked the process or results, but I saw him use it for maybe a couple years. We were on a lake so the growth is really different, but still needs a regularly cleaning if you wanna go fast like Ricky Bobby.
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Old 13-05-2017, 00:13   #6
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Re: Hull cleaning

best option to me appears to swim underwater and clean by hand, nothing is better...
but if you can't do that the best option to me is remain to clean the hull with a long strip (length =hull circumference x1,2, large let's say about 10 inches) of thick tissue like moquette or synthetic grass tied to some rope at extremities
you will need a friend, in two dig the strip in the water from the bow and pull alternatively on port and starboard side moving backwards
you will miss keel rudder and also prop area (in tnose areas if you lay in diagonal the cleaning strip you will reduce this loss). in these areas you can go with the long brush and fender method
ciao
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Old 13-05-2017, 12:23   #7
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Re: Hull cleaning

Much appreciated ,Sailors ! Some serious ideas there but what a problem it is , trying to foil nature !!
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Old 13-05-2017, 12:44   #8
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Re: Hull cleaning

The OP's boat is a catamaran; much of the hull area, between the hulls, will be inaccessible from on deck.

It's easier to swim, and there is not reason not to. Even a large cat has little draft (4'6" on the keels, less than half that everywhere else).
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