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Old 26-04-2010, 10:22   #1
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Hull Cleaning Out of the Water ?

Can anyone tell me if it is better to clean my hull in the water or out of the water. I am tryiong to buy a trailer and need the hull cleaned. Should I wait until I pull the boat out of the water to clean the hull or will it be harder because the air on the stuff might make it hard or harder to clean? Or does it make it easier? thanks a lot!
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Old 26-04-2010, 11:07   #2
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not to be a downer here... but nothing makes cleaning the hull easy...

I think pull it if you can but plan on doing the initial clean RIGHT AWAY, before anything has time to dry. If you have good bottom paint then it shouldnt be to hard, a big scrub brush and a pressure washer set on lowing pressure, enough to clean but not enought to strip off paint.

If you are like us, with no bottom paint for a while, then a large flexible mudding blade to scrape the hull might be a good choice, and that pressure washer turned on higher. I don't like to use chemicals if I don't have to. I don't need the hull to be spotless unless it's getting painted, another story, after all its just gonna get dirty again!
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Old 26-04-2010, 11:26   #3
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Thanks. so you are saying if it sits out of the water for awhile and dries it is a bad thing? thanks! I think it has been months since it has been cleaned and it needs to be painted pretty soon. I would like to paint it also.
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Old 26-04-2010, 11:27   #4
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yeah, all things considered, I think wet and slimy is better than dead and dry...
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Old 26-04-2010, 11:53   #5
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I second the "RIGHT AWAY" (within half an hour if you can). Have the pressure washer ready to rock and roll before your ever pull the boat out of the water. If that stuff dries good, it is an ordeal to get it off.
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Old 26-04-2010, 11:55   #6
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What is really nice is if you're in salt water and can get to fresh water for a few days before you pull it. Then it's dead and soft!
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Old 28-04-2010, 00:42   #7
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If you are like us, with no bottom paint for a while, then a large flexible mudding blade to scrape the hull might be a good choice...
No bottom paint and using a metal blade on the hull? Both very bad ideas.
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Old 06-05-2010, 19:44   #8
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No bottom paint and using a metal blade on the hull? Both very bad ideas.
Why? The no bottom paint is because she came that way and until we pull her we can't paint her. She's over 40 years old and protecting the lovely gelcoat finish isn't an issue anymore... We are sailing her and it's no fun with a beard trailing so I winch her down by her halyards and expose beneath the water line and clean her up. Hasn't seemed to do any damage to the hull..
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Old 06-05-2010, 20:08   #9
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I use a 14" floor scraper and I start scraping before the travel lift stops moving, followed immediately by a power wash. I'm considering a higher cuprous bottom paint like Super Ship Bottom when I pull my Grampian next week.
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Old 06-05-2010, 21:42   #10
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Why? The no bottom paint is because she came that way and until we pull her we can't paint her. She's over 40 years old and protecting the lovely gelcoat finish isn't an issue anymore... We are sailing her and it's no fun with a beard trailing so I winch her down by her halyards and expose beneath the water line and clean her up. Hasn't seemed to do any damage to the hull..
Well, when you scrape the hull with a metal blade, you are probably damaging the gel coat (with all the attendant issues that raises, like water intrusion, etc.) but if you are unconcerned with that, there are other things to consider:

Presumably you are not having a diver clean the bottom. God only knows what kind of garden is growing on the areas you aren't cleaning when you heel the boat and scrape her from the dock, and even then, the areas you are scraping are not being properly cleaned. Don't even try to tell me that there isn't a jungle growing down there; I've been in this business too long. I know there is. Your bottom is undoubtably very foul. In addition, there can be no doubt that your running gear is foul as well. This also means increased fuel consumption and increased carbon emissions. This means reduced performance under both sail and power. Bad for your wallet, national security and the environment. What about your zincs? Is anybody checking them? Props and shafts are not cheap and I've seen running gear damaged beyond saving in a matter of weeks or months when not properly protected. Thru-hulls and transducers? Probably fouled. You sure as hell ain't cleaning 'em from the dock. How long until your engine can't suck cooling water anymore? Hopefully you notice before you fry the engine.

Bottom line (and no offense intended)- what you are doing with your boat is unseamanlike and is definitely not proper maintenance. You need to haul the boat and do a bottom job and then clean that new bottom gently and frequently. Cheaping-out they way you are will eventually come back and bite you in the ass, I guarantee it.
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Old 06-05-2010, 22:14   #11
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Of course you would say that because you make your living cleaning boat bottoms!

I doubt that their well-mounted outboard (Cal 28) really necessitates in the water cleaning, and isn't necessarily foul. My well mounted outboard is quite easy to clean without getting wet at all.

A dirty prop is bad for national security? Please explain your politically charged non-sequitur.

A dirty prop is bad for the environment? How so?? Increased fuel consumption? At least they don't have a diver down there 2 times a month releasing a cloud of toxic chemicals into the water! Driving miles to get to their marina... using a lot of gas.

I bet their boat has one zinc, on the outboard.

Research your posts before making yourself look like a fool.
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Old 06-05-2010, 22:24   #12
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Woah fstbttms, I think she said that painting is in the coming at haulout and that the boat was purchased in this condition...but not my buisiness.

Careening and hoisting down by the masthead can expose prettymuch all of the bottom (one side at a time) at low tide and is a very efective way of getting to the bottom. Once there's fresh antifouling paint and if done often enough the brush and a few handfulls of sand in the persistant spots can prolong the haulout until it is time for more paint. Yeah, and check the zincs at the same time.
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Old 06-05-2010, 22:28   #13
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Of course you would say that because you make your living cleaning boat bottoms!
So I guess your point is that an unpainted bottom that is only cleaned with a scraper from the dock constitues "proper maintenance"?

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A dirty prop is bad for national security? Please explain your politically charged non-sequitur.
A dirty prop is bad for the environment? How so?? Increased fuel consumption? At least they don't have a diver down there 2 times a month releasing a cloud of toxic chemicals into the water! Driving miles to get to their marina... using a lot of gas. .
A dirty bottom and running gear means any boat is going to have reduced efficiency under power. That means using more fuel than necessary. Increased reliance on foreign oil is too complex a concept for you, apparently.

BTW- her boat doesn't have any bottom paint, therefore no pollution from in-water hull cleaning. Maybe you should research your posts before making yourself look like a fool.


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I bet their boat has one zinc, on the outboard.
I will admit that I didn't realize the boat was powered by an outboard motor. But that point nothwithstanding, everything else I mentioned is completely valid.
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Old 06-05-2010, 22:32   #14
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Got no engine zincs etc. she has an outboard.

You are correct that the efforts I make do not take her down to a bare hull. which means that while she hasn't got streamers trailing there is a thin layer of growth. I get in the water and am pretty good at getting the nooks and crannys for what I can't expose by heeling her at the dock. But that thin layer means that I am pretty much not hitting that gelcoat much at all. Just getting the bulk of the mess off.

We don't have transducers outside the hull and the thru holes are easy enough to reach with a brush. They all seem to work fine so I think they must be ok.

Other than putting in and out of the marina we use our engine very rarely, so thanks for your concern about the environment, and our pocket book, but it isn't really needed. I can motor for an hour on a gallon, plus or minus a bit depending on conditions. The advantage for now is that no bottom paint means we are not contributing questionable chemicals into the water thru the hull paint. That will change after we pull and paint her, but I am just pointing out that there are always trade-offs.

Probably and presumably and a buck fifty will get you a cuppa coffee.
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Old 06-05-2010, 22:33   #15
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1. You guess wrong.
2. Increased reliance on foreign oil is too complex a concept for me. And you too. Don't be sophomoric, lest I call you a sophomoron.
3. I was fully aware that they did not have antifouling paint at the time of writing. I was simply articulating that divers are not without their environmental impact.

Don't be mean, its not good for business!
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