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Old 13-07-2010, 10:33   #1
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Barnacle Damage ?

I am going to look at a Bluewater built Ingrid 38 this weekend that has been soaking in Puget Sound for the last 15 yrs without a haul out. It appears to have substantial bottom growth.
I am concerned about blisters (although I have never heard of these boats having blister problems) and possible damage from the growth itself. Do barnacles hurt fiberglass surfaces?
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Old 13-07-2010, 11:53   #2
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Barnales will leave a calcite ring on the hull when scraped off that can be removed with the usual prep for bottom painting. They do not cause permanent damage to the fiberglass. Scraping, heavy sanding, and an acid wash will probably be needed. I'd be more concerned about through-hulls and hoses, and engine function.
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Old 13-07-2010, 11:58   #3
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The engine is a Perkins diesel with 160 hrs. There is no propeller and the engine has not been run in years. Would need to drain the fuel and replace. Add/replace Racor filters, etc.
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Old 13-07-2010, 13:05   #4
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A good pressure wash will remove 99.9% of the foulant without resorting to scrapers etc. What remains, the calcium carbonate, can be chemically dissolved with an acid. Take the appropriate precautions with the acid.

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Originally Posted by Tim_H View Post
The engine is a Perkins diesel with 160 hrs. There is no propeller and the engine has not been run in years. Would need to drain the fuel and replace. Add/replace Racor filters, etc.
Be sure to replace all the filters and vital fluids in addition to changing out whichever fluid the transmission uses.

You will also want to get some oil down inside the cylinders and make sure you can turn the crankshaft with a wrench first. Check all your wires for corrosion and resistance. After 15 years, its certain the start battery will need to be replaced.
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Old 13-07-2010, 17:17   #5
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Not all diesel engines can be hand cranked unless you remove all the injectors. It is advisable to attempt to hand crank if possible to avoid shearing off flywheel teeth with a starter and frozen crankshaft.
- - I have personally seen diesels left 10 year and more untouched start up again after cleaning and oiling the pistons. Amazing engines.
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Old 13-07-2010, 18:35   #6
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I have never seen barnacles cause significant damage to the bottom of a fiberglass yacht.

I once had growth of six to eight inches of tube worm/barnacles on the bottom of Exit Only when we were anchored in the Hatea River in Whangarei, New Zealand. I had been away from the boat for four months because of a car accident on the North Island. I was in the hospital for two months and living next to the hospital for another two months getting physical therapy in New Plymouth until I could return to Whangarei four months later.

We hauled Exit Only out of the water and cleaned the bottom of the boat with flat blade shovels scraping off the 6 to 8 inch growth. In all we filled up five 55 gallon drums with bottom growth. I had never seen anything like that before. We cleaned the bottom, and in spite of all of the growth, it looked perfect after the job was done.
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Old 13-07-2010, 19:04   #7
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It is possible that the engine may be okay after sitting for that length of time but it is more likely, IMHO, that it is toast. It is also likely that the whole boat will need a complete and thorough refit. Not a small job.
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Old 13-07-2010, 22:37   #8
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It definitely needs a complete refit.
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Old 18-09-2010, 12:25   #9
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Well I got the boat and made it the 120 miles to Oak Harbor. She is now safely high and dry. Amazingly enough, under the 2 foot tube worms there are still multiple layers of bottom paint.
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