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Old 28-05-2015, 11:23   #16
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

My 35-foot steel boat has eight zincs along the hull bottom plus one on propeller shaft and one on rudder.
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Old 28-05-2015, 11:31   #17
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

I'm also the guy why hangs one of those useless Guppy zincs in the water. I'm primarily using it as an indicator, too many times I've seen significant damage done to peoples boats because a new boat is in the slip next to them etc., and if they had warning of course they could have prevented that. My theory is watch the Guppy, if it suddenly starts getting eaten up, then I need to look into why.
Guppy is connected to the bonding system in my boat, by itself it wouldn't work of course.
What is a guppy zinc anode? How does it work, and if it is useless why do you use it? Thanks.
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Old 28-05-2015, 12:21   #18
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

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What is a guppy zinc anode? How does it work, and if it is useless why do you use it? Thanks.
It's a great big piece of zinc on a wire, shaped like a fish. Thing is probably close to 5 lbs of zinc if I were to guess.
I call it useless as many claim it is, and if you don't connect it to the bonding system in the boat, a ground like the engine block for example it is useless. I would not use this as my only anode, only in addition to my other anodes.
All it is is just another piece of zinc to protect the grounded metals on the boat that are underwater. For instance if your thru-hulls are not bonded, no zinc can protect them. A zinc has to be both underwater and electrically connected to the metal parts your trying to protect.
Bonding thru hulls is another controversial subject.
Anyway besides being a big ole piece of zinc, it's a zinc I look at every time I go sailing, as you have to remove this thing. I look for big changes, if suddenly this thing starts to get eaten away, then of course there is some stray current or something trying to eat my very expensive prop, and I want to know about that before any damage is done and seeing as how I get a good look at the Guppy zinc usually on a weekly basis where I see my prop anode maybe every couple of months, maybe I'd catch a problem sooner.
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Old 28-05-2015, 13:07   #19
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

Jreiter - Another way to electrially isolate your boat from others in the marina is the system I use - don't plug into shore power. I've 420 rated watts of solar panels and I only use shore power when using a power tool that requires 110V. I do not have a large inverter - otherwise I'd not use shore power at all.
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Old 28-05-2015, 18:28   #20
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
Lucky you Lepke,

Here in SW FL the water temp frequently comes up to 90 deg F and we have to pay divers almost every month to clean our hulls. Also, being on a river the amount of nutrients to feed the critters is amazing. There have been times I dove on my boat and even with a light visibility was only 2-3 inches.

What you describe would be nirvana to us.

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You would love the Great Lakes. A season in the marina results in algae scum on the sunny side. You can clean your hull with a brush or sponge.

If cost is an issue, is there a place here you can careen? This would be more than enough time to inspect & replace zincs. Zincs may need replacing 2 times/year. Also, how about your engine zincs?
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Old 28-05-2015, 18:54   #21
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

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I need some adult supervision for my first time hauling-out.

I've got an Ericson 34 that I keep in Southeast Alaska. The last time the boat was out of the water was July 2013 during the pre-buy inspection. At that time the surveyor said the bottom paint was in good shape and we replaced the zinc on the shaft.

Questions are:

With the boat in the water, how do I tell if I need to haul-out to re-paint and replace the zincs? We get very little growth here.

No other repairs need to be done below (that I know of!) is there any pressing reason to haul-out?

Thanks in advance!
In the relatively warmer San Francisco bay we have a diver clean the bottom and replace our max prop zinc each quarter.

The max prop zinc is hydrodynamically efficient but tends to be consumed quickly compared to our other zincs due to its method of attachment. I measure the zincs before install and when removed. I can then plot my consumption rate.

If I was in Alaska I would expect to have a diver clean the bottom and check zincs at least every 6 months. You might increase that to an annual check after the first 6 monthly check.

We have a well bonded configuration for our thru hulls. If you dont understand your galvanic bonding then you may need to complete a galvanic audit to ensure you dont have any hidden issues.

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Old 28-05-2015, 20:25   #22
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Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
You would love the Great Lakes. A season in the marina results in algae scum on the sunny side. You can clean your hull with a brush or sponge.

If cost is an issue, is there a place here you can careen? This would be more than enough time to inspect & replace zincs. Zincs may need replacing 2 times/year. Also, how about your engine zincs?

Actually I got my start in boating in Lake Erie. Unfortunately there is no place to careen here. Tidal range is only 2-3 ft. It's easier to hire a diver or put your own gear on for an inspection.

What is difficult to find is a diver you can trust. The diver I've been using told me my bottom was so fouled he could not clean it. When I finally had the boat hauled a few weeks ago, the waterline was pretty nasty but the rest of the hull was surprisingly clean. Just a handful of barnacles. On the other hand the zincs were shot, the prop was shot, 4 through hulls and the bobstay were shot due to electrolysis.

All in all my "diver" probably cost two grand extra in repairs. To be sure, we will be having a discussion! 😡

Ps. The bottom paint I had on was Seahawk and it had held up for 7 years except at the waterline. When I had the boat pulled the yard painted it with Seahawk but not the one I specified in the contract, they repainted the bottom with the specified paint and I now have 4 coats for the price of two. 😐

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Old 29-05-2015, 08:24   #23
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

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Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
Actually I got my start in boating in Lake Erie. Unfortunately there is no place to careen here. Tidal range is only 2-3 ft. It's easier to hire a diver or put your own gear on for an inspection.

What is difficult to find is a diver you can trust. The diver I've been using told me my bottom was so fouled he could not clean it. When I finally had the boat hauled a few weeks ago, the waterline was pretty nasty but the rest of the hull was surprisingly clean. Just a handful of barnacles. On the other hand the zincs were shot, the prop was shot, 4 through hulls and the bobstay were shot due to electrolysis.

All in all my "diver" probably cost two grand extra in repairs. To be sure, we will be having a discussion! ��

Ps. The bottom paint I had on was Seahawk and it had held up for 7 years except at the waterline. When I had the boat pulled the yard painted it with Seahawk but not the one I specified in the contract, they repainted the bottom with the specified paint and I now have 4 coats for the price of two.
I have a few issues with this post, so I'll try to be diplomatic:

You went 7 years between bottom jobs? In Florida??!! Bottom paints simply aren't formulated to provide anti fouling performance that long. 3 to 4 years, tops. No wonder your diver refused to clean it. And exactly how is it your diver's fault that your prop, thru-hulls and bobstay (WTF? The bobstay? Seriously? ) were damaged? Just how long did you let the boat go between services? If you knew your regular diver hadn't dived the boat, why didn't you find someone who would? Is he the only hull cleaner in Florida?

Bottom line- It's your boat and you are responsible for its maintenance. Based on your post, it seems as if that maintenance was badly neglected.
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Old 29-05-2015, 08:43   #24
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

Had to check Cabos location to make sure he was not my old neighbor from my last marina. His bottom was down to bare glass and his diver kept telling him to haul it, kept it clean tho.

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Old 29-05-2015, 11:11   #25
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

You are right of course. The boat was neglected that long because of health issues I was experiencing. Now that I'm past that, I'm giving the old girl a total refit.

As to the bottom condition after all that time and the word of the diver, I expected a real mess. The surprise was that except for a few inches at the waterline the hull was clean. There were only a dozen or so barnacles!!! What had happened was the zincs were shot which allowed unfettered electrolysis to eat away at the prop and through hulls.

Basically the diver lied when he told me the bottom was too badly fouled for cleaning. It was actually in good shape. I know it sure made me a believer in Seahawk bottom paint.


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Old 29-05-2015, 11:36   #26
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

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Basically the diver lied when he told me the bottom was too badly fouled for cleaning. It was actually in good shape. I know it sure made me a believer in Seahawk bottom paint.
If the bottom was not in horrible condition, why would the diver take a pass on cleaning it? Is he so busy he doesn't need the work? Doesn't add up. As far as the paint being in good condition despite being seven years old and uncleaned for what apparently a long time- that is contrary to what I know from my twenty years hull cleaning experience.

You also don't address your inference that he is somehow responsible for the damage to your boat.
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Old 29-05-2015, 12:27   #27
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

I don't think he actually dives much anymore but hires young kids to get wet. He goes through a lot of them.

The longevity of the paint surprises me as well since it is counter to my own experience. But I was there when boat was hauled and even yard manager remarked on how he was expecting much worse.

Although the boat was neglected by me during my illness, I still had the diver cleaning on a monthly basis except for the last year or so. Part of his duty is to regularly change the zincs when they go bad. They weren't bad, they were totally gone and gone long enough to disintegrate an 18 inch prop. I find it hard to believe damage that severe occurred in a year. Especially when no one else has experienced a similar problem at the marina.

To be fair bottom cleaning is a fairly competitive business around here. The key is to have as many contracts as possible. There have been complaints about others. One has been known to charge but not actually clean. The owner discovered that when actually dove his own boat after "cleaning ".

I realize I can't prove anything but I will be keeping a better eye on things.


Well all is improving. New bottom job, new prop, new through hulls, two new chain plates, new anchor rides, total replacement of the electronics and more. The last big item I'm waiting for is the mechanic to fit me in to his schedule. I need a new starter motor, probably a heat exchanger and he thinks my compression might be low.

New canvas and salon cushions are under construction.


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Old 29-05-2015, 15:35   #28
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Re: Haul-out, bottom paint, and zincs

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Anodes that last that long are not doing their job. You aren't keeping your boat in fresh or brackish water by any chance are you?
I didn't take a picture, but, uh, don't wait three years. It looked pretty bad, but I can't find any electrolysis damage yet.

I've had it in a different marina for the last three years than I did the last three years before, and yes, the last one was in brackish water. This one is in pure salt water. Obviously, it does make a difference.

It looks like one was still working, but the other one was definitely used up.

Uh, don't wait three years. Mia Culpa, mia culpa, mia culpa.
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