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Old 03-01-2008, 20:07   #16
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Are there ear eating critters out there? (Shiver running down my spine)
Who knows? The point is; when you are cleaning a hull, you are wiping off all kinds of crap, from arthropods to bacterial bio-film to anti fouling paint. If you want to avoid infection or other ear problems, don't do it without a hood.
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:59   #17
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Mandatory:

Hood, Kevlar gloves, alcohol & vinegar for the ears.

Prefered:

Drysuit & Rum (for after the diving)
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:57   #18
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One of my husbands christmas gifts this year was a new diving hood
He started cleaning our hull last year in preparation to going cruising (I think it is a good idea for him to be comfortable and familiar with what is going on down there).
We have all dive equipment including a air compressor to fill the tanks.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:53   #19
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I not only carried scuba gear, I had a dive compressor on my aux diesel.

Having said that, I never once used my scuba to clean the bottom. It was far more hassle than it was worth. As stated previously, the first 3-4' of your hull can be scrubbed from the surface. Take a break, then do several short free dives to clean the rest. I had a 45', modified-full keel boat with a 7' draft. It took me about an hour to clean the entire hull.

Now.......having said all that, I was in the same situation as you. I was cruising/working for about 12 of my 14 year cruising career. I think that you may be able to suplement your income by cleaning boat bottoms in areas like Bahamas or Caribbean. After that, the cruisers get a little more hard core and the opportunities will be less. If you carry a good inventory of zincs on-board, you may have a bit better market.

just my $.02
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:06   #20
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Hmmm, the prices quoted here for scraping a hull sem high. here in the Tampa Bay area you generally pay between $1 and $1.25 a foot....
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:18   #21
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Side issue to the first question but I too was susceptible to ear infections from diving until we found how effective antibiotic ear drops can be.
In my case at the first sign of infection I find 3 drops does the trick. And you can buy it over the pharmacy counter in France and Spain.
Cheers
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Old 04-01-2008, 13:05   #22
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Scrubing my bottom from on top...

So to those here who have scrubed their bottoms from above the surface - how did you do it?
ie. What length "broom", What did you have on the business end of the "broom", how effective/long lasting was it?
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Old 04-01-2008, 13:55   #23
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I've cleaned the grass skirt off before in a dinghy, and done an "eh" job at the rest. I've got a modified full keel at this point, that goes down six feet. Add onto that the 10 of beam, so the bottom of the keel is 5 feet away from me, and six feet down. If (a)(a) + (b)(b) = (c)(c), giving a little room for the handle, the bottom of the keel is over 9 feet away from me. That's one hell of a broom handle, plus the fact that you can't even see where it's going all that well.

On a cat, no big deal. On a deep draft monohull, cleaning your boat from the surface is an excercise in futility. If it was even possible, bottom cleaners would do it, as they could ommit the need for scuba gear.

You need to be able to dive your boat; no exceptions. If it isn't cleaning the bottom, it's unfouling a prop, or checking an anchor before a big blow (or before you leave the boat for a while).

The creepy crawlies that bite and sting are no joke. I remember a few evenings of red and itchy arms from all that crap getting on me. Just wear a fullsuit, or a long sleeve rash guard: Mares Long Sleeve Unisex Rash Guard: at JoeDiverAmerica.com

Cleaning the boat with a good tidal current is important too. If you can get a couple knots of water moving past you, the little bugs can't hang out too long.
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Old 04-01-2008, 14:29   #24
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Side issue to the first question but I too was susceptible to ear infections from diving until we found how effective antibiotic ear drops can be.
In my case at the first sign of infection I find 3 drops does the trick. And you can buy it over the pharmacy counter in France and Spain.
CheersJOHN
I donít recommend the casual self-prescription of antibiotics.
We did carry a stock of antibiotics, as prescribed by our physician. We also undertook an extensive education on their use, and never self-prescribed, when professional advice & treatment was available.

Some cautions about Antibiotic Ear Drops:

1. Once your Swimmer's Ear (otitis externa) is better, you should continue to use the ear drops for at least an additional two or three days, during which time you stay out of the water.

2. If you misdiagnose yourself, and actually have a Perforated Ear Drum, neomycin, polymyxin B, and hydrocortisone* may cause ototoxicity (* common constituents of ear drops). The antibiotic clears infection and the steroid reduces itch and inflammation.

3. Some bacteria which infect the ear canal are resistant to some antibiotics. A change to a different type of ear drop may be advised if you have used the first one correctly, but there has been little improvement after a week or so.

4. A Wick may be advised if the ear canal is very swollen, preventing the drops from penetrating the ear canal.
A wick is a piece of gauze material which is soaked in antibiotic drops. It is gently placed in the ear canal (by a doctor or nurse). The wick ensures that an antibiotic is always present and reaches to the inner part of the ear canal.


5. Some people develop an allergy to antibiotic ear drops (or a preservative in the drops), exacerbating the itch and discharge.

6. An uncommon cause of persistent otitis externa is due to a fungal infection. Fungie are not killed by antibiotics - in fact antibiotic and steroid otic formula can make a fungal infection worse. A fungal infection may be suspected if an otitis externa does not clear within a week.
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Old 04-01-2008, 14:51   #25
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Gord,

I have been in the practice of using drops that are 85/15 alcohol/vinegar. My understanding is that it displaces trapped water, kills baddies and corrects the PH in the ear canal making it an unfriendly enviroment for bacteria & fungus.

Do you have any tips?

Thanks

Steve
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Old 04-01-2008, 15:03   #26
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Hmmm, the prices quoted here for scraping a hull sem high. here in the Tampa Bay area you generally pay between $1 and $1.25 a foot....
The price quoted earlier in this thread was from a sailor in Australia, so presumably he is quoting the price there in $AUS. Here in the Bay Area, hull cleaning generally runs about $2.25/foot for sailboats, $3.00/foot for powerboats. In Southern California the rates are similar to yours, about $1.25/foot. The reason being (and I assume this holds true for Tampa Bay) is that there is lots more competition. The warmer climate and water temps makes hull cleaning a more accessible way to make some money. Everybody and his brother is a diver when the water's warm.
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Old 04-01-2008, 15:11   #27
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So to those here who have scrubed their bottoms from above the surface - how did you do it?
ie. What length "broom", What did you have on the business end of the "broom", how effective/long lasting was it?
If you attempt to clean your hull from the dock, you will miss spots. Lots of 'em, especially in water that does not offer good visibility. You will not be able to adequately clean your keel. You will not be able to clean thru-hulls and transducers. You will not be able to clean your running gear. You will not be able to inspect your zincs, much less replace them. If there is any hard growth that you can't see directly, it's probably going to stay on your hull.

There is really no substitute for getting a set of eyes (and hands) on the underwater surfaces of your boat.
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Old 04-01-2008, 15:13   #28
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Gord,

I have been in the practice of using drops that are 85/15 alcohol/vinegar. My understanding is that it displaces trapped water, kills baddies and corrects the PH in the ear canal making it an unfriendly enviroment for bacteria & fungus.

Do you have any tips?

Thanks

Steve
Steve,

I use 50/50 isopropyl alcohol/white vinegar. I ran that past my doctor and he agreed that it was a good thing to do.
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Old 04-01-2008, 15:15   #29
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Cant clean my hull in the water thanks to ablative paint and the law. I have the diver knock off the big stuff when he does my zinc's. The rest has to wait untill I haul.
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Old 04-01-2008, 15:20   #30
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50/50 isopropyl alcohol/white vinegar is a good prophylactic.
(alcohol can irritate an infected ear, causing severe pain, & etc)
50/50 white vinegar/sterile water is a good first treatment.
Hydrogen peroxide is also utilized, before & after infection.
I'm NOT a physician, just an amateur student.
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