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Old 03-12-2011, 07:37   #1
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New System for Hull Cleaning Afloat

Just found this: Home - (I have no affiliation with this company, just curious)

They say the system is fast: 1 hour for a 34' boat. I have no idea how long a diver takes, for a comparison.

They also say that the system collects hull paint debris, to prevent marine pollution.

Alain
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:23   #2
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Re: New system for hull cleaning afloat

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Originally Posted by Hydra View Post
Just found this: Home - (I have no affiliation with this company, just curious)

They say the system is fast: 1 hour for a 34' boat. I have no idea how long a diver takes, for a comparison.

They also say that the system collects hull paint debris, to prevent marine pollution.

Alain
I think that's a solution looking for a problem. I have a diver, once a month, who takes about an hour on a 39' water-line and also changes shaft zinc's when necessary at a cost of $50 USD per dive. Perhaps in cold water venues and/or during winter the Hulltimo might be a useful alternative but...

FWIW,,,
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:47   #3
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Re: New system for hull cleaning afloat

The reasons systems like this will not gain wide popularity or usage are many. Among them:

It is not fast. In fact, a diver can clean 34' sailboat in half the time claimed for the Hulltimo.

It will not clean your waterline, rudder, the bottom of the keel or any other area of the hull in close proximity to a hard edge.

It will not clean thru-hulls or transducers.

It will not clean your running gear.

It will not replace anodes.

Ablative paint requiring a soft touch? Older paint needing a little extra elbow grease? Sorry, with Hulltimo, it's one-size-fits-all.

This is not a DIY hull cleaning solution, you have to hire a Hulltimo "professional" to operate it. Why would you pay someone to crawl all over your boat, provide inferior hull cleaning services and take twice as long to do it?

Clearly, not a better mousetrap.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:58   #4
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Re: New system for hull cleaning afloat

We saw it at two boat shows this year: it costs EUR 6000 in France and GBP 6000 in UK. The guys market it on a lease basis for businesses.

I does have a video camera for inspection, but, as fstbttms pointed out, it doesn't have hands, tools, or brains.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:02   #5
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Re: New system for hull cleaning afloat

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It does have a video camera for inspection...
So do I:

fstbttms's Channel - YouTube
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:07   #6
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Re: New system for hull cleaning afloat

Ah, finally. I have been calling for robots for this work for years. Obviously, this is just the first step and cost of these will indeed be too high for boat owners. But my guess is that in 3 or 4 years time we will get to the level of these robots operating much like a Roomba vacuum robot today (intelligent, without remote control). Put a Teflon paint on the bottom instead of poison and throw the robot overboard to make it clean the hull every couple weeks or so. No more paying thousands for anti-fouling and no more divers who, in some areas, are needed every 2 weeks, which adds another grand to the yearly costs!

we'll keep dreaming :-)

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:21   #7
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Re: New system for hull cleaning afloat

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Always captivating to see a skilled professional at work. Thanks for the link!

What are you using for air? Snooka?
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:27   #8
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Re: New system for hull cleaning afloat

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Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
Always captivating to see a skilled professional at work.
Very kind of you. Thanks.

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What are you using for air? Snooka?
Electric hookah.

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Old 09-10-2012, 08:31   #9
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Re: New System for Hull Cleaning Afloat

Call me crazy but this could be a lucretive income generator for a cruising boat to provide this service at distant anchorages, especially to motor yachts (much simpler to clean and see the benefits of a clean hull in real dollars)...
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:47   #10
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Re: New System for Hull Cleaning Afloat

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Call me crazy but this could be a lucretive income generator for a cruising boat to provide this service at distant anchorages, especially to motor yachts (much simpler to clean and see the benefits of a clean hull in real dollars)...
Powerboats are not much simpler to clean. In fact, hull cleaners typically charge signifcantly more to clean powerboats than sailboats because of the extra time and effort required to do it. Further, powerboats are unlikely to realize significant fuel savings if their extensive running gear is not cleaned, something the Hulltimo is incapable of doing.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:09   #11
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Re: New System for Hull Cleaning Afloat

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Call me crazy but this could be a lucretive income generator for a cruising boat to provide this service at distant anchorages, especially to motor yachts (much simpler to clean and see the benefits of a clean hull in real dollars)...
Anything with cameras and electronics is never going to be as simple as a diver with a scrub brush. Personally I am not as concerned about a slimy bottom as much as I am about prop fouling:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: PROP TALK
This device is not going to be able to handle that. I clean my bottom by diving. If you don't want to do that then I would hire someone like Fastbottoms to make sure the job is done right. This device is also not going to check and tighten the boats zincs either like a diver would.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:15   #12
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Re: New System for Hull Cleaning Afloat

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Call me crazy but this could be a lucretive income generator for a cruising boat to provide this service at distant anchorages, especially to motor yachts (much simpler to clean and see the benefits of a clean hull in real dollars)...

But the guy who cleans my bottom does a lot more than that. He looks at the overall state of my bottom, including how well my keel is clinging to the rest of the boat. He checks thru-holes and cleans them. He checks the condition of the propeller and makes sure I have adequate zincs. He looks at the rudder. I just found out from him that the paint job I had done two years ago is still quite good. Since I recently had an incident that ended up with my rudder severely bent, he keeps a close eye on the bottom of the stern for any problems.
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Old 09-10-2012, 13:41   #13
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Re: New System for Hull Cleaning Afloat

A few days ago, I met a man who is offering the Hulltimo service in SW Brittany. IIRC, he talked of about $100 for cleaning a 30' sailboat hull.

Alain
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Old 09-10-2012, 13:49   #14
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Re: New System for Hull Cleaning Afloat

That's a lot of money for an incomplete hull cleaning of a 30' sailboat. Hell, that's a lot of money for a complete cleaning.
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Old 09-10-2012, 13:55   #15
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Re: New System for Hull Cleaning Afloat

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That's a lot of money for an incomplete hull cleaning of a 30' sailboat. Hell, that's a lot of money for a complete cleaning.
After reading the thread again, that's what I think, too.

But professional hull cleaning isn't common here, probably because fouling isn't really severe on a painted hull. So, boat owners don't have a price reference to compare with.

Alain
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