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Old 20-09-2010, 11:56   #1
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Question for Charleston, SC Boaters

I've been having a friendly little "discussion" on another board with a hull cleaner from Charleston, SC, who claims (backed up by at least one other diver) that it is SOP there to clean boats with a metal scraper, regardless of paint condition. My question to you is; is this actually the case and if so, do you approve of your diver using this hull cleaning technique?
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Old 20-09-2010, 12:08   #2
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I dont know SC but in florida a dry wall blade is the way it is done
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Old 20-09-2010, 12:11   #3
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I dont know SC but in florida a dry wall blade is the way it is done
And you base that on what- how your boat is cleaned by your diver? Do you feel this is an appropriate cleaning method?
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Old 20-09-2010, 12:20   #4
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And you base that on what- how your boat is cleaned by your diver? Do you feel this is an appropriate cleaning method?
Well you are the pro so what is the proper way? I have seen maybe 20 different dive companys and they all use the same tools If there is a better way feel free to share
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Old 20-09-2010, 12:30   #5
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Well, the best way is to have the boat cleaned frequently enough that the gentlest cleaning method can be used, thereby keeping your expensive anti fouling paint on the boat where it belongs. Metal scrapers are not the gentlest cleaning method by any stretch of the imagination and certainly not an appropriate tool for everyday cleaning of paint in good condition. In California we typically use 3M Doodlebug pads for hull cleaning (the softer, the better) and I have talked to Florida hull cleaners who do the same.
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Old 20-09-2010, 12:45   #6
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will the scotch brite pads remove barnicles? I can see how they would b great for algie and scum In the warm waters of S fl the barnicles grow so dam fast once a month is often not enough
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Old 20-09-2010, 12:55   #7
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will the scotch brite pads remove barnicles? I can see how they would b great for algie and scum In the warm waters of S fl the barnicles grow so dam fast once a month is often not enough
No, they will not remove barnacles. Are you telling me that your hull, with paint in good condition, will foul so completely with barnacles in a month that it cannot be cleaned with a pad?
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Old 20-09-2010, 13:02   #8
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No, they will not remove barnacles. Are you telling me that your hull, with paint in good condition, will foul so completely with barnacles in a month that it cannot be cleaned with a pad?
That has been my experience, and what I have seen at the marinas I have stayed at. Water temp can reaches 90 degrees in the summer and high 70s to mid 80s in the winter
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Old 20-09-2010, 13:56   #9
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Well, not having cleaned any boats in Florida, I will not presume to tell anybody what is right or wrong, except to say that it is our experience out here that more frequent, gentle cleanings are better for your paint and will help it last much longer than less frequent, abrasive cleanings. In Southern California, that means cleaning every 3 weeks in the summer. I can also tell you that nobody would sit still for their diver using a metal scraper on good paint out here.
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Old 20-09-2010, 15:03   #10
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The Trinidad bottom paint lasts about 5 years on my boat in Florida. The bottom is cleaned every 60 days by a diver, year round for the last 12 years I have owned the boat. He also uses a metal blade to remove the barnacles, but not sure what he uses to remove the slime. Barnacles can easily foul a hull here in less than 30 days if the conditions are right with water temp and current thru the slip having a lot to do with it. Not many banacles in the winter, but during the summer, I start to see a few barnacles along the waterline begining about 4 weeks after cleaning. Some years are worse than others in our marina. I'm happy with 5 years, how much longer life do your boats get from their bottom paint using your method?
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Old 20-09-2010, 15:11   #11
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Don't get me wrong, I take a scraper into the water every boat I dive. The occasional barnacle or other hard growth requires it and that's fine. But what I'm hearing from these Charleston divers is that they clean every boat, from stem to stern, with a scraper. Not a good thing, IMHO, and I find it hard to believe that it's really necessary, especially if the boats they are cleaning the boats on a frequent basis.

BTW- 5 years on a Trinidad bottom is quite good.
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Old 20-09-2010, 16:07   #12
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Scraper on running gear alone. Boat is in Chesapeake in the Summer and Caribbean in the Winter. i use a hard ablative paint that only needs wiped with a sponge or 3M pad. If barnacles start to grow on painted areas, it is time for new paint.
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