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Old 15-08-2011, 10:11   #1
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Scraping Barnacles with Hull in the Water

how do you do this without hauling out the boat?
do you just swim under with a scraper?

I was thinking if i did, I would put on long pants, long sleeves, a face mask, ear plugs, old sneakers and hold my breath. the props are about 2 feet back from the stern and 2 feet underneath hanging off the hull. Powerboat.

likely just hold my breath.
so how realistic is this?
boat has a swim platform and ladder to go into the water.
for a scraper, i would use a plastic putty knife and or an oak wooden scraper.

what about your body being too bouyant, would i be bouncing off the hull bottom?
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Old 15-08-2011, 10:22   #2
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Re: scraping barnacles with hull in the water

It's a good workout for sure. Use mask and snorkel with fins. Just too hard getting under without fins. I've always liked a small spatula I have that has a molded plastic handle, Stainless steel blade and rounded corners. Peels them right off. A 42-45 ft boat would take me about 1.5 hours if it was prettty loaded... this is constant up and down and up and down.... you'll sleep good! Your powerboat probably has more flat surface than a sailboat so may be a little easier.... You may bump the bottom a little, but usually get the knack of pushing the scraper while you work the fins etc. Oh yeah... dont forget gloves!!
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Old 15-08-2011, 10:24   #3
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Re: scraping barnacles with hull in the water

You'll get some good advice about this soon. But I'll say you need some Kevlar or chain-mail gloves to protect your hands.

You will rise against the hull. I've gotten a couple of good scraps on my shoulder from that. The pros use weight belts and wet suits plus swim fins.

Tools can include a wide sheet rock mud knife, plus a narrow one, a hooked knife, and a screwdriver for through hulls. All metal tools, barnacles will eat up a plastic or wood tool first time under.
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Old 15-08-2011, 10:26   #4
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Re: scraping barnacles with hull in the water

Don't use earplugs. Instead put a few drops in your ears, alcohol and vinegar mixture.
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Old 15-08-2011, 10:31   #5
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Re: scraping barnacles with hull in the water

I've been using a cheap silicone swim cap with the top cut off, so it can be pulled down over my ears.
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Old 15-08-2011, 10:46   #6
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Re: scraping barnacles with hull in the water

I use a drywall knife. Also I have a deck brush. I have both of these on a line that I have put a small bouy on so that if I let go it just floats in front of me.I use regular canvas gloves that you can buy anywhere for a buck or two.I have my boat in Mexico so your in the water all the time anyway. It is a never ending job so take your time.
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Old 15-08-2011, 10:58   #7
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Re: Scraping Barnacles with Hull in the Water

Hold your breath... do a little patch... come up.. breathe... repeat.

Oh.. GLOVES!! I use a heavy plastic scraper for most of it so that I don't damage the bottom.... If it is really light then I use a stiff brush to keep things from building up.
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Old 15-08-2011, 11:00   #8
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Re: scraping barnacles with hull in the water

would you go in at high tide? I think so. I have 8 feet at high and 3 or 4 feet at low.
the boat is off the Chesapeake bay near Hampton VA. the bottom is a mucky soft mud. I like the swim cap idea to protect you scalp. I read that the bacteria if you get scratched can make you sick.

My slip neighbor puts on fins. I dont have those. Can you do this without fins?
I am in pretty good health or i would not consider doing this.
right now the water is warm and the boat needs some attention.
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Old 15-08-2011, 11:12   #9
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Re: Scraping Barnacles with Hull in the Water

As I have just surfaced from cleaning Sea Lifes bum I can tell you exactly how to do it.

GLOVES!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just use some woolen gardening gloves - cheap

As others have said fins are a necessity.

If you just touch your shoulder/back/legs on the hull they will be sliced to ribbons by any barnicles or growth.

Every scrape you do removes antifouling so the more you scrape to more money you waste. Try with a soft cloth first. Use a 3M pad and you may as well haul next week.

Clean inside your thru-hull fittings and make sure your engine water intakes are clean and clear. Do the top of your rudder and around the stock.

Also I only ever do 30 minutes at a time, then a bit more tomrrow.

Start from near the surface and do the deeper bits as you get used to it and your lungs start complying.



If you need lessons come and do my boat.....
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Old 15-08-2011, 11:19   #10
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Re: Scraping Barnacles with Hull in the Water

I'm not the most experienced at this, or the best swimmer. But I find the inexpensive fins from walmart help me move around with more control. And it's easier for me to fight the buoyancy, get few scrapes in and surface for air.

It's a lot of work for me. And best to do it more often to lessen the work.

I don't do it in a slip, prefer open water instead. Swimming between the pilings and the boat concerns me at my experience level.
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Old 15-08-2011, 11:20   #11
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Re: Scraping Barnacles with Hull in the Water

I would recommend a weight belt. Lead weights dipped in vinyl that go on a nylon belt that you wear. Full wetsuit, snorkel, mask, fins, and a metal putty knife.
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Old 15-08-2011, 11:32   #12
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Re: Scraping Barnacles with Hull in the Water

how about a rope tied to the boat to aid in pulling yourself back up from under the water?
I have some large lead weights. i read need to start with about 5 lbs and might need up to 25 lbs of weight to offset buoyancy.
perhaps wear double layers of clothes, definitely dont want to get scratched.
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Old 15-08-2011, 11:33   #13
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I just dive down with a mask and snorkel. I do wear dive boots and gloves for protection. I have a 3" putty knife and a stiff nylon brush on a loop of string. I also have a handle with two suction cups. This is useful to hold on to the hull and gain leverage. But most importantly, I dive on the boat every week. Down in Florida if I let it go a month the growth is unbelievable. Weekly dives take less than 30 min to whack the growth off.
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Old 15-08-2011, 11:39   #14
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Re: Scraping Barnacles with Hull in the Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
i read need to start with about 5 lbs and might need up to 25 lbs of weight to offset buoyancy.
.
I don't think you need any.
I certainly never use them.

I just use my free (gloved hand) to push up against the hull. Then when done my breath float to the surface.
If you are using a wetsuit try with no weight, then, maybe just 5 lbs till you relly know what you are doing.
If you need a rope to haul yourself up you have far to much weight on.

Only a really experienced scuba diver/ free diver should use weights imho.
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Old 15-08-2011, 11:44   #15
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Re: Scraping Barnacles with Hull in the Water

Weights are really not that dangerous, if you are wearing a wetsuit, they are necessary.
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