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Old 11-12-2012, 23:46   #1
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Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

I have a plan to keep my boat anchored out for extended periods in salt water.

I am shocked to find out that it must be cleaned by a diver every so many weeks. I can think of ideas to avoid it, but given divers are still employed,
other options must not be effective, but I'd like to know if I've thought of them all. Just for example, why not have hull "tear offs" like helmet visors, just peel off a layer once a month. Or robots that can do the job?

Is there somewhere I can read about what has been tried and tested as an alternatives?
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Old 11-12-2012, 23:51   #2
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

- dive it yourself. it's not rocket science and you'll know more about your boat.
- keep it in colder water. warmer water (80f+) makes things grow much quicker.
- alternate it between fresh water and salt water frequently.
- move the boat around a lot. boats that sit at rest for prolonged periods have more growth than ones that move.
- take it out of the water frequently.

Regarding robots and break-away skins, you're playing with micro-organisms and the power of the sea. Combined they'll destroy anything you put in them. Salt water and wave action are incredibly powerful forces.

Don't be too upset about it: it's a regular maintenance item. No different than a car in that there is oil to change and tire pressure to keep up. It's just part of the deal.
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Old 12-12-2012, 00:09   #3
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
I have a plan to keep my boat anchored out for extended periods in salt water.

I am shocked to find out that it must be cleaned by a diver every so many weeks. I can think of ideas to avoid it, but given divers are still employed,
other options must not be effective, but I'd like to know if I've thought of them all. Just for example, why not have hull "tear offs" like helmet visors, just peel off a layer once a month. Or robots that can do the job?

Is there somewhere I can read about what has been tried and tested as an alternatives?
get yourself a "Barracuda" from your local swimming pool dealer.......works great for keeping pools clean
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Old 12-12-2012, 00:23   #4
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
- dive it yourself. it's not rocket science and you'll know more about your boat.
- keep it in colder water. warmer water (80f+) makes things grow much quicker.
- alternate it between fresh water and salt water frequently.
- move the boat around a lot. boats that sit at rest for prolonged periods have more growth than ones that move.
- take it out of the water frequently.

Regarding robots and break-away skins, you're playing with micro-organisms and the power of the sea. Combined they'll destroy anything you put in them. Salt water and wave action are incredibly powerful forces.

Don't be too upset about it: it's a regular maintenance item. No different than a car in that there is oil to change and tire pressure to keep up. It's just part of the deal.
Good points and suggestions.

The boat will be anchored in one place unattended for extended periods.
I can't clean it myself because I'm not there.
I would have to pay someone to clean it when I'm not there.

Regarding car maintaince, it's like boats are back in the 1950's, change oil, grease suspensions, tune ups, flush radiator, every 10k, 20k miles, rebuild engine at 80k, etc, etc.

In 2010, cars will go 100k miles without hardly a thing done to them.

Let me add one thing I gathered from reading countless posts, is I will design the boat to keep things out of the water if possible, particularly propellers, and rudders,
make them so they will retract out of the water when anchored.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:25   #5
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

I understand there is a new coating in the works but of course the military will get it first. Guess that is fair as they are paying to help develop it. Likely to be a few years before we see it if ever. Till then we have to scrub.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:33   #6
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

A few have put bags over there props and that seems to work.
Why not just put the whole boat in a bag and let us know if that works.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:45   #7
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, nimblemotors.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:51   #8
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

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A few have put bags over there props and that seems to work.
Why not just put the whole boat in a bag and let us know if that works.
Saw it done years ago on race hulls.

6 mil, 20ft wide poly pulled under hull from bow aft, ends gathered up to trap minimum water around hull, + 1 gal Clorox.

Seem to recall, it worked.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:55   #9
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

Do you NEED to clean?

Well, if you aren't sailing, the boat is just sitting there and it doesn't matter if weed slows boats, it won't be moving anyway. Just use the hardest nonablative bottom paint you can find that works in your waters and just have the diver clean the bottom prior to sailing off.

It may need a longer dive and harder scrub (hence hard nonablative, you don't want to lose it all on one dive) to get off the caked weed but the extra dive time should be covered by the saving on the dives not done in the meantime while it just sat unused.

A dirty slow boat sitting at anchor is just as fast as a sleek clean speedy boat sitting at anchor.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:08   #10
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

I find it's not worth the bother to locate a diver when our boat's hull needs a little dusting twice a year and the anodes checked. It's easier to just anchor in a cove, put on a tank and do it myself. Then I know first hand that everything's in order. The boat also gets hauled every other year.

You should also always have a mask, fins, weight belt and wetsuit on board at all times, just in case you need to take an unscheduled trip under your boat to untangle or check something. It's also best to practice this maneuver prior to an emergency need to do so.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:09   #11
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, nimblemotors.
Thanks, and please, call me JackB
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:22   #12
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

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Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
Saw it done years ago on race hulls.

6 mil, 20ft wide poly pulled under hull from bow aft, ends gathered up to trap minimum water around hull, + 1 gal Clorox.

Seem to recall, it worked.
As my original question, is there a source for reviews of all methods of keeping a boat hull clean? Google wasn't my friend.

Here are some things I found, ultrasonic cleaning (it works for auto parts),


Here is a "robot" that cleans hulls,


Here is just a manual brush, DRI-DIVER - Boat Hull Cleaner, Remove hull growth from the dock

Another maybe like the bag, is to put a "moat" around the boat,



But if these really worked, wouldn't everyone be using them by now?

I have my own boat situation, but in general the toxic bottom paint problem in marinas seems like it needs a solution, as many many boats just sit and collect growth.

JackB
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:30   #13
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

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As my original question, is there a source for reviews of all methods of keeping a boat hull clean? Google wasn't my friend.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:56   #14
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

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Originally Posted by Kiwi303 View Post
Do you NEED to clean?

Well, if you aren't sailing, the boat is just sitting there and it doesn't matter if weed slows boats, it won't be moving anyway. Just use the hardest nonablative bottom paint you can find that works in your waters and just have the diver clean the bottom prior to sailing off.

It may need a longer dive and harder scrub (hence hard nonablative, you don't want to lose it all on one dive) to get off the caked weed but the extra dive time should be covered by the saving on the dives not done in the meantime while it just sat unused.

A dirty slow boat sitting at anchor is just as fast as a sleek clean speedy boat sitting at anchor.
Less frequent, more abrasive cleaning will shorten the life of your anti fouling paint pretty dramatically (be it hard or ablative paint.) Conversely, more frequent, less abrasive cleaning will extend it. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the difference between cleaning every three months and cleaning every two months is often a year or more of anti fouling paint lifespan. By that I mean the typical bottom job will last about two years when cleaned every three months. Increase the cleaning frequency to every two months (just 2 additional cleanings per year) and you can expect up to three years or more out of that same paint. Imagine how many haulouts for new paint you won't have to do, over the long run.

Here’s the math for 10 years of ownership of a 32' boat:

3-month schedule (painted every 2 years)
$2500 bottom job X 5 = $12,500
$72.00 hull cleaning (4 times/year X 10) = $2880
Total expenditure (10 years) = $15,380

2-month schedule (painted every 3 years)
$2500 bottom job X 3 = $7500
$72.00 hull cleaning (6 times/year X 10) = $4320
Total expenditure (10 years) = $11,820

You save over $3500. Other, less quantifiable savings to you will be realized in reduced fuel costs and future haulout/bottom painting expenditures, as the cost of that particular maintenance item is only going to rise, going forward.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:11   #15
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Re: Ways to Keep Boat Bottom Clean?

Copper based paints retard growth of marine organisms; including barnacles. "Petit" manufactured such paints, a few years ago. Check and see if this type of paint is still being manufactured. (In actuality, any marine life that tries to get attached to the copper paint dies off. Copper-based paint formulations are very pricey, and toxic.)
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