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Old 02-09-2014, 23:00   #1
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Is There A Demand For Bottom Cleaning??

Hello everyone!

I'm brand new to this community and cruising in general. The love of my life and I are departing Canada next summer for the adventure of a lifetime and we can't wait Of course we'l have a decently stocked kitty but I would really like to make some $ along the way in order to conserve the kitty for as long as possible. I have a hookah dive system and was wondering if there is ACTUALLY a demand for bottom cleaning services in the caribbean. I'm a very hands on guy and love doing such things (even for a smaller amount of monetary exchange). I'm not banking on this being our bread and butter by any means but I am curious if its even a remote possibility andd what the going rate is for such a service. Also, how exactly do you go about advertising something like this?

Thanks so much!

Chris
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Old 02-09-2014, 23:21   #2
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

Chris

I am not sure about the Caribbean but anywhere there is a racing fleet there is a need for hull cleaning and extra $$$ can be earned.

good luck Sue
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Old 02-09-2014, 23:41   #3
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

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Originally Posted by sapient sue View Post
Chris

I am not sure about the Caribbean but anywhere there is a racing fleet there is a need for hull cleaning and extra $$$ can be earned.

good luck Sue
There is a need for in-water hull cleaning anywhere boat bottoms get foul. It is a fallacy to believe that only racers employ hull cleaners.

That said, in warm water regions where everybody and their brother can get into the water without a problem, many (if not most) cruisers are likely to do it themselves, rather than pay someone.
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Old 03-09-2014, 00:36   #4
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

What fstbttms said...

However you need to decide how comfortable you are living in the margins and working without papers. Most places will have locals doing what you plan to do and they most likely won't appreciate "foreign" competition.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:27   #5
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

I know you said the other ocean, but if you come to the South Pacific, at least in season, you would find a lot of people in a rush to get from Mexico to NZ and many have more money than time (also, labor here being expensive so you wouldn't be pitted against local cheap labor). I don't know about the legalities but I know at least one person who offered that service in an atoll and immediately had a bunch of takers.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:45   #6
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Chris.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:05   #7
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

Thanks Liva!

When is the season you speak of in the south pacific?
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:32   #8
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

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Originally Posted by fstbttms View Post
.........., in warm water regions where everybody and their brother can get into the water without a problem, many (if not most) cruisers are likely to do it themselves, rather than pay someone.
I wouldn't do what my diver does for what I pay him.

I'll add that while diving boat bottoms doesn't take the same education and skills as a brain surgeon, it's not as simple as just wiping down the bottom of the boat. My diver inspects and replaces anodes (in the water) and checks the paint condition and running gear condition. He can do prop changes and provide other services.

For anyone wanting to become a boat diver, I would suggest going to work for a company that provides these services and learning the trade.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:58   #9
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

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However you need to decide how comfortable you are living in the margins and working without papers. Most places will have locals doing what you plan to do and they most likely won't appreciate "foreign" competition.
What he said.

If the locals find out you are taking business away from them, without having the proper work and business permits (usually not easy for a foreigner to get), expect a visit from the local gendarmes. You are now what we in the United States refer to as an "illegal alien." The penalties may be anything from a stern warning (probably most likely) up to deportation, a fine, possibly even jail time and confiscation of your boat.

As with illegal aliens here in the States, the odds of getting caught are pretty low, and the penalties usually not too severe. But there are exceptions. And, again, as with illegal aliens here in the States, if you get caught no one is going to be particularly sympathetic if they decide to make an example of you and slap you with the maximum possible penalties.

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:34   #10
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

Thanks rwidman!

I suppose I should have mentioned that I have a lot of experience with boats. My family has a cottage that I've been going to since I was still in the oven. I've changed many propellers, and scraped many zebra mussles off of various boats on our lake. Granted, the boats I hope to be working on are bigger and from what I've read, barnikles are more stuborn than zebra mussles but I would think tits a very similar concept. I'm not one to offer a service in exchange for money if I don't know what I'm doing or least have a damn good idea of what I'm doing.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:37   #11
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

And thanks to you as well denverd0n,

I have no doubt that you have more of a problem with illegal aliens in the States than we do up here in Canada. And that quote reminds of my old man everytime I hear it. But yes, its a risk and my taking that risk would totally depend on how everything feels at the time. Also, I would be so silly as to put up a sign to advertise my services :-p
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:44   #12
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

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Thanks rwidman!

I suppose I should have mentioned that I have a lot of experience with boats. My family has a cottage that I've been going to since I was still in the oven. I've changed many propellers, and scraped many zebra mussles off of various boats on our lake. Granted, the boats I hope to be working on are bigger and from what I've read, barnikles are more stuborn than zebra mussles but I would think tits a very similar concept. I'm not one to offer a service in exchange for money if I don't know what I'm doing or least have a damn good idea of what I'm doing.
Your primary job as a hull cleaner is to remove fouling growth while preserving the anti fouling paint. This requires a working knowledge of the paint products you will be dealing with and the proper tools to use with them. Your goal should be to always clean anti fouling paint as gently as possible (meaning using a soft pad or carpet.) Of course, sometimes actually scraping hard growth and shelled animals is necessary. But I always cringe when I hear people talking about "scraping" a boat bottom. A well maintained hull will not need scraping.



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Old 03-09-2014, 10:57   #13
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Re: is there a demand for bottom cleaning??

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
What fstbttms said...

However you need to decide how comfortable you are living in the margins and working without papers. Most places will have locals doing what you plan to do and they most likely won't appreciate "foreign" competition.
Yep..... there were times I would have paid someone... like the time we were in Luperon for 6 weeks and the bottom was about 1/2" thick in barnacles, in a sewage infested bay that you could only see about 4 feet in! Yes, I would have paid $150 for that job for sure. Is that what you want to do?
If you do... as mentioned... you will need to be real discreet. You are "just helping out my friend". I have been stopped and questioned in the third world when riding to town with a local expatriot who had a car (American) and the taxi guys complained to the police. So beware... people know what's going on....
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:14   #14
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Re: Is There A Demand For Bottom Cleaning??

Welcome aboard Saltwaterpuppy.....you have started a good responsive Thread....as you can tell it could be a sensitive issue dependent upon locale.
Most Divers "network" and know each other quite well and don't normally try to take another's customers unless so solicited. You may not have any issues where you travel and cruisers are on the move and not under any "agreement" either verbal or written.

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Old 03-09-2014, 11:31   #15
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Re: Is There A Demand For Bottom Cleaning??

fstbttms....great video's.....that January water temp makes for easier cleaning. I hope those that have never seen bottoms with months of summer time growth down in Florida think that all bottom cleaning is as easy as your video. Your job is not a easy task just as Cheechako states.....
Your video's bring back memories of my first dive gear....good ole Voit regulator,single stage two hose as if right out of Lloyd Bridges Sea Hunt...them was fun days as long as you didn't get excited easily...now I'm really showing my age....

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