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Old 17-12-2014, 17:07   #1
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Bottom Cleaning in the Water

Hey guys,
I hope to leave the couch cruisers soon and join you water cruisers. I was wondering if you could tell me how you go about cleaning your boats bottom while at sea. I know you can dive or snorkel and scrape, but have any of you come up with any more innovative or better way?
Thanks,
Sherbo.
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Old 17-12-2014, 17:17   #2
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

There is no better way.. Dive tank and elbow grease !
Or keel haul the wife
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Old 17-12-2014, 17:31   #3
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

Yeah, a small tank would be nice. Never did though.. just another thing to carry, store and need to fill.
You need good gloves, a scraper (I like a small SS kitchen spatula- 2.5-3" wide)
People use suction cups which would help in some areas for sure. With a Mac 26 I might beach it and scrape at low tide.... tehn again... too small a boat for that much work! Heck you should be able to do that boat quick... try a 47 footer that's been anchored for 6 weeks!
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Old 17-12-2014, 17:39   #4
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water



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Old 17-12-2014, 18:11   #5
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

Did this recently for the first time on our boat. Just the little fringe at the waterline where some little grass like weeds were growing. I learned that it would really help if you were to carry out the procedure where there is a small but significant current flowing as the water clouds very quickly. We were in still water so I had to alternate from side to side to let the water clear. Looks like there is a current in that first video link.

Also, had no suction cup or means of hanging on to the boat so it was a rigorous bit of exercise providing enough thrust from the fins to keep me in position.

But, despite all this, it was one of the most enjoyable jobs I have ever done on the boat. I know it sounds a bit wierd, but it was kind of a bonding experience. Swimming under the boat was huge fun too and my son and I took turns swimming from side to side. No tanks just snorkels. Good fun and a 6' draft made it very easy.

We should all do more fun, pointless things with our boats now and then.

Matt


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Old 17-12-2014, 18:21   #6
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

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Looks like there is a current in that first video
There is no current and honestly, you don't want any. A current only makes it difficult to stay close to the work. The trick is to keep moving. If you stay in one spot you will stay in the cloud of debris.
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Old 17-12-2014, 18:44   #7
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I use a line passed under the hull to have a handhold. Move it from stanchion to stanchion as i work.
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Old 17-12-2014, 18:57   #8
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

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There is no current and honestly, you don't want any. A current only makes it difficult to stay close to the work. The trick is to keep moving. If you stay in one spot you will stay in the cloud of debris.
Hmm... ok, maybe I needed to work faster. Thanks for the heads up on the current.

Matt
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Old 17-12-2014, 18:58   #9
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

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I use a line passed under the hull to have a handhold. Move it from stanchion to stanchion as i work.
Neat!

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Old 17-12-2014, 19:29   #10
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

Nice Video. I have a couple of questions:

1- do you worry about stray voltage in the water? Sharks?
2- How long had that gunk been growing on the hull? In otherwords, is it always that easy to remove?
3- Looks like a hard paint bottom? Do you still need to do this if you use ablative paint?
4- looks like a wire brush for the prop and shaft. What about the hull? Just a soft bristle brush?
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Old 17-12-2014, 19:33   #11
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

I'm not the professional that fstbttms is but I'll throw my $.02 in as an amateur/owner self cleaner.

I do my own boat generally every 4 weeks. I use a plastic putty scraper of around 6-8" length and I do the prop and shaft with a steel brush and/or a green pad.

I do my prop, shaft, and zinc work (if needed) first. Then I take the scraper and work from the back to the front on one side of the boat. I try to kick the stuff form the center to the outside as I move forward. I also pretty much just do an arms length of work from the center and then I can mostly get the rest later when I do the waterline. I'm generally able to stay out of "the cloud" this way. If I do find myself hanging out in the junk to much I'll move to one side of the bottom of the keel or rudder and work it over for a bit and then go back where I left off.

After the "deep work" is done I usually get my tank and bc off and do the waterline and clean out the thruhulls. I also usually do the dinghy, outboard, and the mooring line as well during this time.

For the most part I don't run into very much hard barnacle stuff if I keep the frequency up. If I do the plastic scraper can usually handle it. My paint is hard epoxy Seahawk Sharkskin that was applied in September of 2012. So far its still there and seems to be doing ok. I still plan on doing a bottom sometime this year.
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Old 17-12-2014, 19:34   #12
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

[QUOTE=Sherbo;17021
----I was wondering if you could tell me how you go about cleaning your boats bottom while at sea. ----[/QUOTE]

Uh, I assume you do not really mean at sea? As in offshore and moving?
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Old 17-12-2014, 20:22   #13
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

A cheap plumbers helper/ plunger works great as a moveable hand hold while doing the bottom. I just slide it around on the hull as i clean. remember to drill a hole in the handle and attach a lanyard to it as they don't float. Don't ask me how I know.
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Old 17-12-2014, 23:55   #14
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

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Nice Video. I have a couple of questions:

1- do you worry about stray voltage in the water? Sharks?
Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) is a very rare occurrance in saltwater. That said, I unplug every boat I dive on. It only has to happen once to ruin your day. As far as sharks go, there are no dangerous species that frequent small boat harbors in California.

Quote:
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2- How long had that gunk been growing on the hull? In otherwords, is it always that easy to remove?
That was three months growth on a brand new Trinidad bottom. No, it is not always that easy to remove. Not every boat has a brand new bottom and not evey boat owner has his bottom cleaned frequently enough to make growth removal easy.

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3- Looks like a hard paint bottom?
As I said, Pettit Trinidad

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Do you still need to do this if you use ablative paint?
Of course. Ablatives are no more effective at retarding fouling growth than any other paint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Land an View Post
4- looks like a wire brush for the prop and shaft. What about the hull? Just a soft bristle brush?
I used a white 3M Doodlebug pad on the boat in that video. I do not recommend that scrapers or brushes of any kind be used on paint that is in good condition.
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Old 17-12-2014, 23:56   #15
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re: Bottom Cleaning in the Water

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A cheap plumbers helper/ plunger works great as a moveable hand hold while doing the bottom. I just slide it around on the hull as i clean. remember to drill a hole in the handle and attach a lanyard to it as they don't float. Don't ask me how I know.
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