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Old 19-08-2022, 10:48   #1
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Exclamation Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

My boat is on a mooring and gathers a lot of harbor scum a few inches above the waterline. It was a lot of work but I got it looking really nice when I cleaned it myself about six months ago. Anyway, I hired a guy this time to clean the bottom as well as the harbor scum. I warned him several times in phone conversations BEFORE that the harbor scum was very very stubborn. I also told him that excluding the areas under the wings (it’s a trimaran) that I couldn’t access before, the job will be easier than when I cleaned it simply because there was far less scum to deal with on about 70% of the hull. (30% being the areas under the wings I didn’t clean before.)

I checked out the boat yesterday and was shocked to discover that he had scrubbed through the boot stripe in many areas and destroyed it! You would think that the first time he scrubbed through a little part of the boot stripe that he would stop and reassess his approach, right?? But no, he kept going!

This dark blue boot stripe is linear polyurethane paint applied on top of white liners polyurethane paint. Point is that LP is very tough, and again, I managed to clean the scum off myself 6 months ago without destroying the boot stripe.

The bummer is that I was just going to list the boat for sale but now the boot stripe looks like cr*p in many areas (and especially the entire outside of the port ama).

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
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Old 19-08-2022, 11:27   #2
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

Devil's advocate: I have encountered scum that is near impossible to remove without damaging a painted on boot-stripe. It was possible, but took an extra level of care which I would not expect from someone I just met/had no prior experience with. Your scum might not be the same as his scum- timelines might not tell the whole story with how stubborn it was.

He should have stopped and notified you upon finding any difficulty or damage, as common sense, yes, but... I read through 20 years of maintenance logs from the prior owner of my boat. The lesson learned, over and over again, is that you must watch and manage the work you are paying someone to do to your boat. People may be lazy, incompetent, or simply not understand your directions or expectations. He probably thought he was doing a great job, doubt he intentionally did wrong.

What would I do: find a new bottom cleaner, let him know to be more careful in the future, and move on.
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Old 19-08-2022, 11:41   #3
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

Yes, devils advocate, but i can’t believe he didn’t stop and call me.
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Old 19-08-2022, 12:07   #4
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

looks like you hired the wrong guy. did you pay him yet?
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Old 19-08-2022, 12:31   #5
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

It sounds like you need to raise the waterline the next time the boat is hauled. While it would be nice for the diver to be more careful, my experience is that most are not. When I hire a diver, I expect they will go to town with whatever hard/harsh damaging tools will get the job done quickly.
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Old 19-08-2022, 12:59   #6
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magentawave View Post
...
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Don't know why you'd want to know what a bunch of complete strangers would do but as you ask. Me, nothing.

I sure wouldn't have let rip writing about it to a bunch of armchair warriors. No one died, and really, I'd have thought to myself, 'Grant you've completely lost perspective, get a grip, is this worth a whole heap of negativity in my life'?

It's just a bit of paint that no one else even notices or cares about. And anyways, I quite like painting, and so I might make a plan to do a tiny little fixup job, maybe. Or more likely I'd have just taken myself to a happy place, Oh, I know, I know: I'd go sailing and leave my stresses at the dock.
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Old 19-08-2022, 15:05   #7
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

@magentawave:

It IS frustrating, but if you had no arrangement that your diver would stop and phone you if there were a problem like the boot stripe disappearing, why would he? He may have got lots of jobs to finish. Once it was damaged, it was damaged: that happens fast if you're using something coarse to use on the scum. Sorry, but I think you just have to accept this, and repaint the boot stripe when it is more convenient, and maybe raise the waterline, too.

The suggestion above, to raise the waterline makes sense to me, as it's easier to scrub bottom paint, and it gets added to on a regular schedule.

Also, it is possible that in your area with all the harbour scum, that waterline cleaning needs to be done on a more frequent schedule. There's another member here, <fstbttms>, in California, who normally cleans hulls once a month.

Ann
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Old 19-08-2022, 20:02   #8
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

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Don't know why you'd want to know what a bunch of complete strangers would do but as you ask. Me, nothing.

I sure wouldn't have let rip writing about it to a bunch of armchair warriors. No one died, and really, I'd have thought to myself, 'Grant you've completely lost perspective, get a grip, is this worth a whole heap of negativity in my life'?

It's just a bit of paint that no one else even notices or cares about. And anyways, I quite like painting, and so I might make a plan to do a tiny little fixup job, maybe. Or more likely I'd have just taken myself to a happy place, Oh, I know, I know: I'd go sailing and leave my stresses at the dock.
It matters because I was just going to list the boat for sale. Repainting in the harbor would be tough even if done early in the morning when calm because na boats wake would splash on the OIL paint before it has fully dried. It's kind of a big deal.
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Old 19-08-2022, 20:03   #9
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

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looks like you hired the wrong guy. did you pay him yet?
No. Haven't gotten an invoice yet.
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Old 19-08-2022, 20:09   #10
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

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@magentawave:

It IS frustrating, but if you had no arrangement that your diver would stop and phone you if there were a problem like the boot stripe disappearing, why would he? He may have got lots of jobs to finish. Once it was damaged, it was damaged: that happens fast if you're using something coarse to use on the scum. Sorry, but I think you just have to accept this, and repaint the boot stripe when it is more convenient, and maybe raise the waterline, too.

The suggestion above, to raise the waterline makes sense to me, as it's easier to scrub bottom paint, and it gets added to on a regular schedule.

Also, it is possible that in your area with all the harbour scum, that waterline cleaning needs to be done on a more frequent schedule. There's another member here, <fstbttms>, in California, who normally cleans hulls once a month.

Ann
Um, seriously? I was a self-employed cabinetmaker for decades as well as a hardwood flooring installer and there's NO WAY I would destroy something without first talking to the customer. And yes, "once damaged it's damaged" but that's why when you first notice that the tool you're using is freaking DAMAGING the boat then you STOP and notify the customer.

Raising the waterline requires hauling the boat and would be pointless anyway because if I did a haul out then I would just paint over the existing boot stripe.
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Old 19-08-2022, 20:11   #11
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

Anyway, I am open to suggestions for re-painting with the boat still in the water. Like I said previously; the harbor is calm in the morning but getting the masking tape to adhere to a surface an inch or two above the water is tough, plus there's the issue of just one wake from a boat splashing the fresh paint before it's dry. Any idea's, please?
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Old 19-08-2022, 20:54   #12
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

Was this a reputable diver employing best practices? Theyíre supposed to be using a soft pad, there isnít any scrubbing.
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Old 19-08-2022, 20:57   #13
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

1. I wouldn’t try to paint boot stripes while in the water. That sounds like a really bad idea to me.
2. I sure wouldn’t pay the guy who did the damage. He absolutely should have informed you that there was a problem before just forging ahead with the cleaning. ( Kinda like the way a bottle of carpet cleaner says “do a test strip first” before doing the whole rug.)
3. Lastly, I would haul the boat, document the damage in case the cleaner guy tries to sue you for the cost of his services, and then re-do the boot stripe. Add that cost to the price you were going to list the boat for.

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Old 19-08-2022, 20:57   #14
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

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Originally Posted by wholybee View Post
It sounds like you need to raise the waterline the next time the boat is hauled. While it would be nice for the diver to be more careful, my experience is that most are not. When I hire a diver, I expect they will go to town with whatever hard/harsh damaging tools will get the job done quickly.
I donít expect that at all. My invoice even states the grade of pad used to do the cleaning.

Owner of a boat with a 38 year old boot stripe still in great condition.
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Old 19-08-2022, 21:05   #15
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Re: Bottom Cleaner Destroyed Boot Stripe! What Would You Do?

We know nothing about the diver, only that he was not given clear instructions. And, it's not his boat, he doesn't understand the guy wanted to sell it straight away and that damaging its appearance would sorely distress the owner. And, he did clean off the scum.

Legally, the worker has to be paid. The OP can then take the worker to small claims court to recover the damages to have the repair made, or of doing it himself.





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