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Old 15-04-2021, 22:21   #1
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My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

I've been making a powered tender lift for my boat and the tender has sat in the water and has some growth, I was going to high pressure blast it but can I trailer it home first or should I take the blaster to the boat ramp.

My gut says do it fresh but maybe it's easier dry ?

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Old 15-04-2021, 22:33   #2
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

i've always found it easiest when wet (and soft)

not to say can't be done when dry, just seems easier when wet.

mind you, i'm doing it by hand. suppose with water blaster it won't matter either way

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Old 16-04-2021, 05:15   #3
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

If it's easy to bring the power washer to the ramp, I'd do it. The stuff should spray off pretty quickly and easily when wet. Once it dries, it'll still come off, but it might take a bit more work.
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Old 16-04-2021, 05:59   #4
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

If you leave it upside-down in the sun for a while, that makes it easier to get any leftovers off. Especially if you have some rain-and-sun cycles.

But, yeah, get as much off as you can while it's still fresh. In a pinch a wooden oar works well as a scraper, as long as it's not one of those fancy, finely finished oars.
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Old 16-04-2021, 06:12   #5
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

You should clean the growth off before it dries. Once it dries, it will be as hard as a rock and very difficult to remove.

Ever notice that when a boat yard lifts a boat out of the water that they immediately pressure wash it? That is why.
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Old 16-04-2021, 06:18   #6
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

Do it wet with bleach and a nylon pot scrubber. Wet-bleach, let rest for 10 minutes, scrub off.
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Old 16-04-2021, 10:18   #7
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

As soon as it comes out of the water! Immediately!
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Old 16-04-2021, 10:37   #8
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

We've done our little 8-foot Achiles either wet or dry. Dry may be a bit easier, and not as messy. If there's a few barnacles, they knock off easily wet or dry. We always hand scrape using 3 or 4 inch plastic dry wall knives, cheap at hardware stores and they don't rust. We file the corners on the scrapers so they don't rip the hypalon. Our 2.3 hp Honda is light, so we just haul the boat on our mooring float, take off the motor and flip the boat on the float. Takes less than an hour and we do it mid-summer and just prior to haul out.

Has anyone had any luck with those bottom paints for inflatables? Never tried it.

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Old 16-04-2021, 10:44   #9
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Ever notice that when a boat yard lifts a boat out of the water that they immediately pressure wash it?

thats because they are getting paid to do it, not out of the kindness of their hearts thast for sure



Just like a crusty lasagna pan. always easier once its been soaking...
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Old 16-04-2021, 11:17   #10
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

Try a stiff scrub brush at the ramp with some elbow grease.
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Old 16-04-2021, 11:24   #11
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

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thats because they are getting paid to do it, not out of the kindness of their hearts thast for sure



Just like a crusty lasagna pan. always easier once its been soaking...


I donĎt agree. Iíve been soaking my boat in the water and itís gets worse.
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Old 16-04-2021, 11:25   #12
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

We spent 6 years in the Caribbean and kept the dinghy in the water 100% of the time unless making a passage (or when in Venezuela where we lifted it up on davits every night to avoid theft!). Every couple of weeks we would pull the dinghy up on the beach, flip it over and immediately heavy spray it with bleach to thoroughly soak the hard bottom. Give it 5 minutes and then use a scraper BEFORE IT DRIES! The growth and barnacles came right off. If you let it dry, you'll be there half a day chiseling the barnacle glue off the hull.
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Old 16-04-2021, 12:01   #13
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

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We spent 6 years in the Caribbean and kept the dinghy in the water 100% of the time unless making a passage (or when in Venezuela where we lifted it up on davits every night to avoid theft!). Every couple of weeks we would pull the dinghy up on the beach, flip it over and immediately heavy spray it with bleach to thoroughly soak the hard bottom. Give it 5 minutes and then use a scraper BEFORE IT DRIES! The growth and barnacles came right off. If you let it dry, you'll be there half a day chiseling the barnacle glue off the hull.
Interesting with the bleach and barnacles. I'm guessing the barnacle are alive and once you let them die they don't release?
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Old 16-04-2021, 12:49   #14
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

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Interesting with the bleach and barnacles. I'm guessing the barnacle are alive and once you let them die they don't release?
Not sure. My guess is that while the bottom is wet, the bleach partially dissolves the glue excreted by the barnacles as well as killing the little suckers. Once the glue dries, it's a a bear to get off the hull.
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Old 16-04-2021, 14:27   #15
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Re: My Tender has growth, should I clean it before it drys

DAVE, DON'T USE THE WATER BLASTER! And yes, clean it while it is wet.

Dockhead did, with one of his dinghies, and it tore it apart. The water blaster is way too strong. We use a dry wall spreader and putty knives, followed by a number of nylon scritchers. And the person who recommended bleach is right, especially for grass stuff. The barnacles and coral growths come off quite well with the putty knife, and the bleach and scritcher get the skin really clean again. You may find a very large flat blade screwdriver useful for cleaning the nooks and crannies on the transom, too.

It's truly amazing how foul a dinghy can get while your attention is somewhere else.

If you feel like an experiment, we knew someone who cleaned his dinghy with swimming pool acid, you'd have to guess at how strong a solution to use, probably like for cleaning driveway grunge. We have never tried it, but he swore it was "better living through chemistry." His dinghy came out spotless.


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