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Thread: Hull bottom cleaning

 

  1. #1
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    Hull bottom cleaning

    I am looking for a way to clean the bottom of my 33 foot Chris Craft in the water, other than the normal, put on the dive gear and start scrubbing with scraper and brush. Does anyone know of a commercially available underwater pressure washing system?

    Thanks, Tom

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    teknitroxdiver's Avatar
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    Do you already own a pressure washer? I would give it a shot, just make SURE you don't pull it off into the water with you, especially if it's electric. It should still work pretty good underwater although you would have to be very close to the hull for any effect. Your best bet is probably the old brush and putty knife.

    If you do try that, tie it down or something to make sure it doesn't join you in the water...

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    I'm a real novice at this so take this for what it's worth. I just scrubbed a friends boat the other week for the first time. It was in fresh water with just some alge goo on it, so the scrubbing was not too had, marine life is going to be much worse. The biggest problem I had was keeping pressure on the brush. I could fin it but that was a lot of work. What I did was to run a large diameter rope (3/4 ") under the boat and pulled tight with the sail wench with just barely enough slack so I could get my hands under it. This gave me something to hang onto while I scrubbed with the other hand. I would scrub as far as I could reach and then move the rope, I needed a break about then anyway. I would think you would need some way to maintain you distance from the boat while using a pressure washer. If possible, it seems to me that the best idea is to find a shallow sandy area where you can stand so do the work. Another trick we used with a lot of success was to start the motor and idle it in reverse with it still tied to the dock after I had scrubbed for several minutes. This moved a lot of water and cleared the vis a lot (I was well out of the way under the dock when this was going on- never close to the boat with the engine running). Good luck
    herman

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    Chuck Tribolet's Avatar
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    I've seen a large suction cup used to hang onto the smooth bottom of the hull. Glass
    shops use them to carry glass, glass house computer rooms use them to lift the floor
    panels. I think McMaster-Carr or Grainger has some -- I ordered a couple for my
    computer lab a couple of years ago.

    And I think auto body shops use them to pop out big dents.


    Chuck
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    hull cleaning

    Tom,
    clean the hull like the pirates did in the back in the day,find a sand bar thats submerged at high tide,park your boat on it an wait till the tide runs out,careen it to one side,clean the other side,wait till the tide comes back an do the other side,use your anchor winches to careen it,if you are worried about beding your prop shafts,just let the stern hang off the bar,or better yet blow a hole for the shaft an props with your blower.




    Quote Originally Posted by wreckdiver1715
    I am looking for a way to clean the bottom of my 33 foot Chris Craft in the water, other than the normal, put on the dive gear and start scrubbing with scraper and brush. Does anyone know of a commercially available underwater pressure washing system?

    Thanks, Tom

  6. #6
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    Tom Winters's Avatar
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    Most guys who clean hulls just have an assortment of favored hand scrapers. If you're willing to do the maintenance, you can use a pneumatic sander on the hull. Porter Cable makes a huge pneumatic drywall sander that might also work, although you'd need to tether yourself in there pretty good to get good pressure on the hull.
    For a 33' boat, if it's really fouled, maybe you need to repaint it. Haul it and do it dry - pressure wash it with an industrial pressure washer at the ramp or haul-out point.
    Fein makes dustless sanders so efficient that you can sand bottom paint without the poopie suit - just a respirator. They're not cheap, but they are wickedly functional.
    I've met more than few people who will clean a hull for a $1.00 a foot and a six-pack. Lots of marinas have guys like this. I never liked working in black water unless I was getting lots and lots of money so I passed on work like this.
    Tom
    NAUI instructor
    PADI divemaster

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    Charlie99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Winters
    Most guys who clean hulls just have an assortment of favored hand scrapers.
    For my 14' catboat I use Fisheye's method of careening it in shallow water. It's so much easier to apply pressure when you are standing in waist to chest-high water.

    With a sailboat is super easy to just use the mainsail halyard, which is conviently already attached to top of the mast, thereby giving you a really long lever arm to heel the boat over.

    For hand scrapers, I find 2' or 3' long lengths of 2x4's work pretty good at scraping off heavy growths of barnacles. This flattens the edges at the ends of the 2x4's pretty fast, so have several chunks on hand.

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    Hank49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wreckdiver1715
    I am looking for a way to clean the bottom of my 33 foot Chris Craft in the water, other than the normal, put on the dive gear and start scrubbing with scraper and brush. Does anyone know of a commercially available underwater pressure washing system?

    Thanks, Tom
    A gasoline, 2000 psi power washer would do the trick I believe...if you could see anything after you start blasting. The problem in this part of the world, in salt water, is that once the growth of algae gets a good foothold it's kind of like your lawn. Unless you strip it clean, it just grows right back within days. If you're going to go to all the trouble of scrubbing it that clean it would be more cost and time effective to pull it out and put some anti fouling paint on it. Then it should be good for a year or so. Hank

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    I used to do it for people and set up an lp hose with a normal air line quick disconnect and used an orbital sander. Big jobs I would use a surface compressor and small boats I would just hook it up to my doubles. I would soak the unit in fresh water over night then run oil through it the next morning. I could get about six months out them then they would lock up from the salt water. Not bad for $40.00.
    Bobby

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  10. #10
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    Tom Winters's Avatar
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    The problem with a power washer is that in the water, you're going to be careening all over the place - like an astronaut on an EVA with a thrust wand. Plus if you have an ablative bottom paint like Micron, you're going to take off too much.
    Hire a kid or just scrape it by hand. You're only looking at 33', not a 600' freighter.That's a good excuse for an afloat libation when you're done.
    Tom
    NAUI instructor
    PADI divemaster

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