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Old 05-24-2015, 03:50 PM   #41
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That's very interesting, and a good reminder to check the facts before believing some guy on the dock. But I would have expected a diver to know since it's kind of his business to know.
You would think. However, you will find that most guys on the dock in a wetsuit are woefully ignorant of the issues. The fact that in-water hull cleaning is largely unregulated and still something of a "wild west" situation means it is easy to get into the business and attracts a lot of people who don't look at it as a profession. Me- this is how I will earn my living for the rest of my life and therefore I keep my finger on the pulse of the industry and the issues facing it. Plus, I sit on the board of directors of the California Professional Divers Association, so it really is my business to know.
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:03 PM   #42
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Here in Carrabelle a couple weeks ago it took a diver two hours to do my bottom.
I shudder to think how foul your bottom must have been if it took your diver two hours to clean a 23-foot boat. Typically we would expect a job of that size to take about half an hour.
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:45 PM   #43
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I shudder to think how foul your bottom must have been if it took your diver two hours to clean a 23-foot boat. Typically we would expect a job of that size to take about half an hour.
Visited a marina in the Charleston area last week and I have not seen so many filthy bottoms in all my life. This Marina had wicked currents/tides and I would thought it would be a hindrance to bottom growth but apparently not. The next day we went to another Marina and the bottoms looked mostly well maintained. Guess it all boils down to the care people put into their boats.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:29 PM   #44
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I shudder to think how foul your bottom must have been if it took your diver two hours to clean a 23-foot boat. Typically we would expect a job of that size to take about half an hour.
I heard a lot of scraping on the metal (propeller, skeg, etc.)

However that was the fee... not sure if he was down two hours or not. Now I'm wondering if there is a minimum. I'll ask. Thanks fastbottoms.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:50 PM   #45
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Visited a marina in the Charleston area last week and I have not seen so many filthy bottoms in all my life. This Marina had wicked currents/tides and I would thought it would be a hindrance to bottom growth but apparently not. The next day we went to another Marina and the bottoms looked mostly well maintained. Guess it all boils down to the care people put into their boats.
We boat around the barrier islands near Charleston every year. In summer, it takes a week to 10 days to start a nice crop of barnacles on the unpainted bottom of our skiff.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:43 PM   #46
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We kept our boat in Carrabelle for about 5 years, I still live in the area and fish the area a lot, but our "big" boat lives in Stuart. I can tell you that the fouling in the Carrabelle/Apalach/Alligator Point area is really, really bad. In all seriousness it is likely the worst anywhere in the US. There is a reason that Apalachicola oysters are known all over the US, oysters, clams and Barnacles gorw like CRAZY here with all the nutrients and warm water.

My skiff with an unpainted bottom gets discernible barnacles about the size of a pin head on it in 24 hours. No joke.
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Old 05-25-2015, 02:42 AM   #47
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.... That said, the state and regional water quality policy makers are moving (albeit very slowly) to reduce copper loading in Callifornia's waterways and at any given time could decide to paint the entire state with one brush. What we hope doesn't happen is a moratorium (or outright ban) on in-water hull cleaning. My interactions with these people would indicate that that is probably not likely to happen however. The current trend seems to be lowering the copper leach rates (and therefore, effectiveness) of anti fouling paints. As a Northern California boat owner what I would expect you to see are reformulated anti fouling paints, not any actual regulations regarding in-water hull cleaning, at least in the near term.
In SoCal the regional boards are trying to reduce the "daily load" of copper coming from boat bottoms. Favorite ploys are reduced copper or non-copper paints. Marinas are encouraging or even requiring divers to take courses in ecologically friendly bottom cleaning to try to placate the regional boards. San Diego bay is in the boards' sights and Marina del Rey looks to be next. Meanwhile there is some evidence (?) that a lot of the copper is coming from runoff and the whole thing is just a power grab by wannabe environmentalists.

Recreational Boaters of California is working strenuously to mitigate the situation. Check them out at rboc.org and take heed; your state may be next.

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Old 05-25-2015, 02:54 AM   #48
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SoCal Bottom Cleaning

General practice in SoCal seems to be monthly bottom cleaning. I did that for 20+ years on my Catalina 27 and I'm continuing that schedule with Cheers. $55 per month for 32 feet.

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Old 05-25-2015, 11:24 AM   #49
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Generally on a 3 month basis... In calm, protected, seldom traveled waters:

I anchor and at slack tide go under boat with mask, fins, strong flashlight and applicable tools to address anode needs as well as to make sure all water inlets are clear of growth or debris. I inspect and clean as needed - props, rudder, shafts, struts, trim tabs. Then, if we haven't been near term cruising at speed (to help keep bottom clean) I do a light brushing of the bottom to remove limited growth that occurs in SF Delta fresh waters.

This is the same I did to family boats when I was aboard throughout my life. But, being that we were always in salt waters the tasks were then much more labor intensive.

Having been an avid free diver when young my breath-hold capacity has always been enhanced. In my 60's this continued "bottom maintenance" technique is a sheer joy for me to accomplish. It’s one of my favorite boating activities and I usually stay swimming thereafter for some time.

Mid-day with sun bright is a great time to accomplish this small, fun, yet required feat… as it is so light under boat that the flashlight is not often used. Also, by doing bottom maintenance in this manner there is limited chance that any “law” will get in your way. I never do this at dock… for legal as well as personal safety reasons. If water is cold… wetsuit is easy to don!

Due to decreasing vision clarity I’m in process of locating a facility for ordering a prescription dive mask. Currently contacting producers of prescription masks and plan to begin new thread in TF asking for recommendations on manufacturers who have provided good product and service at acceptable costs as well as fast order-receipt time spans.

Word of Caution: If you are not well in-tuned to holding breath and performing actions (some strenuous) underwater then this “freehand/free-dive) boat bottom maintenance technique may not be a wise endeavor for you to try and accomplish.

As with everything in life YRMV - Best Luck!

Happy BTM-CLN Daze! - Art


PS: See fstbttms post #50 just below. That in general pertains to my "Word of Caution" just above my signature. Be Very Careful!!!
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:33 AM   #50
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Shallow water blackout- breathholders beware!

Shallow water blackout - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:35 PM   #51
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Here in Carrabelle a couple weeks ago it took a diver two hours to do my clean the bottom of my boat..
Wifey B: Sorry, teacher part of me showing through. Either that or dirty mind part.
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:38 PM   #52
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Translation of diver in Massachusetts. From: Illegal to dive and clean boats in marina. To: If marinas want to be in the clean marina program, they are strongly encouraged to not allow divers to clean boats in marina so none allow it.

Call that "regulation by strong persuasion" or "regulation by programming."
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:41 PM   #53
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Amazing how the need varies by location. We have the bottoms cleaned every month when the boats are home and every three weeks during the summer.
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:57 AM   #54
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WOW all that work,

I just purchase a better brand of bottom paint , and have the yard power wash when hauled. Practical Sailor rates them,

One trick with ablative paint is to use one color as base (we use red) and then multiple coats of a different color.

We use white as it is supposed to have fewer whale strikes.

When the red becomes visible , its time for a short haul.

Done. No swimming with 14 ft gators , or in sewage water required.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:07 AM   #55
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Shallow water blackout- breathholders beware!

Shallow water blackout - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Geez.... now holding your breath in shallow water is dangerous. I must admit I've never heard of "shallow water blackout" until now. Quoting Wiki, "Victims are often established practitioners of breath-hold diving, are fit, strong swimmers, and have not experienced problems before."

Great, another thing to worry about. Guess I'll stop swimming underwater now.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:56 AM   #56
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Geez.... now holding your breath in shallow water is dangerous. I must admit I've never heard of "shallow water blackout" until now. Quoting Wiki, "Victims are often established practitioners of breath-hold diving, are fit, strong swimmers, and have not experienced problems before."

Great, another thing to worry about. Guess I'll stop swimming underwater now.
In my 60's... having good health... but, not necessarily sound mind. LOL

After swimming my entire life. Having been under boats working 100's if not thousands of times. Often free diving in the 70' + range during my younger decades to collect crustaceans, clams, or artifacts. And, not afraid to die! I'll hold my breath and play or work underwater any time I feel like it!

That said - At any age... Persons who do not have a really strong swimming and breath holding background should not suddenly attempt servicing theirs or anyone else's boat-bottom while it's in the water. In addition to the "shallow water blackout" occurrence (mentioned in quote above) there are other perils underneath a floating boat that must be considered and adjusted for.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:47 PM   #57
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FF, I've seen your boat. Any whale dumb enough to bump into it will be hurt far worse than the boat!
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:25 AM   #58
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Interesting thread. Here in San Diego I'm hearing most divers recommend monthly cleanings, with an increase to every 3 weeks during warmer months. My new diver has recommended every other week during summer. I'm giving it a try to see if a more frequent, less aggressive cleaning results in longer times between hauling and bottom painting. Or I'm getting taken.

Watching the development of bottom paints with interest. I'm sure here in California, we'll be early guinea pigs.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:40 AM   #59
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.. Here in San Diego I'm hearing most divers recommend monthly cleanings, with an increase to every 3 weeks during warmer months. My new diver has recommended every other week during summer. I'm giving it a try to see if a more frequent, less aggressive cleaning results in longer times between hauling and bottom painting.
With that frequency, unless the cleaning leaves the a/f surface unabraded, they`d be cleaning hull, not paint. Mind you, I`m used to ablative/semi ablative, maybe you use hard a/f, even so it`s a lot of cleaning. Is it really economic to dive fortnightly, is it done from day 1, or after 6 months, or thereabouts?
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:54 AM   #60
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With that frequency, unless the cleaning leaves the a/f surface unabraded, they`d be cleaning hull, not paint. Mind you, I`m used to ablative/semi ablative, maybe you use hard a/f, even so it`s a lot of cleaning. Is it really economic to dive fortnightly, is it done from day 1, or after 6 months, or thereabouts?
In South Florida it's definitely economic to clean quite frequently, although every two weeks is more than we've done. Usage of the boat does play into the need as well. Good regular cleanings can be done with very little impact on the paint. Most divers in South Florida are use to very frequent cleaning and the techniques to protect the paint. It sure does lengthen the time between painting versus a less frequent but more rigorous bottom cleaning.

I'm surprised to see similar recommendations for San Diego.
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