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Old 12-17-2015, 01:51 PM   #1
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Have you cleaned your Prop lately?

Jumped in the water a couple of days ago, to use a new WaveBlade tool we bought, and holeycow, we actually burned a full gallon-per-hour LESS on the way back to dock. I had hoped to achieve some positive results, but this was an unexpected bonus. Happy camper here

The prop was covered in a hard growth, perhaps only 2 mm thick. I removed the growth so that the prop was smooth by touch, although the barnacle 'footprint' was still evident. Previously, I'd spend a couple of hours scraper and wire-brush. I have no idea how robust the tool is / how long it will last, but at first use, I'm pleased.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:16 PM   #2
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We, like many boaters in our harbor, have a dive service check the underside of our hull twice a year. By law they cannot wipe down the bottom but they can knock off barnacles and other growth, change zincs, and perform other maintenance.

We also use our boat year round which does a lot to prevent growth on the running gear. Spins the baby barnacles off the props I guess.

So between regular use and the dive service our props stay quite clean. We also have them cleaned and polished when we have the boat out every couple of years for bottom painting.

But boats that sit a lot can accumulate an impressive amount of growth on the running gear. This last summer was abnormally sunny in our area and this promoted the rapid development of bottom and running gear growth. According to the dive service, everyone was having issues with bottom growth. And yes, it can be surprisingly detrimental to a boat's efficiency and speed.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:47 PM   #3
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Here in Hawaii, it's something you gotta do every month,,, the growth is that fierce.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:54 PM   #4
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Here in Hawaii, it's something you gotta do every month,,, the growth is that fierce.

Having grown up in Hawaii and fished for years off the north shore of Oahu and in the Molokai Channel, I am well aware of that.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:56 PM   #5
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I just hauled mine out. It's been a good summer for barnacles. I am going to paint the bottom, rudders, and struts, polish the props, and maybe use some propspeed. Also waxing the areas of the hull that I can't reach at the dock.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:14 PM   #6
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Unlike you warm water sailors, we normally have little trouble with underwater growth as it's relatively slow growing here in the PNW.

But I just had my diver change my prop and rudder zinc and was sorry to hear that the anti barnacle painted shafts, props and rudders had significant growth since it was painted back in April.

That was $60 dollars worth of Pettit Prop Coat I won't bother with next haulout.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by nemier View Post
Jumped in the water a couple of days ago, to use a new WaveBlade tool we bought, and holeycow, we actually burned a full gallon-per-hour LESS on the way back to dock. I had hoped to achieve some positive results, but this was an unexpected bonus. Happy camper here

The prop was covered in a hard growth, perhaps only 2 mm thick. I removed the growth so that the prop was smooth by touch, although the barnacle 'footprint' was still evident. Previously, I'd spend a couple of hours scraper and wire-brush. I have no idea how robust the tool is / how long it will last, but at first use, I'm pleased.
Monthly plus we use Propspeed and hope we'd never let it get to the point of needing to use something like Waveblade. Can't imagine letting it get like drb's photo. Not criticizing him, just saying I wouldn't be happy with that.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:26 PM   #8
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We have had the prop-protection discussion with the yard we use in our harbor and the conclusion has been this: in their experience the less-expensive spray on coatings are good for about a year at best. After that they offer no significant protection.

Prop Speed, which is very expensive for whatever reason, is longer lasting. But they said that if one hauls their boat every two years, in this climate it's not worth the cost.

The best thing in their opinion to minimize prop fouling is to use the boat. For boats that spend most of their time just sitting and are used only seasonally for relatively short periods, something like Prop Speed can help reduce the amount of growth up to a point.

We have elected to use nothing on the props and until this year we've not had a growth problem. This year a combination of less time using the boat, a longer time than normal between haulouts, and a very, growth-inducing summer combined to promote a fair amount of barnacle growth on the props and running gear.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Edelweiss View Post
Unlike you warm water sailors, we normally have little trouble with underwater growth as it's relatively slow growing here in the PNW.

But I just had my diver change my prop and rudder zinc and was sorry to hear that the anti barnacle painted shafts, props and rudders had significant growth since it was painted back in April.

That was $60 dollars worth of Pettit Prop Coat I won't bother with next haulout.
Have had a different experience with the Pettit Prop Coat here in Downeast waters. Before I started using it three years ago, there would be an extended family of barnacles on our prop on fall haul out. Since I started using it, have had almost nothing on the prop on haul out.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:36 PM   #10
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For warmer waters Propspeed is very desirable. If whoever applies it hasn't been certified to use it then make sure they read the instructions and follow them to the letter. There are a few traps which will lead to partial failures or shorter life. If your yard does not use it regularly then do it yourself to ensure no mistakes!

And yes, clean props make an amazing difference.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:50 PM   #11
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Before I started using it three years ago, there would be an extended family of barnacles on our prop on fall haul out. Since I started using it, have had almost nothing on the prop on haul out.
That would seem to be consistent with what the yard told us--- good for about a year.
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:07 PM   #12
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I share a photo of one of our props after two years in PNW waters with Propspeed. Just hauled in Bellingham.



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Old 12-17-2015, 07:26 PM   #13
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For warmer waters Propspeed is very desirable. If whoever applies it hasn't been certified to use it then make sure they read the instructions and follow them to the letter. There are a few traps which will lead to partial failures or shorter life. If your yard does not use it regularly then do it yourself to ensure no mistakes!

And yes, clean props make an amazing difference.
Application also makes a huge difference on the Pettit products too. In fact, they recommend even longer for drying, must be applied over 50 degrees, less than 90 degrees, time between the coats, no more than two or three coats and then for best results another of their products on top of it, their Hydrocoat Anti Fouling paint. Oh and using their thinner before you start.

We've never used the Pettit product, only Propspeed but we do know one captain who swears by it.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:26 PM   #14
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BandB,
I did it by da book except for "their" thinner.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemier View Post
The prop was covered in a hard growth, perhaps only 2 mm thick. I removed the growth so that the prop was smooth by touch, although the barnacle 'footprint' was still evident. Previously, I'd spend a couple of hours scraper and wire-brush. I have no idea how robust the tool is / how long it will last, but at first use, I'm pleased.
I strongly recommend propped also. We are in warm water, yet I get 3 years out of it with no diver cleaning it either, yet here is how it looked even before a pressure hose-down when it last came out. Second shot is after the pressure wash, but no scrubbing or burnishing.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:39 AM   #16
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Herreshoff used to suggest you envision the prop at the size of the vessel, to comprehend what even "minor " fouling will do.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:20 AM   #17
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I got almost 3 years out of propspeed without any growth other than on the nut. My biggest growth problem by far is on my stainless keel shoe. This requires a good scrape at least every 6 months as it affects the water flow to the prop.
At a haul-out 6 months ago I tried a cheap fix and coated the shoe with a $10 can of spray on zinc galvanizer. It made no difference at all when I hauled out again last month. I might propspeed the shoe next time I do the prop.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:06 AM   #18
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I got almost 3 years out of propspeed without any growth other than on the nut. My biggest growth problem by far is on my stainless keel shoe. This requires a good scrape at least every 6 months as it affects the water flow to the prop.
At a haul-out 6 months ago I tried a cheap fix and coated the shoe with a $10 can of spray on zinc galvanizer. It made no difference at all when I hauled out again last month. I might propspeed the shoe next time I do the prop.
We Propspeed everything metal.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:04 AM   #19
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We, like many boaters in our harbor, have a dive service check the underside of our hull twice a year. By law they cannot wipe down the bottom but they can knock off barnacles and other growth, change zincs, and perform other maintenance. .
Where and what law? How are boaters supposed to have their (boat) bottoms cleaned? (I suppose the government doesn't really care about that question.)

Do some divers clean the bottom anyway when no one is looking?

Someone is trading no bottom cleaning for excessive fuel burn and pollution. Makes no sense to me.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:19 AM   #20
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Where and what law? How are boaters supposed to have their (boat) bottoms cleaned? (I suppose the government doesn't really care about that question.)

Do some divers clean the bottom anyway when no one is looking?

Someone is trading no bottom cleaning for excessive fuel burn and pollution. Makes no sense to me.
From my experience, professional divers will not risk the fine and/or reputation for noncompliance. The law is not new and most everyone has gone to a hard bottom paint which you can clean the water. With the cooler waters of the PNW, bottom cleaning has never been a monthly affair so the law doesn't have the impact like it would in Florida.

This from the State of WA DOE.

Hull Cleaning and Boat Washing

IT’S A FACT: It is illegal to perform underwater cleaning of hulls with soft, toxic coatings (ablative and sloughing). You can face a fine of up to $10,000. (RCW 90.48.080, WAC 173-201A)

Hull Cleaning and Boat Washing | Clean Green Boating | Washington State Department of Ecology
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