Do you want to know how to clean a boat hull in the water? Barnacle, seaweed and other algae stick to the hull of your boat making for a lot of friction with the water, thus less speed and accelerated deterioration of the painted surface. Even applying anti fouling paints does not guarantee success in keeping the hull clean, so maintenance is mandatory.
What you need to clean a boat hull in the water is:
- A hard brass fibre broom.
- A neoprene suit.
- A mask and snorkel set.
- A pair of gloves.
- A putty knife.
- A longer rope.
- Tie the broom to one of your hands using a thin cord.
- Put on the neoprene suit and snorkel and mask set. If the water is warm enough, you can do without the suit. Also, using gloves will avoid unnecessary injuries.
- Dive into water next to the boat. Make sure everyone around you knows you will be diving in the area. If the boat is too big for one person, you might need the help of other enthusiast divers.
- Start by removing the seaweed and algae from the flotation line down in layers. Do not exceed five or six inches width per band, to avoid making friction and turbulence happen in case you have to leave the task unfinished.
- If the seaweed is extremely long, over five inches, you can start by passing a rope under keel. This maneuver, although being not conventional, allows you to get rid of the biggest stuff before starting. To do it, grab a rope long enough to go around the boat hull, and make it sink at the bow. Then walk astern while keeping the rope tight and eventually doing saw movements from side to side by pulling alternately.
- Breath using the snorkel, keeping your eyes on the hull while working in the upper part. As you scratch lower, you will have to make shorter immersions, that will make the progress slower and more tedious.
- Once you´ve finished brooming the hull, remove the remaining algae using the putty knife. Also, tie the tool to your hand to avoid loss.
- If hard barnacles, shells or other forms of snails are present, remove them using the putty knife or a cutter. It may take a lot of time and effort, but it´s critical to leave no trace of living organisms to extend the lapse of good clean hull.
- After you are done cleaning, take a look to determine the status of the hull paint. Every few years the hull must be painted, because the accumulation of life sticking to it becomes increasingly fast, and the boat´s performance goes down fast too.
Cleaning a boat hull in the water is a good way to increase the boat´s overall performance, but it´s also a heavy duty, involving immersion and repetitive movements. Also, it does not guarantee that algae will not grow fast or replace the necessary regular maintenance that the hull and the hole boat require.