Boat Maintenance Tips: Underwater Hull Cleaning
June 13, 2013
Before sailing on your first ever trip this spring, make sure that your beloved boat is ready to take on the churning waters once again. The months it spent in storage might not have been kind to its fiberglass structure, so you have to check if the hull has maintained its integrity.
If you have been vigilant about your boat’s maintenance over the past season, you should have very few worries with regards to cleaning your fiberglass hull in preparation for the first trip this season. Making small but regular investments in terms of time and money to keep your boat hull clean can definitely improve your boat’s performance, extend its lifetime, and cut your fuel costs by as much as 40 percent.
Advantages of underwater hull cleaning
- Removes scummy microorganism growth on your fibreglass hull. Barnacles, mineral deposits, sediment, and microorganisms can all make your hull their home. It’s important to take them out at the first opportunity not just for aesthetic purposes, but also to keep your fuel expenditures down. Barnacle growth can cause drag, causing your engine to work harder to propel your boat forward. No resistance also means better, faster performance, so you can accelerate the boat and it will respond quickly.
- Nip maintenance issues in the bud before they become real concerns. With underwater hull cleaning, you or your boat detailer can easily spot problem areas on your hull such as a cracked gel coat or a breach in the hull, and take immediate action to prevent the problem from becoming worse. Prevention is better than cure, and when it comes to your boat’s hull, you don’t want to take any chances.
- Restore your fiberglass hull’s color and sheen with regular upkeep. Nobody wants to sail a boat that looks like it’s a living showroom for marine flora and fauna. Constant boat care will ensure that your vessel will always look like it’s been properly detailed and waxed.
Even if you decide to hire professional cleaners for your boat maintenance,
you have to pay attention to how your boat detailer or diver performs the underwater hull cleaning. Is he using non-abrasive scrubbing pads to effectively and efficiently remove hard marine growth? Is he taking care not to scour too hard to prevent damage to the gel coat and the paint job underneath? Did he ask you for what type of bottom paint was used on your hull, choosing his cleaning products based on the information you provided? Is he disposing of the crud and marine growths properly after removing them from your fiberglass hull? Check out some questions to ask your boat detailer company before hiring them.
As a boat owner, you have to be on the lookout for best practices in boat maintenance so you can adopt them too, even as you engage in a little DIY boat detailing from time to time. It is still recommended to get the help of experts for underwater hull cleaning, as this is serious work that requires training and skill. That said, you shouldn’t let anybody stop you from dry-docking your boat and performing the job on your own, so long as you have the right tools and cleaning products on hand.