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Hull cleaners- post your gadgets!

Discussion in 'Commercial Divers' started by fstbttms, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    From Harvey Wills of Petit Paint (bold type mine):

    From: Harvey Wills
    Sent: Monday, September 27, 2010 1:42 PM
    To: matt@fastbottoms.com
    Subject: Re: Recommended anti fouling cleaning implement

    Matt
    Thanks. Just left you a phone message. Well if this were an ablative (soft) paint most paint manufactures would only recommend cleaning with a very soft micro-fiber type towel. If the paint is a modified epoxy we like to recommend a 3M white type of pad. This is the finest of all the 3M type of products. I've never heard of any paint manufacture recommending the use of any type of metal scraper. Hope this helps.

    Harvey

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Matt Peterson <matt@fastbottoms.com>
    To: Petit Paint- Harvey Wills
    Sent: Mon, Sep 27, 2010 9:38 am
    Subject: Recommended anti fouling cleaning implement

    Harvey,

    I am having a debate on a divers internet discussion forum with a hull cleaner from Charleston, SC, who maintains that cleaning boat bottoms with a metal scraper is standard operating procedure in that area, regardless of paint condition. He goes so far as to claim that this is the method recommended by paint manufacturers. Further, this guy says that he was told by a SeaHawk rep out there that Doodlebug pads are the most damaging, least-recommended cleaning tool. What do you recommend hull cleaners use to clean your products? Thanks.


    Matt Peterson
    FastBottoms Hull Diving
    925.671.2826
    matt@fastbottoms.com
    Visit our web site at:
    FastBottoms Hull Diving- home
    Member: California Professional Divers Association
    http://www.prodivers.org
    Member: California Clean Boating Network
    Clean Boating Program (California Coastal Commission and California. Dept. of Boating and Waterways.
     
  2. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    From Tony Bulpin of SeaHawk (bold type mine):

    From: Tony Bulpin
    Sent: Monday, September 27, 2010 9:36 PM
    To: 'Matt Peterson'
    Subject: RE: Recommended anti fouling cleaning implements

    Hello Matt,

    I agree with you that a metal scraper is not recommended. I do recommend that the boat be hauled and painted every 18-24 months. The boat should be on a maintenance schedule and depending on the marina or waters recommendations can vary. This is a discussion I would like to have with you on my next trip to the bay area, which so happens to be next week. Let me know if you have some free time next week.

    Thank you,

    Tony Bulpin
    SeaHawk Premium Yacht Finishes
     
  3. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    From Joe Szoke of Interlux (bold type mine):

    From: Szoke, Joe On Behalf Of Interlux Technical Service
    Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 6:07 AM
    To: matt@fastbottoms.com
    Subject: RE: Enquiry Email

    Matthew,

    As you know, what you use to clean the bottom will ultimately be determined by the situation at hand. If the bottom has softer paints such as ablative or copolymer antifouling paints, a softer scotch brite pad or doodle bug would be best so you do not remove the paint from the surface. When you do remove the paint, it will directly affect and reduce the performance of the paint. For hard antifouling paint you can use more aggressive tactics like a coarse pad. This will all depend on what kind of growth is on the bottom and what measures are needed to remove the fouling.

    If there is heavy growth on the surface, you can assume that the antifouling paint isn’t doing its job. If this is the case it would either mean that the paint your customer is using isn’t correct for their environment or it is time to recoat.

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  4. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    From Kathy Hester-Mays of New Nautical Coatings (Sea Hawk) (bold type mine):

    From: Kathy Hester
    Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 6:32 AM
    To: matt@fastbottoms.com
    Subject: Sea Hawk Bottom Cleaning Recommendation

    Hello Matt:

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention and asking for our recommendation.

    If a boat is newly painted, it is recommended that the boat is cleaned on a regular basis (monthly). All that is needed is a soft cloth to wipe down the bottom and that is it. Now, if the boat is not maintained on a regular basis and obtains barnacles, then yes a metal scraper is used to pop the barnacles off the surface not to scrape the bottom.

    Ultimately, the recommendation for cleaning the bottom, is definitely monthly cleaning with a soft cloth to clean the slime off that barnacles attach to. Stick with this method and the bottom paint will provide longevity and keep the bottom barnacle free.

    Good Luck.


    Sincerely,

    Kathy Hester-Mays
    New Nautical Coatings Inc.
     
  5. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    I think the point is made- wiping with a soft pad is good, scraping with a metal blade is bad.
     
  6. Nelson1345

    Nelson1345 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Wrangell, Alaska
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    The boats I work on are not on a schedule. When they call I bring my green pad, brissel brush and a metal scraper :shocked2:. I use what I need to remove whatever type of groth they may have. Ive used a metal scrapper on a 40 foot X 80 Foot Barge. The sea life survived!

    I do like the idea of the "full-throttle with a steel bristle brush mounted on a hydraulic or pnumatic grinder!" Might try that next :D.
     
  7. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    Here's another gadget:

    I do a lot of feathering and folding prop installations. As you can imagine, losing one of the many small parts these props often have is a major PITA. Here's how I solved that problem:

    [​IMG]
     
    DivingOtter likes this.
  8. laguna230diver

    laguna230diver Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: myrtle beach sc
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    matt, we aren't stupid. It is in our best interests to keep our clients happy by using the best tools for the job. Whenever i use any abrasive pad, or brush, I can see paint in the water. When i use a blade.. not so much. I believe what you are trying to say is that we are wrong. The correct answer is.. it doesn't matter

    it doesn't matter whose right.
    I will use a blade and be open to new ideas, but ultimately test new options on my own (as you will do with brushes/pads). What we DON'T need on the board is the attitude. I went away from this convo for a while and came back to an ugly discussion.

    The growth here is too hard to get by with just a doodlebug/3m unless you are working deeper in the ICW. We are merely defending our methods. We are not telling you how you should do your boats... because guess what.. we have no clue what conditions are like in your backyard!

    so no more good - bad

    how about
    I use - you use
     
  9. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    I completely disagree. It does matter. It matters because the customer is better served when his hull cleaner understands what tools will do the job and keep the paint on the boat, where it belongs. It matters because there is increasing scrutiny on the hull cleaning industry and the part we play in non-point source pollution, particularly as concerns copper loading in our coastal waterways. It matters because it is not a stretch to think that one day soon, somebody in your state might try to ban in-water hull cleaning because our industry isn't doing the right thing, like using using Best Management Practices, one of which is to clean anti fouling paint with the softest implement possible. If your fouling conditions are such that scrapers are necessary to clean the entire hull every time, then the cleaning frequencies need to be increased. Scrapers are simply not the right tool for the job, any more than a hammer is the right tool to drive a screw.

    I don't take the point of view I do here because I think I have all the answers or I think everybody else is a dummy; I take it because I am a hull cleaning professional and I want to be able to practice that profession 10 or 20 years from now. If you think that there isn't real pressure on our industry to change what we do, they way we do it and who can tell us how to do it, you need to think again. State and federal water quality control agencies are paying attention to us, and they don't want to see divers using metal scrapers (and if you read my posts above, you'll see that the paint manufacturers take the same view.) This not just Matt from FastBottoms giving you his opinion. Do a little research, and you'll see this is the case.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  10. laguna230diver

    laguna230diver Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: myrtle beach sc
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    i agree with the points, but i know that my methods are working better. im done with this condescending thread. im glad that you are the only professional in here

    bye
     

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