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Hull Cleaning Information

Discussion in 'Seeking Employment' started by ehuber, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. grouchyturtle

    grouchyturtle Divemaster Candidate

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    Scratch that last post. Nuvair compact with the cage removed is much lighter, and a lot smaller too.

    After reading that last post, I'm really thinking of giving this a shot up here in NJ. I could see it really working into my plan. Within the next year or so I plan on getting my captain's license and running charters in NYC during the summers, then running South for the winters.

    Even if the charter business really takes off, I still can't see being booked more than 3 days a week...which at NYC prices isn't bad. So, there's a few really big marinas up here, a few yacht detailing companies, but not too many people who are big on diving the in Hudson. Maybe I could work out a similar deal with one of those companies. In fact I think one of them was run out of my old marina, which is where I plan on keeping the boat, when this plan goes into motion.

    I think the Hudson is ****ing gross too, but I think I'll get over it when I'm sitting on anchor in, say Cayman, come January.
     
  2. radpin

    radpin Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: San Diego
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    Great thread, really informative. I figured I'd add a few things here since I'm coming at this from the other side (long time sailor / boat owner, new diver).

    I started diving my boat (36' sailboat, full keel) a couple of months ago (and got scuba certified at the same time) because I wanted to be a bit more self reliant, and I didn't trust what the diver said was happening. I looked at the invoices and zincs would go from new to 20% worn back to new and then replaced in a period of 3 months. No linear progression to the wear, and the kid they were sending out was nice but I highly doubted he cared about my boat as much as I did (shouldn't be surprising).

    Here in San Diego everyone is on a monthly cycle but most of the bottom cleaners are trying to move everyone to every three weeks. I've found it varies big time with the season and the paint. Recent paint (or paint you're going to be blasting off in a yard in a month) doesn't need to be cleaned as much.

    I use a tank and a bc; basically my exact rig that I'd use sport diving. At this point I'm so green at diving that I just have my one way of doing it with my one set of equipment. No problems yet in knocking into my boat with the tank. Since you're generally always working on the boat you're facing the boat, so there's not been a lot of occasion to knock it with a tank.

    Some divers here have a great reputation, other ones are terrible. Sure enough when I went down and checked out my rudder button zincs, the lower ones were completely gone. And the shaft zinc, which they've been replacing me (or billing me for replacing) every two months was completely fine at 6 weeks from their last dive.

    At this point, I wouldn't have anyone else dive my boat unless I hopped in the water the next day on occasion to verify that what I'm paying for is getting done. Once bitten, twice scared, etc, etc.

    I have a 8"x8" piece of carpet that I use to lightly scrub the bottom, and was impressed with how relatively easy the job was to do. I have no experience cleaning anything other than my boat.

    I thought about getting into the business part time. Having a boat here in my marina, I'm pretty sure I could pick up a dozen or so clients within a few months if I worked at it and they'd all be right here in my back yard. I checked the prices of some of the (bigger name) outfits around here:

    $1.25/ft for a boat like mine (36 feet). So that's ~$45? Screw that. A dozen boats would be $540 a month at that price. Just doesn't seem that worth it to me, and I'm not even factoring in insurance or other professional costs.
     
  3. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    it is about to become even less palatable for part-timers in San Diego. In January, the Port District will begin enforcement of its Divers Permit program. Anybody doing hull cleaning on Port property will be required to buy the permit after having shown "proof of competency", which will include ship repairer's libility insurance, a business license and in-water hull cleaning Best Management Practices certification. I am not sure how this affects owners cleaning their own boats, but if I'm a hull cleaner in San Diego and have jumped through these hoops and I find out a boat owner is cleaning his dock neighbor's boats for cash or beer or whatever, I'm gonna make a big stink about it with the harbormaster, that's for sure.
     
  4. radpin

    radpin Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: San Diego
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    I read about that in The Log the other day. Last I heard it wasn't 100% approved, but I imagine something like that will go in. Actually, I'm plenty fine with it. For me personally I'm not too worried; I take the boat out pretty frequently and can just anchor in one of the coves. There's no one around, and if gets that crazy, I'll just anchor in the lee of the zuniga jetty. I imagine the cost of the bottom cleaning will skyrocket when the new ordinance goes in, but airfills will be the same, so it makes even more sense for me.

    I can't imagine a bunch of boat owners suddenly cleaning their own hulls on a routine basis. The guys I know who do it are the kind of guys who will just keep doing it, even if it means zipping out of the harbor real quick to do it. It has a lot more to do with personally knowing the full condition of your vessel more so than saving money. But I'm sure you'd agree that 99.9% of boat owners don't even show up more than a total of three weeks a year, they barely move their boats, are in terrible shape, and the ones who can dive would never bring themselves to hull cleaning. :shakehead:

    If I pick up any spare jobs doing it for others it will probably be in the Channel Islands or out further in the Pacific when we head that way. Not in anyway trying to snipe business; just a "hey I'm a diver and if you're away from home, right next to me, have $40 to spare, and want your hull cleaned, I'll do it." Roughly on par with other little nick-nack jobs I pick up sometimes like helping a guy with his teak decks.
     
  5. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    The Divers Permit is a done deal. It's gonna happen. They just need to hammer out the details. But it isn't a bad thing and legitimate dive services will have no problem complying. What will happen is the fly-by-night divers, the low-ballers and other flakes will disappear and those that are left will be better, more professional hull cleaners for having gone through the BMP certification training.

    BTW- I don't think anybody is too concerned with boat owners taking away dive business. Just saying that it is not uncommon for somebody who cleans his own boat to be asked to do others. And in that case, if I gotta jump through the hoops, so does he, IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  6. grouchyturtle

    grouchyturtle Divemaster Candidate

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    But where do you draw the line? Ever hear of neighbors just helping each other out? I understand that's your business, and if they're getting paid for it that's one thing, and I don't blame you for reporting them.

    But what about just "Hey neighbor as long as you're down there, can do me a favor and take a quick look at my bottom and then hands you a cold one back on the dock?" Or diving the electrical genius guy's boat in exchange for him helping you install new batteries, or the mechanic guy's boat in exchange for help troubleshooting an engine problem.
     
  7. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    You make a valid point. You can't (and probably shouldn't want to) stop neighbor helping neighbor. But on the same token, if hull cleaning is going to be regulated for professionals in an attempt to reduce copper loading in San Diego Bay, it defeats the purpose of the Permit if untrained and uninformed laymen are allowed to do whatever they want in the water. It may be that the Port will not allow owners who do not have a Permit to dive their own boats. I think I'll ask about that and find out.
     
  8. grouchyturtle

    grouchyturtle Divemaster Candidate

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    Very good point, but...

    Is copper loading in San Diego Bay really a problem, or is it typical California lawyer over reacting. Not for nothing, but I can't remember the last time I bought something that didn't have a, "Warning, according to the state of California..." label on it.

    And if it is a real problem, then the question is, are the boats really the problem, or are there other bigger offenders, with the boaters just being the easy target as usual?
     
  9. fstbttms

    fstbttms Manta Ray

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    Whether or not the amount of copper in our coastal waterways is actually a "problem" has never been proven. But, in the end, that is beside the point. The federal government has determined what it considers to be an acceptable amount of copper in San Diego Bay (as well as every other body of water in California) and San Diego Bay exceeds it. Therefore, the State of California, via the State Water Resources Control Board, is required to bring that body of water into compliance. Studies have shown that in-water hull cleaning activities contribute a certain percentage of the copper loading and that divers using Best Management Practices contribute a lesser amount than divers that don't. Hence, the Divers Permit program.

    Of course, if copper is really an issue, the sensible thing to do would be to simply ban copper as an ingredient in anti fouling paint. But the paint manufacturers have deep pockets and a vested interest in keeping copper in the paint. The bottom line is that sh*t rolls downhill and hull cleaners are at the bottom of the hill.
     
  10. grouchyturtle

    grouchyturtle Divemaster Candidate

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    Kind of what I figured.
     

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