Diving and Hull Cleaning your Boat’s Hull- How Often is Necessary?
Prevent Fouling by Hull Cleaning
Fouling is the reason Diving and Hull Cleaning is so vital. We recommend having your boat’s hull cleaned at minimum once a month. In the summer, a cleaning once every 2 weeks is ideal.
Fouling is a term to describe the process at which the hull of a boat accumulates marine and plant growth. Fouling progression identifies the rate at which a boat succumbs to growth on the hull. The fouling progression can be based on the region the boat is in, the native species in the fouling community, and the seasonal circumstances.
Where your boat is located can have significant influence how often a boat would require having the hull dived and cleaned. Charleston, SC all the way down to Miami Florida has significant growth and fouling issues. It is said that the southeast region of the U.S is affected immensely by marine and plant growth on the bottom of hulls!
Fouling happens at an accelerated rate in warmer waters. There are a variety of species that can be found in a fouling community on the hull of a boat. These species have breeding cycles that occur more often when the water is at higher temperatures. If your boat is docked in the southeast, then the warmer water can increase the rate of fouling relative to a boat docked in the northeast.
The Primary Reason to Clean your Hull and Dive Monthly
Some people say, “My boat just sits at the dock and I don’t care if she grows a barnacle beard.” This is foolish for a few specific reasons:
- Your boat can accumulate blisters!
- If you continue to allow plant and marine growth on the bottom of your hull, it will eventually eat through the fiberglass and cause significant damage to your boat. “Blisters” is a term that implies water seeping into your fiberglass and causing the laminate to separate from your fiberglass. This is detrimental to your vessel, it will bring down the value, and they are extremely expensive to repair.
- Your through-hulls can get clogged.
- This is an issue if you are running the engine, or any air conditioners on board. The engine draws water and spits it back out through the exhaust. If it cannot draw water, you will have cooling issues or worse and potentially destroy the engine.
- The prop, shaft, or anything metal on the bottom of your boat will get eaten away.
- When diving a hull, it is necessary to check the zincs which are attached to the prop, shaft or anything metal at the bottom of the boat. The reason is so the important metals do not get eaten up. By attaching a zinc, the zinc gets eaten up instead of the metal.
As you go South down the Atlantic coast, the species of marine and plant life that cause fouling become less dependent on seasonal circumstances. For example, in Florida barnacles have breeding cycles that remain consistent all year long. Therefore, in more tropical waters fouling remains at a consistent rate through the seasons. This means it is recommended to have your hull cleaned monthly as opposed to every other month.
Reduction in Speed
Fouling causes reduction of speed, increased cost in fuel, and losses in time and money applying necessary remedial measures. The greater the fouling accumulates also results in the more abrasive tools required cleaning your hull. To maximize the life of your anti-fouling paint, and to avoid frictional resistance, a boat owner should have there hull cleaned on a monthly schedule.
Get your boat Swift Marine clean with our hull cleaning services. Request your FREE quote today!