Bottom Cleaning

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2011 • all rights reserved

You don’t want the bottom of your boat to look like this.  Trust me.  It’s slow, the engine overheats, and your depthsounder won’t give accurate readings.

But if you’re cruising in out-of-the-way places, there may not be a diver to clean it for you.  Or you may prefer to spend your money on other things.  For whatever reason, someday you may have to clean the bottom yourself.

I wrote this article for Cruising World, which published it as “Scrubbing Up, In the Water” in Septemer 2006.  While it’s not directly related to the galley and hence a little off-topic for The Boat Galley, I’m hoping you’ll still find it useful.  Don’t make the same mistakes we did!

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  1. Charlotte on Facebook says:

    Excellent article. Thanks.

  2. Cherielynne on Facebook says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Paul — Good idea, you could probably also take a file to the corners.

  4. Great article! Thanks!

  5. Allan Cobb on Facebook says:

    I’ve found these to be great from cleaning the prop and shaft. I find them with plastic handles for around $5 and they are good for one or two uses. It is handing having two tools in one.

  6. I’m fortunate that my husband loves doing the bottom cleaning, we’ve never used a diver. He also swears by the kind of combo scraper brushes that Allan Cobb recommends in his post, we usually get ours at Harbor Freight.

  7. Off topic? I would say that what goes on in the galley has everything to do with bottom cleaning!

  8. I use a soft(ish) inside broom head attached to a 20mm conduit with a pool noodle (with hole through the centre) slipped over the conduit & a zip tie wrapped about 3 times around the conduit as a stopper so the pool noodle stays down towards the broom head. In storage it’s best to have the conduit permanently bent into a curve – this will get you further under the hull, following the curve of the hull. From the dock, or dinghy, work the broom down & up on the hull. The pool noodle pushes the broom head up towards the hull so the only force is to push it down into the water & allow it to float back up. You also “Balance” the rig to get it all “moving” along the hull. The closer to the water you get, the further under the boat you can get. I’ve done the rudder & keel (30′ er) but it gets much harder to direct it the further down the head gets. At the least, you should get almost to the keel done, the main bulk of it, and then finish off with scuba or hookah!

  9. 18″ but twice the number of hulls.

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