Nov 25, 2019

Underwater Boat Cleaning vs. Haul Outs

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Yacht Hull Cleaning: Underwater Boat Cleaning vs. Haul Outs

As your boat stays in the water, its hull will inevitably be covered with barnacles, microorganisms, and other types of organic buildup. The longer you allow this marine growth to accumulate onto your boat’s bottom, the slower your vessel will be in the water. Avoid that and other negative impacts on your vessel’s overall health by regularly scheduling boat bottom cleaning sessions – whether that’s in the water or out of it.

There are several benefits of boat bottom cleaning services performed regularly. If you are a yacht owner or captain, you have two choices when it comes to getting rid of the marine growth build up clinging onto your hull – scheduling underwater boat cleaning or hauling out your boat for a complete cleaning and polish.

At Yacht Management South Florida, Inc., we offer both options! Our certified yacht maintenance technicians offer both boat cleaning diver services as part of our dockside services package and out-of-the-water boat hull cleaning at our Fort Lauderdale marina and full-service boatyard. With our monthly maintenance programs, we can provide you complete yacht care.


When To Schedule Boat Cleaning Diver Services

You should schedule underwater hull cleaning every two to three months. The frequency of diving sessions depends on how much you use your boat and where it is docked. A yacht that you take out of the harbor often will need its hull cleaned more frequently. Still, a vessel that mostly remains docked will still experience hull build up and should be cleaned periodically.


How to Clean a Boat Bottom in The Water

Cleaning the bottom of a boat in the water does not require a haul-out so it is less of a time commitment. However, there are certain conditions and specific equipment that is needed to get the job done. Luckily, if you schedule our dockside mobile marine services, our certified divers and technicians will bring all the necessary diving gear, cleaning products, and tools directly to where your boat is docked.


The typical underwater hull cleaning process:

1. Wait for good weather. Divers will go to your boat in the daylight when the weather forecast is stable because dark and choppy waters are unfavorable working conditions for hull cleaning.

2. Gather all equipment. All diving equipment, marine-grade cleaners, and cleaning tools will be heaped onto the nearest dock. Common tools include:

  • Scuba gear
  • Electric hookah diving systems
  • Underwater flashlights
  • Scrapers
  • Brushes
  • Rotating brushes
  • Marine-grade cleaners
  • High-pressure water blasting kits

3. Turn off the electricity. Electricity on the boat should be turned off including lights, radio, and any dock connections. This is for safety reasons.

4. Gently clean waterline. Divers will start cleaning the waterline with a soft brush or chemical cleaner so as not to damage the underlying layer of marine paint or gelcoat paint.

5. Brush lower sections of the hull. Depending on the type of paint, how old the paint is, and how much marine growth has built up, divers will either use gentle methods or more aggressive techniques and products to clean the bottom half of the hull including the propellers.

6. Zinc replacement. Divers will typically replace the zinc attached to the boat. This sacrificial zinc help slow down the rate of marine growth on a hull.


When to Schedule a Haul Out

Yachts should schedule a yard period and haul out at least once a year. Even with regular underwater boat cleaning, barnacle growth can become harder and harder to brush off. Additionally, the cycle of marine growth and in-water cleaning does weaken the paint on your boat’s hull. Making sure your hull has a healthy layer of anti-fouling paint on it is important to ensure slower rates of build-up. Inevitably, the layer of marine growth will become too thick and the layer of paint will become too delicate. That’s when a haul out and yard period is required.


Why Choose Yacht Management South Florida, Inc.

Looking for dockside or yard services such as top-rated boat cleaning diver services, boat bottom painting, major yacht refurbishment, and yacht refits in Florida? Look no further than Yacht Management South Florida, Inc. We are the premier source for boat maintenance and yacht management in Fort Lauderdale, the yachting capital of the world.

Whether you are living on a yacht or use your yacht seasonally, our yacht managers and technicians can develop effective maintenance programs and deliver comprehensive management for your vessel. Contact us today to learn more about the extensive services we offer at our South Florida marina and full-service boatyard!

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