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Old 09-14-2020, 01:25 AM   #1
zeitgeist's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Home Port: Santa Barbara
Vessel Name: Baby Steps
Posts: 36
Default Liveaboard not sailing: clean hull solutions?

I live aboard my Catalina 270LE. I have a mini fridge and a pretty impressive collection of liquor bottles, letís call it 50 or so. I am not going sailing anytime soon. This is more of a home than a boat at this point. I am working and going to school, and plan to be here for at least the next 3 to 5 years, and potentially 8 to 10 years.

So my question is, is there a way for me to avoid bottom cleaning and pulling the vessel out for anti-fouling every couple years? I was looking for solutions, and I found Fab Dock, which is a company out of Australia. they sell a inflatable swimming pool Type thing that goes around your vessel, then a pump pumps all the water out.

I thought this might be good, itís except for the fact that I use the sink regularly, so Iíd be putting water down the through hole. I also thought about pulling her out and putting on CopperKote, then just leaving it and not doing any regular bottom cleaning. Would I be able to haul it out after eight years, and just Power wash and grind the barnacles off the Copper coat?

Interested if anyone has any ideas or thoughts. Basically what can I do to my hull or have a solution where I donít have to deal with it for potentially up to 10 years. I am mostly just concerned about blisters or damaging/reducing the life of the hull, not concerned with sailing performance or anything like that.

FabDock? CopperKote? Something else?

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Old 09-16-2020, 05:13 PM   #2
Auzzee's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,917

Hi, keeping the boat on a fixed mooring or at a dock is Christmastime for marine growth. Typically, you could keep it there for years without hauling it providing you get a local diver with a good supply of scouring pads to dive on the hull once each year. It's a small hull and would cost very little....and you could have a drink or two during the process.

Alternatively, you could keep your eye out for a second hand tank and regulator and spend an hour doing it yourself every season for no more than the cost of a tank recharge. Using Coppercote and products of a similar style is a good idea but you will still need to have someone go down with some wet and dry emery paper periodically to bring out the copper to keep it working. That will take almost as long as the diver cleaning routine...and applying Coppercote is a demanding and expensive process when you factor in all that is required, including the cost of hardstanding.

The FabDock bags are a fair compromise, but, unless they are carefully looked after they can develop a stink, and unless the bag is in absolutely solid contact with all parts of the hull, growth will still occur. I believe that after a few seasons, your neighbours might not be very happy with you.

The last alternative is to buy a good long handled brush to keep the waterline free of weed. It can be done while you are standing on the deck and, as long as you keep the top 6" clean, the beards growing below may not be such a bad thing to remove when you eventually decide to go sailing.

In essence, nothing deteriorates a boat so quickly as leaving it sit on a mooring for years at a time. No matter how rarely they are used they continue to require a lot of maintenance and having a thorough maintenance schedule, and following it, is the only way to keep the boat's value from hitting the toilet.

If you are going to keep the boat there for 10 years, you need to haul it soon, clean it, check it for osmosis, fix that if necessary, then apply a barrier coat and antifouling and than put into place the aforementioned schedule of regular maintenance.

Best of luck!
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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