Bigdamdork

Barnacle Removal

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone.   Hopefully this is a quick question/answer.  I recently purchased a 1985 Schock 35 and have been working on it a bit.  The boat is in really good shape overall it just needs some maintenance done.  I was out last weekend scraping the hull for the first time (it's on a mooring) and DAMN if that wasn't hard work....just saying.  That aside, I have some barnacles on the bottom of the boat.  Mostly around the rudder and few here and there.   Probably 12 or so. 

I tried to scrape them off with a 4" steel scraper I was using and I couldn't get them to pop off.   The bottom paint is due in August so I'm going to put her on the hard then.

So my question is should I just leave them alone for few more months and deal with on the hard?  Should I get more aggressive with getting them off?  I have read you can pull paint off when dislodging them. I have also heard if you don't dislodge them they can eat into the substructure.  The previous owner didn't do a lot of bottom maintenance so I have a feeling they have been there for a while.....but again....only 10-12 of them.

Any suggestions?   Thanks! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should knock off fairly easy, providing everything is still wet.  Once dry, then very difficult to remove.  

The husk (or base) is a different matter, but even those can be knocked off with some effort.  Wouldn't think of doing it with a bottom covered in them, but a dozen husks shouldn't take too long.  Can't recall if I used a chisel.  It was a long time ago - almost 10 years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These have always worked for me - must be sharp though so keep a file at hand.

image.png.997c4251a6ae0529232ae554ee017a3e.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deal with them on the hard.  Get it pressure washed with a turbo nozzle first(rotary narrow spray).  Follow up with a proper carbide scraper.  For a 35' I'd buy 3 replacement blades(gives you 6 edges) and a sheet of 800 grit wet n dry paper. Use it wet on a bit of glass and you can sharpen the blades 2-3 times quickly, and one handle.  2" width, flat blade.  Hit the corners with a quick swipe over a bit of 220 grit so you knock a tiny bit off just the corners to prevent dig ins.  Don't get the one with the knob on top of the blade, curl your fingers around the blade area with one hand, and guide the angle with the other at the back of the handle.  It is almost like you're scraping with your fingertips.   Done properly you can peel a  decade of paint in one pass without messing up the gelcoat in the slightest.    Often faster than sanding or grinding, unless a previous owner is an ass and put hard over ablative.  Took almost two weeks to scrape a 60' powerboat that did that once.   The thicker the paint, the less width you take per pass, but always take a full to the gelcoat scrape each pass, moving slowly forward.  Usually about 1/4" per pass, starting from the waterline down.    For just barncles the same principle but just skim over the surface.    Soft metal scrapers don't provide the fracturing action as easily and wear too quickly for consistent bite. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cruise in the Eastern Carib and some anchorages are notorious for barnacles. Unfortunately one of my favorites has barnacles. To keep on top of the problem I use an 8 inch wide scraper mounted on a 8 ft pole. Working from the surface wearing snorkel gear I can do both sides of my 44 ft monohull in an hour. I need to do this every month or so. Removing the barnacles when they are small is good. The small white foot that remains can be pressure washed off. Let the barnacle grow and it had to be chiseled off.

I am not sure if this is universal but this year I did have a healthy crop of larger barnacles when it came around to haulout it was noticeable that the white feet were easier to remove after 5 days out of the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take your boat up a fresh water creek and leave it there for a week or so and that will kill barnacles and other salt water buggers. Easier to scrap after that and keeps the ones you don't get around to scraping from growing to the point that they are really tough to get off when you haul. Kills boring worms (teredos) on wooden boats too!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now