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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Removing Marine Growth, Boating Tip #362

Contrary to prevailing perceptions, boat maintenance does occasionally occur aboard S/V Blondie-Dog. Not always mind you but occasionally.

Tip number 362 from the compilation of suggestions from fellow livaboard sailors, "Why Didn't I Think of That", John & Susan Rogers... suggests removing marine growth from the bottom of the dinghy by turning it over and spraying undiluted bleach over the marine growth.

The tip then goes on to explain that the grass will turn brown after a few minutes and it along with the algae can then be readily scraped off with a plastic spatula and flushed away with water.

Well I certainly can attest to the fact that this tip does indeed work. It had been a good two months or so since I had last cleaned the bottom of my dinghy and it was now sporting a thick three inch growth of grass.

Also clinging onto the bottom of my dinghy for dear life were numerous tiny little barnacles as well. These little critters have a hard shell and most certainly need to be dispensed with before they can do any damage to the Hypalon-coated fabric. So these too must be summarily scraped off and dispensed with.

So after removing the oars, life jacket, tote box, and lastly the outboard motor, I flipped the inflatable upside down and proceeded to spray the heck out of all the unwelcomed marine growth... and as that crud started to turn brown I could faintly hear it all collectively screaming and writhing in pain as the bleach inflicted its vengeance.

You'd think that I'd have felt a little compassion for all that marine growth writhing in pain but I didn't. I'm convinced that this is the same stuff that if left untamed, will grow into the tall killer weeds that I once saw in a horror movie as a little kid.

Those tall weeds would snatch unsuspecting passersbys and proceed to eat them. I was certainly freaked out by that movie and have been haunted by it ever since. So no... I felt no compassion towards that unwelcomed marine growth growing on the bottom of my dinghy.

It occurs to me that removing marine growth from the bottom of one's boat is somewhat comparable to mowing the grass in one's lawn... they're both necessary yet laborious chores.

So there you have it. Boating tip number 362 put to good use.

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