Boat Journal

Chronicling a love affair with sailing

Month: May 2013

Barnacles!!

Argh!! The bane of my existence.

So, when I first bought the boat, I found that the previous owner had painted the prop with the same stuff used on the bottom. And it worked pretty good. The boat had hard paint on it and the hard paint was keeping the prop cleaned as well.

The first couple of years I had the boat, I used the same paint, and I did the same thing with the prop. But I am not a hard core racer, and I don’t play one on TV even. So the marina owner suggested that I might want to switch to ablative paint. That way, I could just slap it on and go, rather than going through all the prep process. So I did. He also suggested using PropSpeed┬áto prevent barnacle growth on the prop. I did that as well.

PropSpeed is a pain in the patootie. It’s a two part application, and part two has to be applied immediately after applying part one. So it takes two people to do it.

So what happens when I pull the boat out in the fall? Well, the prop is full of barnacles. So much for PropSpeed. And at $250 (at the time – price is up another $50 now), that was a very expensive experiment. Mind you, I still have enough around for a second application. And there are still alot of people I’ve met who swear by it. So maybe I just didn’t get it on correctly.

But I moved onto the next suggestion: Barnacle Barrier. It’s much easier to apply. You just spray it on. But I pulled the boat and, again, the prop was filled with barnacles. Mind you, they were easier to scrape off from the prop. But the prop was still covered in Zinc, the main ingredient in the spray, and covered with barnacles as well.

Barnacled Prop

Again, there are plenty of people who swear by the stuff. But with this, I can’t see how I could have applied it wrong.

Lately, members of the CAL mailing list have been touting the use of Lanocote for preventing barnacle growth. The literature says that it only works for 6 montsh. But I could be happy with that. It can also be applied underwater. So, if it isn’t working as long or well as expected, whoever is diving the boat can apply some more.

I’ve applied this to the prop and to the knotmeter paddlewheel. The latter may not be a good test, since it’s plastic, not metal. But it can be used as my canary in the mine: if the knotmeter isn’t working, it means the paddlewheel is covered in barnacles. So we’ll see how well it works.

It does apply pretty easily. The directions say to heat the metal to apply easily. I heated the substance, which melted under a blowdryer pretty well. I could then paint it onto the prop. Since I really couldn’t heat the paddlewheel easily, this allowed me to apply the Lanocote to the paddlewheel fairly easily as well.

Applying Lanacote Applying Lanacote

I’ll try to update here to let everyone know how well it works.

Dunking

So, I was moving the boat over by myself last Friday so it could be hauled out for painting and other seasonal maintenance. There was a bit of a breeze, but nothing heavy. I had a line ready at the bow and beside me in the cockpit. There was enough of a breeze that the bow came in first, rather than my sidling up to the dock, so I went forward, grabbed the line, jumped to the dock. I tied on the forward line. By then, the aft portion of the boat had started to slip away, so I pulled on the lifelines, got hold of a stanchion forward, and started trying to turn the boat so I could grab the aft line and tie it off. The anchor got in the way, so I was pushing the bout out a bit to get the anchor positioned better. Well, me and the wind pushed it a bit more than I hoped and I found myself in a precarious position.

Don’t you love it when things start moving slow motion? Well, in those precious seconds, I was able to hold onto the lifelines as the boat slipped away from the dock. Unfortunately, I don’t have alot of upper body strength, so I let go and plunged into the water.

Luckily, the water was a nice temperature. Also luckily, there were no jellyfish and I was only 30 or 40 feet from the boat ramp. So I swam over and let myself out. I walked to the boat lift and grabbed one of their boat hooks (which I should have done in the first place). I pulled the boat over and tied up the rear. I went home and took a shower.

That afternoon, I started to hurt. I apparently hit a rib pretty hard, because there’s a big bruise on my back, but it mostly hurts in the front. Nope, I never did get checked out by the doctor. And there was still the work to do that I was hauling the boat out for in the first place.

So mornings I worked for a few hours, until it started to hurt. Then I’d take a break, go home, get some more good drugs, then go back and work a few more hours. Luckily, Erik and Wendy gave me a hand so I could avoid alot of the heavier stuff.

Now it’s all done. The boat is back in the water. I can recuperate.

What did I do right? I knew the marina well enough to know the closest place to get out of the water.

What did I do wrong? I should have waited until I knew there were people around, in case something went wrong. I should have backed the boat up and pulled up so the rear was closest to the dock, the way the wind was blowing. I should have taken a boat hook off with me to pull the boat in to tie it off.

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