Monday, August 13, 2012


As I mentioned I was away from the boat for over a month thanks to some freelance work that came my way. It will certainly help pay some of the boat expenses. Unfortunately, it was in the wicked city of Washington DC two hundred and fifty miles away from the boat and so I was not able check on the boat. I was expecting the worse and hoping for the best when I finally returned. I was hoping that I would not greeted by a sail cover full of bird poo like I was last fall after being away for three weeks. I had deliberately kept the lines securing the boom a little loose hoping that it's movement would discourage the birds from landing there for long. This plan seemed to work or maybe I was just lucky.

The other area of the boat I expected to have to clean was the prop. Unfortunately, this had met my expectations for a mess. I don't paint my prop with any anti fouling coating as I try to keep metallic interactions to a minimum. I also don't mind diving down below to clean the prop with a paint scrapper on occasion. As you can see in this video below the sponges and barnacles can grow pretty rapidly on a prop that has not turned in over a month. Even a small blackfish seems to like hanging out there. Interesting that the two zinc are relatively clean:

After seeing the job that awaited me I decided to see if I could minimize the cleaning and scrapping I would need to do by using the torque of my electric propulsion system to knock off what marine growth I could. Turning the prop with an EP system for this function is a lot easier than with a diesel engine. One of the nice benefits of electric propulsion is there is no need to warm an EP system up. You just turn the key and run the  throttle back and forth for under a minute. It's not really healthy to turn fire up a diesel and  turn it on and off for such a short time. Electric Propulsion does not care if you just need it for a short burst of power to clear the prop. The video below shows how  my little forward and reverse propulsion routine cleaned away a lot of the marine growth:

I still had to dive down and clean some of the barnacles of with my handy dandy five in one paint scrapper tool. The video below shows what it looked like after a quick cleaning:

Much better but, I found the blade on my scraper blade was a little wobbly due to rust finally having it's way. So it looks like it's time to replace it with a new one.

Perhaps one made from stainless steel next time. So it won't rust out and I can scrap the prop blades with a little more force next time.

No comments: