Tips for a Healthy Hull

By Anne Arundel Dive Services

1. While your boat is out and getting painted, put an extra 1 or 2 coats (1' wide) at the waterline. This is where paint wears the fastest, especially ablative paint.  

2. While your boat is out, use some kind of antifouling on your running gear (prop, shaft, trims, bow thruster, any underwater metal surfaces). 

This is especially important with IOs (inboard/outboards) whose tiny intakes get clogged fast with this Chesapeake algae.

My preference is PropSpeed, but any zinc paint or antifouling paint should work fine. Important note, let any service provider (diver or otherwise) know your props have been treated and to use your hand first to try to clean. Always use the least aggressive method in which to clean. 

3. If these symptoms occur, call a diver: Higher RPMs to get to speed or no movement, engine overheat, HVAC (CruisAir) not dispensing water, rudder is not responding (difficult turning/reversing), racing sailboat coming in 8th place instead of 1st (slimy, slow hull), lower fuel efficiency (more time spent at the fuel dock than enjoying your boat)

4. Always replace your zincs before launching the boat. Regardless of how good they still look, it's a good idea to baseline your zincs. They have a tendency to wear unevenly. Uneven wear on a shaft zinc can cause vibration at certain RPMs. Finally, have a diver check your zincs a couple times each season to make sure they haven't been eaten by stray current.