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Underwater hull cleaning

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 10 ✭✭✭ miniture22


    I'm thinking of starting an underwater hull cleaning business for people who want it done regularly to extend the life of their bottom paint, is there much interest in this kind of service. It would be a proper registered business with insurance and properly trained divers, My idea is primarily for leisure craft and maybe charters. And would offer everything from inspections to cleaning below the waterline porp cleaning and polishing and anode replacement to a full valet of the entire boat. I have contacted the HSA to clear up a few points and am awaiting a reply. I would have public liability insurance and employer liability insurance. I would charge per foot depending on the service. I would also provide information on what product I have available to use or the owner could supply the products they prefer. I have a list of the benefits of regular cleaning as well as the best management practices for divers doing this kind of work to minimise paint erosion and environmental impacts. I am will to work out deals and packages for what best suits each person based on what they use the boat for.

    It is still in the research stages and if I have left anything out or you have any questions feel free ask. Any advice or recommendations or criticism (be gentle) is welcome.


Comments



  • I don't think you will be allowed to clean antifoul while the boat is in the water as it's bad for the environment. https://invasivespeciesireland.com/biosecurity/water-users/antifouling/




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  • It depends on the type of anti fouling used. I'm planning on having a form that gets filled out with information about the vessel including the types of anti fouling used on it and the level of fouling. If the fouling is bad and it hasn't been used or painted in the last year I'd recommend a haul out anyway. This isn't an alternative to hauling put your boat it's more for saving on fuel efficiency and prolonging bottom paint life.

    If your boat is cleaned regularly and the fouling doesn't build up too much you can clean the fouling off without taking off the anti foul paint with soft pads and cloths even a chainmail glove. I have contacted the HSA about all that too because The idea of ablative anti fouling is that it comes off from the force of the moving water anyway to prevent growth building up.




  • Also as for invasive marine life it wouldn't be much of an issue for local boats however heavy growth will be taken off and bagged and removed from the water.




  • There certainly were (are?) a few hobby drivers doing this, probably for a few quid cash in hand. It is hard to see someone making a living cleaning the bottom of leisure craft, unless it is just one part of a bigger service. As Fergal pointed out there are now many rules and regulations, and they are for modern low toxic copper based antifoul paint. Another issue is your 'standard' antifoul is designed to dissolve slowly in water and be repainted every year or so. When you start rubbing it a lot of the paint is removed, so only so much cleaning can be done before the boat needs to be lifted and repainted anyway. Lifting, cleaning and reantifouling is a dirty job, there are fellows with more money than time (sense), who will pay for it to be done for them.

    In saying that many racing yachts will be cleaned several times during the year (season), these would be nice easy jobs to get. They may also be using 'CopperCoat', which is basically a two part epoxy with a fine copper powder mixed in. It is designed to last up to ~10 years, so no issues with it coming off in clouds when rubbed. Companies are charging big money to Copper Coat a boat, but the reality is a competent DIYer can do just as good a job. It maybe an area to look into. There are several youtube videos of people putting it on yachts.




  • How will you ensure driver safety while at the same time allowing other boat owners use of their boats in a Marina?


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  • Tow wrote: »
    There certainly were (are?) a few hobby drivers doing this, probably for a few quid cash in hand. It is hard to see someone making a living cleaning the bottom of leisure craft, unless it is just one part of a bigger service. As Fergal pointed out there are now many rules and regulations, and they are for modern low toxic copper based antifoul paint. Another issue is your 'standard' antifoul is designed to dissolve slowly in water and be repainted every year or so. When you start rubbing it a lot of the paint is removed, so only so much cleaning can be done before the boat needs to be lifted and repainted anyway. Lifting, cleaning and reantifouling is a dirty job, there are fellows with more money than time (sense), who will pay for it to be done for them.

    In saying that many racing yachts will be cleaned several times during the year (season), these would be nice easy jobs to get. They may also be using 'CopperCoat', which is basically a two part epoxy with a fine copper powder mixed in. It is designed to last up to ~10 years, so no issues with it coming off in clouds when rubbed. Companies are charging big money to Copper Coat a boat, but the reality is a competent DIYer can do just as good a job. It maybe an area to look into. There are several youtube videos of people putting it on yachts.


    Thanks for the reply. I've heard from a few people who claim they make good money off it but they never seem to be diving so I take what they say with a grain of salt. Either they are very quiet about when and where they do it or else they charge a small fortune per boat.

    As for cleaning itself I'd also try to offer other services once I can sort proper training for the likes of propeller changes and installations and other underwater maintenance. I would also offer a full boat valet including cleaning the deck and windows and surfaces ect

    Racing yachts are on my list of options I just haven't got around to making contact with people yet.

    As for making a living out of it it wouldn't be a great living at the start probably at best a handy part time bit of extra cash but there would be a lot of room for expansion if I was to travell the country to accommodate customers.




  • Pkiernan wrote: »
    How will you ensure driver safety while at the same time allowing other boat owners use of their boats in a Marina?

    I am waiting on the has a to get back to me about the particulars but as it stands I'm thinking a diver below flag and bouys near the boat that's being worked on. I believe I have to have a dive supervisor out of the water aswell so I was thinking a dive buddy alert watch would be handy for incoming boats to let the diver know there's a boat coming. If it was berthing next to the customers boat I'd either have the diver exit the water untill it's safe to start again or else have them move to a safe location underwater and then go back to work once it's safe. Again the hsa could come back to me and tell me the whole thing is a no go so I'll have to wait and see.




  • You might be better off setting up a good valeting company. Most marinas and boatyards aren't bothered doing that sort of work. I'm talking high end washing/cleaning, compounding, polishing, stain removal, waxing, teak cleaning. A full valeting service to a high standard. You'd need to get in with a few marinas/yards and work with them.
    Something like these guys... http://www.nanotechmarine.com/ or this http://www.marinecleanvaleting.co.uk/
    People with nice boats rarely have the time to clean them.




  • Donie75 wrote: »
    You might be better off setting up a good valeting company. Most marinas and boatyards aren't bothered doing that sort of work. I'm talking high end washing/cleaning, compounding, polishing, stain removal, waxing, teak cleaning. A full valeting service to a high standard. You'd need to get in with a few marinas/yards and work with them.
    Something like these guys... http://www.nanotechmarine.com/ or this http://www.marinecleanvaleting.co.uk/
    People with nice boats rarely have the time to clean them.



    Thanks for the tip. I was thinking of something like this aswell the bottom cleaning would only be one service and I would ideally be getting more full valets. What does it normally cost to haul out your boat to give it a proper clean could someone tell me??




  • As far as I know if you intend to have a chargeable service you will need a commercial diving certificate for all parties involved in the business. I'm a recreational Diver and a few years ago was asking about this very thing from a guy I know who dives commercially and has a dive centre for Rec. diving. Just as one thing to enquire about as I can't say for certain.


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  • mulbot wrote: »
    As far as I know if you intend to have a chargeable service you will need a commercial diving certificate for all parties involved in the business. I'm a recreational Diver and a few years ago was asking about this very thing from a guy I know who dives commercially and has a dive centre for Rec. diving. Just as one thing to enquire about as I can't say for certain.

    Ya I've been looking into that with the HSA waiting on a reply, if you're only diving a few feet I'm not sure if it you can get away with rescue diver or divemaster instead of commercial but I'm waiting for clarification. I'm a rec diver myself I am planning on having my divemaster done by the end of summer,

    Anyone I've heard of who does it does is on the side and are all rec divers. If you were looking to do bigger ships using ROVS then it definitely needs a commercial qualification




  • miniture22 wrote: »
    Ya I've been looking into that with the HSA waiting on a reply, if you're only diving a few feet I'm not sure if it you can get away with rescue diver or divemaster instead of commercial but I'm waiting for clarification. I'm a rec diver myself I am planning on having my divemaster done by the end of summer,

    Anyone I've heard of who does it does is on the side and are all rec divers. If you were looking to do bigger ships using ROVS then it definitely needs a commercial qualification

    Another thi g to think about is how your Dive insurance. If you're performing what's definitely not recreational diving, then you would most likely need to be covered for commercial diving.




  • mulbot wrote: »
    Another thi g to think about is how your Dive insurance. If you're performing what's definitely not recreational diving, then you would most likely need to be covered for commercial diving.

    I'm waiting in the HSA for that because your not diving very deep im hoping advance or rescue diver would be sufficient I'm aiming to be a dive master by the end of the year. If you need a commercial diving qualification that's a different story then a commercial diving course is about 5 grand so that would require a complete rethink of finances.




  • miniture22 wrote: »
    I'm waiting in the HSA for that because your not diving very deep im hoping advance or rescue diver would be sufficient I'm aiming to be a dive master by the end of the year. If you need a commercial diving qualification that's a different story then a commercial diving course is about 5 grand so that would require a complete rethink of finances.

    You should probably contact your actual dive insurance provider for clarification, more than likely the HSA won't have a clue and if you did have an accident it's not the HSA who you will contact, it'll be the insurance provider.




  • mulbot wrote: »
    You should probably contact your actual dive insurance provider for clarification, more than likely the HSA won't have a clue and if you did have an accident it's not the HSA who you will contact, it'll be the insurance provider.

    I've got a quote for public and employer liability insurance for divers and I'm waiting to hear back from my own dive insurance.

    From what I've worked out so far I'd want to be cleaning 11 or 12 boats a week and ideally have 92 boats signed up for a year long scheduled clean every 2 to 3 months. It could save a boat owner the bones of 3000 over 10 years not including the 10-15% fuel savings you would get from having a clean smooth hull and prop,

    Could anyone give me a ball park figure on yearly fuel costs for a leisure craft ??


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