Regardless of the kind of vessel you run, a clean hull is imperative. Whether under full sail or full throttle, performance and speed are lost on hull crustaceans and barnacles. Even moderate algae buildup will impact your performance.
Optimum performance is always a good thing, regardless of efficiency. Keeping clean your hull, foils and running gear makes for a much better time on the open water and is much easier on the wallet. Even light build up on a propeller will have a profound effect on a boat’s performance. But there’s only so much anti-fouling paint can do.
A huge difference is seen when you burnish and shine all underwater metal before each season. The smoother each component is, the longer they will remain buildup-free. But don’t scrub ablative paint underwater. This is because not only are modern bottom paints effective for keeping fouling away but you may also face serious fines if caught. This is because scrubbing ablative releases a high concentration of toxic material and underwater bottom paint cleaning probably against your local laws.
Once your hull is clean, keep in mind it won’t stay that way very long. Spend some time under the boat with a mask every couple of weeks to give a quick sponging to free any slime. If you stay on top of this, this should be all that’s required throughout the season. Tools required include nothing more than a light-duty 3M pad or sponge.
Staying on top of your cleaning maintenance not only improves your performance cutting through the water and your gas efficiency, but also your boat’s cosmetic appearance about the water line. And cleaning your hull regularly with a sponge is much easier than having to scrape with putty or scraping knife.