I have to address safety here first:
***Swimming Safety – Never allow swimming near the boat, marina, or launching ramp. Residual current could flow into the water from the boat, or the marina’s wiring, potentially putting anyone in the water at risk of Electric Shock Drowning.
Keep your Bottom Clean
The hull of a boat left in water over time accumulates all kinds of algae, marine life, and other organisms that attach to the bottom of the boat. This growth increases the fuel consumption of the vessel, by causing frictional resistance and increasing the weight of the vessel significantly which causes strain on the engines. Fuel economy is undoubtedly one of the major reasons for hull upkeep; a lightly coated hull of a boat could increase its fuel costs by up to 15-20%. A smooth clean hull is essential to assuring optimal performance of the boat and maximum fuel economy. No wonder the demand for hull cleaning is high among boat owners, they’d much rather be able to cruise along listening to their boat stereo in peace instead of going slow and wasting fuel.
Algae pave the way for adherence of other organisms. The general term for organism on a boat hull is fouling. Fouling makes boats drag, use more fuel and harder to maneuver. Invasive organisms spread by hitching a ride on the underside of a boat.
The boats coating is the main barrier between the metal surface and the corrosive environment that ships are regularly exposed to. Coatings can deteriorate over time due to corrosion caused by oxygen, temperature, pH, and other factors. If left undiscovered early on, unprotected areas of the hull could potentially develop into more substantial damage. There is no such thing as a perfect coating – tiny and unavoidable surface contaminants such as water, oil, or dust in the application process can cause imperfections that later lead to coating deterioration. Additionally, coating degradation can be caused by operating conditions or environmental factors. Thicker coatings have a greater chance of preventing water, ions, and oxygen from reaching the steel. However, overly thick coatings can show signs of cracking early on.
Hull Coating Condition Assessment
- Calcareous Deposits
- Cissing / Fisheye
- Orange Peel
Hull inspections help ensure vessels maintain safe and effective operation by checking for hull defects or damage that may be present. If left undiscovered early on, hull defects could potentially further deteriorate and develop into more substantial damage.
Threats to Hull Integrity
Boats hulls can sustain damage in several ways – the most apparent being direct impacts with foreign objects. Such impacts could include collisions with other structures, or grounding on the waters bottom, for example. Impacts cause immediate damage and should be inspected as soon as possible to avoid catastrophic outcomes later on.
Dock Cable Maintenance
__________ Check cables for frayed or worn areas.
__________ Check cables attachment points.
__________ Check Deadman – cables shall not be attached to trees.
__________ Check stiff arms and associated attachment hardware.
Cable replacement depends on a visual inspection of the cables to help determine when to replace them.
Strong indicators that the dock cable needs to be replaced:
- Excessive broken strands:
- Deformities and
- Areas of heavy corrosion.