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Barnacle removal

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  • Barnacle removal

    Ok, I have about a billion barnacle pads to remove from the bottom of my boat. I understand that the pads are comprised of barnacle glue attached to the boat and on top of that a disk of calcium carbonate from the shell of the critter. My plan is to chemically deteriorate the calcium carbonate with muriatic acid or Snobowl toilet cleaner and scrape with plastic paint scrapers. Both chems are reported to do a great job from my web research. Also, gelcoat is SUPPOSED to be impervious to the effects of both of those two cleaners.After the chemical/scrape work I plan to use wet/dry paper 400, 600, 1000 and then buff/polish with a white cream like Dupont's 7 or something similar.Am I on the right track? Any suggestions?Has anyone ACTUALLY had a bad experience with muriatic acid or Snobowl on gelcoat?

  • #2
    Re: Barnacle removal

    start sanding


    • #3
      Re: Barnacle removal

      After you get outa the emergency room from tennis elbow you will be painting the bottom of the boat with a copper based bottom PAINT correct?


      • #4
        Re: Barnacle removal

        Originally posted by Realgun: After you get outa the emergency room from tennis elbow you will be painting the bottom of the boat with a copper based bottom PAINT correct?
        And the answer is....NO! I just bot the boat. From now on it will not stay in the water.


        • #5
          Re: Barnacle removal

          Muriatic acid is a common ingredient in most agressive boat cleaners. While useful, it may not remove the growth as fast as you had hoped. Even with my freshwater boat, the scum algae growth line proved to be a challenge for muriatic acid.I would not expect any issues with the gelcoat from the acid. Just don't leave it exposed longer than recommended by the manufacturer. For your trailered boat, you'll be polishing the hull afterwards anyways. Any dulling effect the acid has, can be polished out.Wear protective equipment when handling the acid. Eyes & exposed skin need to be covered.
          '86 SeaRay Seville 195BR c/w Mercruiser 170
          '72 Glastron GT160 & 1985 Merc 150HP V6 Outboard
          Project Status: http://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...lastron-gt160
          The Merc Nut


          • #6
            Re: Barnacle removal

            I used to remove barnacles as a prep for bottom paint for a summer job at the Siesta Key Marina as a college student. First we pressure washed the slime off. If the barnacles were big we knocked them down with a long handled scraper kinda like a flattened hoe. Then we switched to a small hand held scraper. You can go a log way toward removing most of the barnacles with one of those wooden handled scrapers with the curved scraping blade on the end. Keep it sharp and use care not to gouge. Muriatic (hydrochloric) acid won't hurt the gelcoat but wear goggles and gloves for splatter protection. It might help to remove the bits you missed with the scraper. Finish with wet sand paper. Elbow grease is king but anything that reduces the work might help.Did the boat have any bottom paint on it? If it did you should be aware that the muriatic acid is going to leach out copper and stuff from the old bottom paint so be careful where the drainage goes.


            • #7
              Re: Barnacle removal

              First get all the slime and grim off with the highest pressure washer you can get. Last one I helped do I swore never again, I had burn spots on my arms from the acid. Use extreme caution, one drop in your eye and your can wear a black patch over the blind eye.Give the barnacles time to die, spray with purple stuff, or like product with a pump up sprayer, [muriatic does not clean], let it set a while them blast off the slime leaving "clean barnacles". Use the pump up sprayer to drown the barnacles with muriatic acid if that is what you decide to use, you will see the chemical reaction with the calcium, it will start foaming, as soon as it stops blast it off and start over again.Just be careful using anything with a metal blade to keep from gouging like jimd said above.When we finished we had a clean dull bottom, if you intend to hand sand with 4-6-or 1000, you will be an old fossil before you finish. Just use extreme caution, you are going to be under the bottom scraping this stuff off and it will be all over you.


              • #8
                Re: Barnacle removal

                Originally posted by cc lancer: if you intend to hand sand with 4-6-or 1000, you will be an old fossil before you finish. Just use extreme caution, you are going to be under the bottom scraping this stuff off and it will be all over you.
                Don't know how to say this, but I am an old fossil right now! And never fear, I won't be under the boat. It will be turned over. Bottoms up!


                • #9
                  Re: Barnacle removal

                  If you intend to sand I suggest getting a random orbit sander either air or electric like the porto cable 6 inch. You can get sandpaper up to 3000 grit. I think 800 to 1000 will be more than enough for final sanding. I wonder if you could put a lot of acid in a swimming pool and park your boat in it for a week or so.


                  • #10
                    Re: Barnacle removal

                    Originally posted by CTD: I wonder if you could put a lot of acid in a swimming pool and park your boat in it for a week or so.
                    But what would you do with the acid when its finished?


                    • #11
                      Re: Barnacle removal

                      plus having a swimming pool of dead barnicles will make you real popular with the neighbors!!BTW, I have to get some off of my transom shield. There is the rubber water hose in there, and the trim hoses too. Isn't that acid stuff bad for rubber?? Looking for some way to make it a little easier.
                      1988 Four Winns 200 Horizon
                      4.3 OMC Cobra

                      98 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0 Selectrac
                      07 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.7 Quadradrive II

                      "While air doesn't freeze....rust never sleeps"


                      • #12
                        Re: Barnacle removal

                        really quite stinky im sure and think of the flies, goodness i had a ton of them just from my sterdrive


                        • #13
                          Re: Barnacle removal

                          Not sure if your question has been answered yet, but I have a suggestion for you. I recently discovered a new product made by Triton Marine that works really well on barnacles. The products that work GREAT on barnacles/crustaceans are either the A/C flush or the engine flush. They use some kind of synthetic acid that seems to work better than muriatic and is non toxic! It literally dissolved the barnacles. I just put it in a spray bottle. Go to http://www.tritonmarineproducts.com
                          I hope this helps...


                          • #14
                            Re: Barnacle removal

                            Hey Libbi78, what if the barnacles are very old, will it still do the same job. How far will a gallon of the A/C flush go?
                            Boatless again for the second time, but the pockets are fat

                            Time to search for boat #3.


                            • #15
                              Re: Barnacle removal

                              I have an aluminum pontoon boat that was covered with Barnacles. After trying some other methods without much sucess I discovered "this trick".
                              WD-40--- right! the boat had been out of the water about 10 days when I decided to try to loosen the foot left by scraping. I sprayed the hulls with WD-40 using a speay bottle from the Dollor store and bulk WD-40 (gallon).
                              after one application the results were promising. I let sit a day and sprayed it again. Better! after the third application the barnacles snapped off clean with a dull putty knife. a pressure washer also works well. this should work on fiberglass also without damaging the Gel-coat.

                              Good luck.