Sunday, July 17, 2005

Fouling Growth

For two months and eight days ‘Bumper’ boldly made her way to the Scilly Isles and back from Burnham-on-Crouch. When she returned home, her bottom was almost as clean as the day she left. Only seven days have passed since being tethered to her mooring off Rice and Coles yard, and in that time weed has grown around her waterline. This means I shall need to make a weekly visit to keep her free of fouling. I’ll need to use a hand scrubbing brush while seated in the dinghy, and for that to happen the water must be reasonably calm. When there’s any bounce in the water, the job becomes difficult; holding the dinghy beside the boat while using the free hand for scrubbing can be a tricky job.

Perhaps in a week or so I’ll need to beach the boat for a thorough scrub before applying antifouling around the waterline and areas more prone to crustaceans and weed. At this stage in the season it will not be necessary to anti-foul the whole of the underbody.

I think part of the problem with recent weed growth is the increased daylight hours at this time of year and the exceptionally warm water. Possibly the sewerage processing plant adjacent to my mooring may be a factor. Sometimes the smell from it is unpleasant, but I’m not sure if any treated or untreated sewerage is discharged into the River Crouch. In recent years I’ve not seen the telltale signs of sewerage in the River; that’s a brown slime often accompanied with a creamy froth, if windblown. Such elements would enhance weed growth.

Several years ago I kept a Kingfisher 26 more or less at the same spot as ‘Bumper’s’ mooring, and I recollect that weeds and barnacles were a problem, to the extent they almost prevented the propeller from working at all. Likewise the rudder was partially immobilised. In that state she limped to a nearby beach where I removed the offending growth.

I really must try lanolin on the propeller, as it is said to be effective in preventing barnacles from growing on the blade surfaces.

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