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Date: 10 May 2016. Hiring a Diver.


Preparing for departure takes many different forms. There are always "last minute" items on the To-Do List that seem to be far more important now than they were last month when there was that new book downloaded to the Kindle. Of late I have spent a lot of time reading and now it's biting me in the transom.

I am finally knocking out the To-Do List in a more determined manner. I spoke of this in the Boatyard Blues article. If nothing else, I don't learn quickly!

One of the smartest things I did on arrival in St. Pete was find and hire a local diver.

All of us who own vessels kept in the water are concerned about the state of our hulls. Are the zincs in good shape? Are barnacles growing rampant on the propeller? Is the bottom clear of plant life?

Clue: if manatee are dining on the bottom of your boat, the hull desperately needs a scrub.

Grass, sponges, barnacles and more can grow quite readily in the right marine environment. Bottom paint is one item in the arsenal of keeping the boat clean. I also hire a diver to keep Seaweed's bottom shiny.


Personal Recommendations are a Good Start


When arriving in a new area finding a diver is generally one of many things on The To-Do List. Locals know the lay of the waterfront. Generally there are one or two that are a bit above the run-of-the-mill.

Landon is friendly and competent. He does several boats nearby too.

My bottom was cleaned thoroughly. Coming from brackish water, it needed it.

Originally I hired Landon who was and is terrific. His full-time job took more and more time thus he recommended a pal. Santiago turns out to be reliable too.


You will find two varieties of diver in most locales. There will be the cheapest dollar-a-foot guys. The next step up is what I want. I hire the guy who has both experience and equipment.


I want him to be able to:

  1. Pull a prop

  2. Scrub out and thoroughly clean thru-hull strainers

  3. Examine and replace zincs as needed; also let me know when new ones are required

  4. Give me a hull assessment and spot items before they become an issue

  5. Set and keep appointments for regularly scheduled cleanings

  6. Have the strength and experience to give me a good smooth bottom when he is finished.

I do recommend you be aboard especially on those initial dives. The first scrubbing will be more time consuming than normal. That is due to the growth of barnacles. Count on paying more or tipping generously the first time your bottom is scraped by a diver.

LISTEN CAREFULLY: You want to hear
the shaft, propeller and rudder being scraped.

Professional divers like Santiago provide pictures of the completed work.

Some divers will do very well the area visible from topside and not do a great job on the metalwork below. Being aboard will keep them honest. And yes I was ripped off, once, a few years back.

Side Note: Our props, rudders and shafts tend to be a perfect place for barnacle growth. There are several coatings sold for this problem. I have had less than spectacular results though others swear by their concoction of choice.

This is Santiago and he is brave. There is a bull shark that resides under the boat next to mine.

Santiago says he just shoves the sharks aside as he scrapes boat bottoms.

One thing that I find very helpful is that Santiago has an underwater camera. It is one thing for a diver to say "your prop has a chip" and quite another to see the evidence.


For those in other areas and where visibility allows it, check if your diver can take photos. It is helpful. Your diver may offer an opinion. It is your boat and you will have to make the final decision on replace, repair or ignore. A picture is worth 1000 words.

As I prepare to depart I'll have Santiago come back one more time. I've got to order a Sarca zinc and would like him to install it. Our friend on Dauntless wrote about the Sarca and I want one. The article is Inexpensive Line Cutter and after reading it you'll know why I will be opening my purse yet again.

Preparing for departure is Never inexpensive.
Those last minute Good Idea items all cost money.

Because I have a mailing address for the present I'm enjoying the deliveries. It is like Christmas except I will get the bills next month. Please do not forget to use the link for your Amazon purchases. It really does help and costs you nothing. Thanks!

Santiago owns Barnacles Beware
Phone: 727-674-3000

Landon replaced zincs on the neighbor's boat.

My guy Santiago even does Algae. That was an unexpected surprise and pleasure. What a nice guy...

In the meantime I'm doing all those last minute items that needed addressing months ago. The old solar controller is back in after my Chinese MPPT failed. The new wire for it arrived today, but that's another article for another day.


As I build infrastructure life progresses. It is busy here what with rehabbing the anchor chain (half successful) and such. Plus in my spare time I'm making anchor lights. DIY with low power consuming LED's and yes there will be instructions upcoming.

Have I mentioned how wonderful life is on the west coast? It truly is beautiful here.

Do you have a regularly scheduled diver come to your boat?
What is your area and price per foot? Here it ranges from $1 a foot to $2 on up.

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2016, 2023

Categories: Boats, Characters, In the Bilges, Locations, Vignettes, Wild Things,

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