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Safe way to remove Barnacles and Marine growth off your inflatable boat

Posted by   Eliot
09/24/2010

Like many inflatable boat owners most of us leave our boats inflated in the water for the duration of the boating season to save ourselves the time of constantly assembling and disassembling the boat. If you leave your boat in the salt water to accumulate growth below the waterline, you’ll need to scrape it off, but proceed with extreme caution. Scraping with a metal scraper is out: this will remove the fabric’s rubberized coating quicker than it will remove the barnacle growth. Sanding is out for the same reason. You can use a plastic scraper if you exercise care.

The safest way to remove marine growth such as barnacles is to kill it by leaving the boat out in the sun for a day or so, and then washing the bottom with a strong soap solution and a stiff-bristle scrub brush. Ammonia, vinegar, fabric softener, and bleach found in any hardware store are all said to help the process, but there is no substitute for elbow grease. If barnacles have left their little rings on your bottom, don’t try to get them off, otherwise you will scrub right through the fabric.