Underwater Hull Cleaning Prices: 4 Factors That Impact Cost

Here, we will discuss the cleaning prices for underwater hulls. If you wish to have yours cleaned, this article will be an interesting read.

As part of maintenance measures to ensure a boat or water vessel has efficient hydrodynamic performance, the hull will need to be cleaned periodically.

Here, the cleaning takes care of fouling or biological roughness brought about by a clumping together of microorganisms (mostly bacteria).

The steady accumulation of these microorganisms in addition to barnacles and seaweed gradually creates a drag on the boat or ship. The slimy film formed on the hull will need to be cleaned off.

Why Hull Cleaning?

It’s all performance-related.

A vessel performs best when its hull is free of biological roughness or fouling. The impact is seen in different areas including fuel consumption, power performance, and speed.

What more? A buildup of biological roughness affects the performance of vital boat components.

Such components include hull-mounted sensors such as speed logs and sonars. When affected, the resulting conditions are noise, turbulence, and cavitation.

Every boat owner will want to have their vessel working in perfect condition. As such, a hull cleaning schedule needs to be fixed and adhered to.

What Underwater Hull Cleaning Includes

Before we get into details about the cost of cleaning, it will be necessary to first understand what’s involved. Here, we’re talking about the basic cleaning services offered whenever you call for underwater hall cleaning.

As a part of your boat that’s always below water, the hull’s condition needs to be checked.

Regardless of vessel type certain cleaning actions need to be taken. Common tasks include inspections, basic cleaning, light salvage, and underwater photography of the boat’s hull.

What more? Zing installations may be necessary too. What’s this about? You’ll need to read on to find out.

How Much Does Underwater Hull Cleaning Cost?

If you’re planning on having your boat’s or vessel’s hull checked and cleaned, you should expect a cleaning fee within the region of $5,000 to $50,000.

Basically, boat cleaning costs incurred largely depends on the vessel size.

More about that will be discussed shortly.

Aspects of Underwater Hull Cleaning Pricing You Need to Know

When it comes to pricing, the cleaning service needs to consider the boat’s condition among other things. Cleaning includes the removal of all forms of fouling including hard growth such as mussels, barnacles, and oysters.

For sailboats, average cleaning prices are mostly around $3 per foot.

For powerboats, this cleaning procedure will cost an average of $4 per foot. There’s also the hourly rate to be factored in. Each hour spent in underwater hull cleaning attracts a certain price.

The average hourly cost for such a procedure is around $200.

Speaking on the hourly costs, a job could be completed faster for a smaller vessel with less limited deposits of algae, growth, and other types of deposits.

For such jobs, the minimum cleaning cost will be around $150.

  • Underwater Photography

One of the cleaning-related services offered by boat cleaning companies includes underwater photography.

Here, pictures of boat hulls are taken primarily for insurance purposes. Being a value-added service, you’re likely to incur an additional $120 to the total cost of underwater hull cleaning.

  • Maintenance Costs

Other forms of maintenance services are common with underwater hull cleaning. Here, repairs may be performed in addition to the installation or replacement of components such as zinc anodes.

Also called sacrificial anodes, zinc installations help protect vital boat components from corrosion.

As components that are always in contact with the water, the hull and other related parts like propellers, rudders, shafts, and struts, etc need to be kept rust-free.

Labor costs for zinc installation are within the neighborhood of $20 per zinc (without cleaning).

The more anodes to be installed, the higher the labor costs.

Factors Affecting Underwater Hull Cleaning Prices

Certain price-influencing factors come into play when looking at underwater hull cleaning prices.

These include your vessel size, cleaning method used, the condition of your vessel’s hull, and also the cleaning service used.

  • Vessel Size

Vessel size plays a primary role in determining hull cleaning prices. The bigger the boat is, the wider the hull area to be cleaned and vice versa. Labor and supplies play a primary role here.

  • Cleaning Method Used

Basically, there are two main approaches when it comes to hull cleaning.

They include manual cleaning performed by divers and also the use of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). This aspect of pricing will determine how much you pay.

  • Hull Condition

What’s your hull condition like?

Boat hull could be found in all sorts of conditions. When a hull hasn’t be cleaned for long (about a year or more), there’s more work to be done.

  • Cleaning Service Used

Who you hire for your underwater hull cleaning needs will have an impact on the cost incurred. Different services have their pricing structure.

You’ll need to call for an assessment to have an idea of what’s to be paid.

Is DIY Underwater Hull Cleaning Possible?

DIY enthusiasts will always seek ways to be lower their hull cleaning prices by handling the job themselves. So, is this possible? Can one perform DIY underwater hull cleaning?

It’s possible and can be considered if you have the know-how or knowledge on what needs to be done.

However, the possibility of doing a thorough job is in doubt due to inexperience. In other words, such a job may not be expertly done compared to a similar job done by pros.

The basic cleaning tools used for this procedure include rotary brushes, boat hull scraper, and microfiber towels.

Others include boat bottom cleaning gloves or pads, and pressure washers.

Adopting the DIY option helps you get the job done without spending a fortune.

Other Cleaning Tasks

Whenever you call for underwater hull cleaning, a wide range of services are offered.

Depending on your boat’s condition, services such as slime & biofouling removal and routine cleaning & maintenance may be administered.

Others include biofouling growth removal after vessels have been inactive for long periods.

There may also be a need for management of patchy fouling at the arrival of vessel, removal and containing potentially invasive marine species and also coating maintenance, etc.

Are there Clear Benefits?

With the pricing information made available above, it’s logical to expect some level of benefit in terms of performance or efficiency. So, is that possible? Underwater hull cleaning gives a wide range of benefits.

One of the first things you’d notice is a decrease of about 1 to 5% in fuel consumption.

Also, the problems associated with biological growth on vessel hulls such as noise, turbulence, cavitation, and drag stop. These are justifiable reasons to want to perform basic underwater hull cleaning.

So far, we’ve seen the pricing details for underwater hull cleaning.

How much you pay for such is largely determined by multiple factors as stated above.

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