Power Washing Boat Hulls at a Dry Dock
Not long ago, I was contacted by a National Magazine to give them tips on cleaning the undercarriage of a car after the winter to power wash off the road salt. It was a spring cleaning tip, and I suppose it is that time of the year. Nevertheless, that’s not the only underbelly that needs power washing once per year. The same need applies to boats, Yachts, and marine vessels.
A couple of months ago, I was indeed discussing this same issue with a young couple interested in setting up a boat washing company. Below is some of the advice I gave them, and perhaps this will also be relevant to you if you are going to be cleaning boat hulls;
If you don’t end up operating from a portable system such as a trailer or vehicle with a steam cleaner (hot water pressure washer on it) then, may you might actually have a secured shed or building perhaps you can get a permit to use the nearest fire-hydrant and hook up a 2 inch fire hose. It will surely come in handy for those bigger restoration jobs.
It is amazing how much power and cleaning units you can muster in this way, it’s excellent for knocking down the algae, debris, old flaky paint, and busting barnacles. The pre-washing speeds the process prior to getting in there with a hot-water pressure washer using a 0, 15, or 20-degree tip at full power.
For a really industrial grade hot water pressure washer you can expect to pay $6,000 to $10,000 new or between $1,500 to $5,500 for used. Be careful about buying used equipment of this type, especially if you are near salt-water and the equipment has been used in that environment. Likewise, may I suggest schedule 80 coils and stainless steel if possible, the reason being an iron oxide (rust) and scaling build-up. The cost to remove and replace is significant, in fact, it is the most expensive part of such equipment.
If the cost is prohibitive you might find a leasing company available which has partnered with the pressure washing sales company. Usually, they will have such financing in place to help move their equipment out the door. Pressure washer hot-water cleaners can be a godsend, but having the force of a 2-inch fire hose to knock off the big stuff first will save you time and energy.
Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it. If you have additional comments, questions, concerns, or information, shoot me an email some time.