Choosing The Perfect Travel Destination

Haulout Services Vs. DIY Hull Scrubbing: Worth The Work?

by Eli Lambert

Maintaining your boat is necessary if you actually want to keep using it, and keeping the bottom in good shape -- not encrusted in barnacles or other water-based junk -- helps the boat's maneuverability and fuel efficiency, if it isn't a sailboat. You can scrub the bottom of the boat yourself, or you can have the boat treated by a haulout company, which literally hauls the boat out of the water and works on each part of it. Is going with a haulout company worth the time, or is doing the work yourself a better bet? Overall, you may want to consider going the haulout-company route.

The Work Itself

Of course, the major difference between scrubbing the hull of the boat yourself and having a haulout service do it is who's doing the work. If you don't mind spending your day doing the work, that's one thing. But if you'd rather be off doing something else, or if you have an injury or an illness, let the haulout service work on the boat while you relax.

Additional Maintenance

Another big difference is that haulout services do more than just scrub barnacles and other pollution off the bottom of the boat. While you could certainly limit the company to doing just that work, haulout time is typically used for general maintenance, repainting the bottom (handy if you want to change the type of paint used), and ensuring the water-worthiness of the boat. So if you let the haulout service do the work, not only do you get that time to relax, you get a boat that's in good shape back at the end.

Environmental Care

Because paint can flake off during scrubbing (especially if you have the self-flaking biocide paint that helps reduce the amount of sludge and barnacles that end up on the bottom), and because you'll end up with a pile of trash after, you have to take environmental disposal laws into account. You can't just throw the paint flakes and other stuff in the garbage can. A haulout service will know what to do with the pile.

Painting Frequency

Scrubbing the hull yourself can reduce the number of times you have to take the boat in for repainting because you're not letting the gunk build up, and that can be a plus if you just don't like having to go through the waiting for your boat to be ready. This is one area where doing the scrubbing yourself does win out because you can do this work on your own time.

Contact some haulout companies in your region and see what their timelines and services are like. If you have the work done in the off-season, you may find schedules to be more flexible.

For more information, contact South Park Marina or a similar company.