Sunday, October 23, 2011

Waveblade, the barnacle eater

Wandering into the local West Marine store I noticed a beat up skiff loaded with barnacles parked near the front door, and a tall lanky Captain Nick Benge sporting a squid like looking machine that is effortlessly shearing barnacles off the boat, and it's motor's lower unit. I stop and gawk. I have fortunately had only the very occasional opportunity to scrape the extremely tenacious Mr. barnacle off hulls, and it was real work. I am now watching Nick blow them off of the hull using one hand, and talking to me at the same time using the the new destroyer of barnacles, the Waveblade

I have been in enough marinas to know the drill. The travel lift picks up the boat coming in for a bottom job, a pressure washer is used to clean the hull, and to remove most of the offending marine denizens, and then some poor guy has to scrape, blast, or sand the remaining barnacles, and their bases off. This is a hard, tedious, and mind numbing task. The scrapers often end up removing bottom paint, and scratching up the hull, and I have often seen barnacle bases buried under bottom paint. Watching someone do this with one hand, barely working, was an enlightening event.