Keep Your Boat Hull Clean and Smooth for Fast Sailing!


When it comes to owning and maintaining a boat, there’s nothing more important than keeping your hull clean and smooth for optimal performance. A clean hull helps reduce drag and increase speed on the water.

July 26, 2023

When it comes to owning and maintaining a boat, there’s nothing more important than keeping your hull clean and smooth for optimal performance. A clean hull helps reduce drag and increase speed on the water.

Your boat’s hull is the body of your boat that sits in the water and is responsible for keeping it afloat. It’s also the wetted surface that creates drag and with growth on the hull you’re increasing that drag exponentially. A dirty hull can decrease your boat’s speed and maneuverability, as well as increase fuel consumption due to increased drag. As a sailor and racer, I notice the differences in light wind, boat acceleration, and when you’re lucky enough to exceed hull speed, getting it up on plane and keeping it there.

How often should you clean your hull?
In the great lakes, we recommend three cleanings during the season, assuming your boat is launched early May and hauled in October. Just 3-5 mm of growth is enough to rob you of 15-20% of your hull efficiency and scheduling a monthly hull cleaning during July, August, and September keeps it clean during the higher growth periods. Cleaning the hull September or October will save you the power wash at the end of the year as well as save your ablative bottom paint and the environment.

UltraCrabWhat are the best methods for cleaning a boat hull?
There are many different methods out there for cleaning your boat’s hull, from having the kids jump in and scrub to hauling and pressure washing, but we think the most effective, convenient, and safe way is with our robotic hull cleaner. We come to your dock and can clean 90-95% of the hull growth in three hours or less! It’s also an eco-friendly cleaning solution that won’t harm the environment, your ablative bottom paint, and you don’t even need to jump in to do a post-cleaning inspection, we can video that for you.

Whether you choose a robotic hull cleaner, pressure wash, or hand scrubbing; keeping your boat’s hull clean will ensure optimal performance, speed as well as the fuel efficiency of power boats.

Protect our waters!
No matter how you look at it, Biocides in bottom paints are bad for the environment and you. From the application process to exposure to the marine environment to power washing in the fall, ablative paints are an environmental hazard, and we expect that many of our popular bottom paints will be unavailable or reformulated as environmental regulations are enacted.

Buff BottomsBuff Bottoms is working with our drone supplier KeelCrab to develop a matched bottom coat, cleaning solution that is non-ablative, hydrophobic and won’t harm the environment. In combination with our drone and ultrasonic cleaning options, our focus is on providing solutions that are not only environmentally friendly but also cost effective.

We urge boaters to be responsible and protect our waters from environmental damage, not just for us, but for future generations as well. Let’s all work together to keep our water clean!

There is no doubt that going green will help you save money in the long run.

Can we guarantee you’ll win that next race? No, but we can guarantee that you will notice the difference in light winds, acceleration, and the ability to get up on plane. The time to change the way we care for our boats is now. By opting for eco-friendly services like Buff Bottoms’ robotic hull cleaner, we can ensure our vessels operate at their peak while also preserving the health of our waterways. Let’s embrace the green revolution in boating maintenance—where efficiency, affordability, and environmental stewardship sail together. Remember, the choices we make today will determine the quality of the water we enjoy tomorrow. Let’s make those choices count!


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