How to Remove Dried Algae From a Boat

Written by will charpentier
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Dried algae on the bottom of your boat requires drastic action. If you leave your boat in the water but haven't applied an antifouling bottom paint to inhibit the growth of marine animals and vegetation, they will cling to the boat's hull and dry there. For the boat owner, pressure washing offers a boat- and user-friendly method of removing these "hitchhikers." You can remove that algae, and other marine life, with a high-pressure stream of clean, fresh water.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pressure washer
  • Fresh water
  • Scrubber sponge
  • Detergent

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  1. 1

    Bring your pressure washer to the dock where the boat will be hauled out of the water. Connect the pressure washer to the dock's fresh water supply.

  2. 2

    Haul the boat from the water. Move the boat and trailer away from areas where people are present. Turn the pressure washer on and begin washing at the top of one side of the bow.

  3. 3

    Pressure-wash the side of the boat, downward from the top of the bow, driving the algae and other organisms off the bottom of the boat with the pressure washer. Move toward the stern of the boat and repeat the process. When you reach the stern of the boat, repeat on the remaining side and its stern.

  4. 4

    Secure the pressure washer. Use a scrubber sponge to wash the entire hull of the boat with detergent and clear, fresh water. Work from top to bottom and bow to stern, just as you did with the pressure washer.

Tips and warnings

  • Anti-fouling bottom paint is your first line of defence against all marine growth on your hull, from simple algae that propagate after a few days or weeks, to barnacles.
  • Never place your hand in the stream of a pressure washer. Never aim a pressure washer at another person, even accidentally. Treat the barrel of a pressure washer as if it's the barrel of a loaded pistol with a hair trigger.

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