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Seashells growing inside outdrive

Old 09-06-2011, 01:24 PM
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Default Seashells growing inside outdrive

I am looking for ideas to solve a persistant problem. I have twin 496HO's with B3 drives in a Formula 350SS. The boat is not bottom painted and is in a slip at the marina. For the second season now in a row, I have what appears to be small shells (mussels?, but not zebra mussels (saltwater)), growing in the internal water column/passage inside the drives. They are not growing on the inside walls of the castings like barnicles, just growing so large in the drive that they will not pass out the botom holes and begin to collect at the transom thru-fittiing. Once the water pressure drops too low, I have to pay to have the boat hauled, drives removed, out come the shells with a backflush, reinstall, and then all is well until they grow again. I have painted antifouling paint to the cavities in the drive I can see, but I think they are growing where I cannot get to.

Anyone ever hear of such a problem in saltwater? Any ideas for a solution?
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:49 PM
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I've seen a couple of these advertised over the years:

http://boatbunkers.com/
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:28 PM
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Interesting idea. I wonder what the outside of the enclosure looks like after a year?

I wonder if I could circulate something to dissolve the shells using outdrive muffs and a pump setup while the boat is still in the water?
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:41 PM
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Here's a weird one for you. I've always wondered if taking an old tablet / puck style chunk of pool Chlorine and suspending it in a mesh bag off the transom would do. And we have zebra muscles up here.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:15 PM
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You might look a pressurized flush system that would flush the sea-water side of the cooling system with the engines off. I know there is at least one manufacturer that makes something like this. I'd imagine you could even rig it up to a timer as such that it would back flush once every 48 hours or so.

Just a thought.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:19 AM
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I know vinegar will dissolve calcium (what the shells are made of) maybe you can dump some vinegar into your sea strainer and back flush it out through the drive? Or maybe a dilute solution of muriatic acid? Maybe do it like once a month to stop what ever is currently growing in there...
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:32 AM
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Thanks for the ideas - I do have to find a solution. For what the marina gets to haul, block, repair, and re-launch I am going to bleed to death.

I suppose injecting some vinegar every so often would not be too environmentally bad? I wonder if the chlorine tablets would treat the general area or would it be pissing into the wind

Also, in my original post I mistakely said that the boat was not bottom painted. Both the boat and the outdrives are bottom painted.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:56 PM
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Slap some muffs on it when you put it in the slip.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:47 PM
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Install superchargers to go faster, basically pressure washing the inside of everything, and boat more often.
Boat lift.
Move to Florida.
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