Fiberglass, Aluminum & Metal Flake Boat Repair & Restoration MN
Living in Minnesota, affords us the luxury of enjoying the thousands of lakes, rivers, and streams our state is famous for. The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” actually contains more than 15,000 such bodies of water whose total shoreline exceeds 90,000 miles – more than California, Hawaii and Florida combined. So it is only natural that boating and fishing are such a valued part of our Minnesota heritage; it’s a way of life. But it is being threatened by quagga/zebra mussels, spiny waterfleas, faucet snails, or other prohibited invasive species.
Whether you own a boat or thinking about buying a boat, it’s a pretty important topic. Invasive species will be the No #1 issue for us, probably for the next several decades. It’s time for Minnesotans to take that threat very seriously.
Not only are they are a threat to the continued enjoyment of the very lakes, rivers, and streams we cherish, they can do some serious damage to your fiberglass, aluminum, or even the metalflake on your new shiny boat, that can end up costing you some big bucks in boat repairs. They can ruin your equipment, clog motor cooling systems, foul hulls, and jam up your boat’s steering equipment.
Quagga/Zebra mussels can spread zebra mussels when they move from infested waters to uninfested waters. Adult mussels may attach to hard surfaces, and veligers may be transported in water. Veligers are transparent and small – about the size of the period at the end of this sentence – and may be able to survive in any residual water.
Newly settled young feel like sandpaper on smooth surfaces. As they quickly grow larger, Quagga/Zebra can be seen on boat hulls, especially around trim tabs and transducers along keels, and on trailers, anchors, and propellers.The mussels can also be found in or on boat bilges, ballast water, live wells, motors, fenders, life jackets, ropes – basically anything that comes into contact with infested water and can serve as a reservoir or “pocket” in which they can survive.
This list of potential carriers includes:
- Plants and animals
- Fishing gear and bait buckets
- Any water equipment
- Snorkeling and scuba gear
- Boats, trailers, and related equipment
Placing these items in uninfested waters without precautions may lead to an accidental introduction of these pesky mussels. While there are no guarantees that will stop their spread, remove or kill all the mussels, taking a few simple steps should vastly reduce the number being transported away from infested sites, and thus greatly reduce the probability of accidental further spread.
Quagga/Zebra mussels pose serious risks and costs to you as a boat owner because they can:
- Ruin your engine by blocking the cooling system and causing overheating.
- Increase drag on the bottom of your boat, reducing speed, and wasting fuel.
- Jam your boat’s steering equipment.
- Require you to scrape and repaint your boat’s hull.
Protect Your Boat
The most expensive type of destruction to your boat is probably motor damage. Veligers can cause this harm when they are taken into the motor cooling system, where they can attach, grow and block intake screens, internal passages, hoses, seacocks, and strainers and burn out water pumps and/or ruin the motors.
Mussels can also accumulate around propeller shafts and can cause increased wear and possible damage to drive shafts or shaft seals. Reduce the amount of time in the water by tipping the drive units up and out of water when at dock.
When pulling your boat out of the water at the end of the season, inspect cooling systems, intake screens, lower unit steering and hydraulic controls , propellers and propeller shaft seals. Frequently inspect the rubber boot that surrounds the I/O unit at the hull because mussel shells can tear the boot, resulting in water entering the hull. Check water pump impeller for damage from shell fragments if adults are found near the intake system. Disassemble everything, including the parts between the seacock and the engine.
Clean Drain Dry!
As a means to stop the spread of these harmful invasive mussels, the Minnesota DNR is asking boaters to adopt preventative measures NOW to slow the spread and reduce any likelihood of damage to your boat. Clean, Drain and Dry your boats… Inside and Out!
When removing watercraft from a Minnesota waters at the end of the boating season, there are a few important things to know:
- First, it is illegal to transport any watercraft with zebra mussels, faucet snails, or other prohibited invasive species attached away from a water access or other shoreland property, even if you intend to put it in storage for the winter. Begin by giving the vessel a thorough cleaning before putting it in storage. Take all your gear out and don’t forget to remove the boat plug.
- Second, to accommodate boaters who need to transport their watercraft at the end of the season, the DNR developed a special one-way pass, or authorization form. The form allows boaters to move watercraft to another location to clean off invasive species, and once cleaned, to storage it for the winter.
More information is available on the AIS Web page.
New Clean/Drain Areas
High pressure hot water sprayers are being used by the Minnesota DNR to decontaminate boats and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr talks about the new clean/drain areas for watercraft users that will be created at more than 200 of Minnesota’s public water accesses.