Future of Robotic Vessel Hull Cleaning

Vessel Hull Cleaning

What is that, you say? Well Hull cleaning, as it is, is boat cleaning. Everyone who has a boat needs to maintain it after they go boating and other fun activities. Parts of a boat can be difficult to clean, especially a part of the boat called the hull. It’s really a hard part to clean properly.

What is it?

The hull, you mean? That’s a good question; not many people have heard of the hull of the boat. You may not have either. Here’s a crash course for you though.

The hull is

  • Bottom of the ship
  • Different shapes
  • Different ways of moving

Some are made to ‘cut’ through the water making the propulsion easier. Others are made to glide through the water easily, making picking up speed easier for traveling through the water. This helps if you wanting to do something like doing a jet ski, or water skiing where you want to go fast to pull you through the water.


So we know that when you go boating, you need to maintain your boat. You need to clean it just like a frying pan after you use it, or a lawnmower after you use it. But what of boat cleaning? What is that like?

Typical Ways to Clean a Boat Hull

There are three ways.

  • Spray water on the hull
  • Scrub it
  • Scrub it some more

Okay, I repeated the last one, but it’s really true. The hull can be sprayed off with a hose to get all the grimy bits off the hull. The water pressure should be good enough to do this. The second way is to scrub it. One of the sources say that you can scrub it with a brand new (mind you) toilet brush so that you can get into the crevices and things at the hull. They also recommend a good cleaner and a soft bristle brush to get off excess cleaner and grime.

Technological ways

One of the future ways of cleaning a ship’s hull is to use an underwater unmanned machine. That’s right. Robotics has lead us from only being able to picture what’s on the moon to giving prosthetic arms to those who don’t have function of their arm. Now it’s reached a new frontier; being able to clean ship hulls.


An unmanned machine that can go underwater is a magnificent idea. They have several advantages. They don’t need oxygen to work, they don’t tire out easily, and they can work longer and harder. These are all advantages over someone who gets tired or needs frequent breaks when cleaning something like the boat hull.


Now this technology sounds great and it is. It just comes with a few drawbacks. This technology is pretty new, and it’s not all that mainstream just yet. This means that it can be expensive. More to the point though, is that when you discard algae and other life from the hull, you might upset the Environment Protection Agency, or the EPA, because it can damage the environment by removing oxygen from the water.

Other choices

You don’t have a lot of other choices when it comes to cleaning the hull of the boat. There is something in the works however, in the UK. They may be coming out with some type of wash system for boats, similar to a car wash. This may be interesting to see, as a boat has never been through something like a car wash. It is possible however, and with the right technology and creative ingenuity, it can be done.

Boat hull cleaning isn’t fun, but like almost everything else in life, it is necessary if you want to maintain your boat. Maintaining your boat is necessary to insure that it is safe and it will give you many years of enjoyment for a long time to come.

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulbous_bow