Maintaining your boat


Boat cleaning, restoring and Boat maintenance products

cleaning & maintenance - Guide to Boat Cleaning and Care products

Boat maintenance products

Boat technical advice, reviewing products, service & support, and tips on how to...

Boat maintenance

Cleaning asnd preparats

Fine to use - power trim/tilt/power steering fluid

Be careful in that it isn't just as simple as filling a power steering reservoir on a car or truck. The sea star is an actual closed and sealed hydraulic system. When you crack that filler cap you have possibly let air into the lines/system. You really need to bleed the air out of the lines , hydraulic cylinder and helm pump after you've opened the system up.

This can be done with a gravity feed bottle with a plastic line hooked to helm pump or an electric power purge that pumps the fluid through the system. This is what a mechanic or marine dealer would most likely have.

The bleeders are the fittings located on each end of the steering ram mounted to the motor. Think of it as similar to bleeding a set of brakes on a car. It's not a big task just read up on how to do it and be careful and take care not to introduce air into the lines.

Marpac Distributing sells a private labeled "generic" for around $20 a quart and you buy the filler kit once for another $18-$20. The sea star $40 per quart kit comes with the filler/bleeder kit every single time. At least with Marpac, you continually reuse the kit, just buy oil.

The favorite wax for the hull and motor

You can use plain old car wax/turtle wax. Use it early in the year and all the green slim washes off easier. Use dry laundry soap in hot water also cleans the boat easy (also bugs off glass, paint, chrome). It also takes the wax off. Put the laundry soap on with a brush, just soak it, then come back around the second time it cleans up nice. Rinse well other wise it will leave a film on the boat.


cleaners and polish - recommendations for products

The Hot Sauce brand of cleaners/polishes/protectants. No complaints. Buy on Amazon for better prices than dealers. You can use a mix of vinegar and water to remove grime, then use a wash/wax from Walmart to wash it.

Then wax it up with a cheap car wax I got at dollar general. I assume the wax will not stay on well since it isn't designed for marine, but for the price it was worth a shot.

Big boat waxing and polishing

Spend the money on a variable speed buffer and get some higher end pads. You get what you pay for and it will show in the end.

Makita makes a great one for my money and it's built well to handle that size boat. 3m makes a line of compounds just for marine applications that are very straight forward and work great.

Once you have waxed try and see if you can order a product online called Starbrite soap with PTEF (Teflon - in the left photo below). It keeps the boat very clean due to Teflon coating it applies. Very simple wash process.

Watch some videos on YouTube and take your time. A quality buff and wax job will take all day on that size boat if done right. A poor job will show in weeks but the proper job will last the season with a little Maintenace.

in add:

Waxing and polishing, what does everybody spray their boats down with at the boat launch when you leave

cheaper solution - You can Dow Bathroom Cleaner. Remember the scrubbing bubbles? It is for fiberglass tubs and showers and works wonders on boats. It is way cheaper than buying anything that is made for boats, your Powerquest will look just like it did before your day on the water. It smells nice too.

Do not use vinegar even if it's watered down it is a acid and will strip wax off. It's great for removing water marks (50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Takes all the scum at the waterline off and removes all the water spots) but if the boat is wiped down every time the water marks should never be that hard to get off.

Use a wet micro fiber to get the scum line off and a absorber to dry it then hit the sides with some bio clean, hot sauce, or some boat candy spray wax once the boats dry. All 3 are great products to use.


Back to new look: After wet sanded it still dose not look good

It's a durability issue. Auto clear is too hard. Not enough flex. Even. Adding a flexible additive won't make it get anywhere near gel coat. Also the resistance to scratching is way higher on the gel coat. Once you scratch the auto clear. Water will begin to get under it. And flake. Also auto clear is not compatible to spray onto gel coat. So you will have adhesion issues.

Yoy can use IMRON Marine Polyrethane on your boat and it turned out great. Allot of prep work and do very little sanding. Rub a good 3M liquid cleaner on it and I sprayed 3 light coats. I had a decal shop recreate the Ranger 370V. The hardest part for them was finding the right font.

Also you can use this stuff. It cleaned up a lot of the dull sections and started to shine again.

Auto clear

Auto clear is too hard. Not enough flex. Even. Adding a flexible additive won't make it get anywhere near gel coat. Also the resistance to scratching is way higher on the gel coat. Once you scratch the auto clear. Water will begin to get under it. And flake. Also auto clear is not compatible to spray onto gel coat. So you will have adhesion issues.

If you are going to go through all the work. Use the right product. A marine gel coat. Auto clear and gel coat cost about the same money. So use the right stuff.

down to the metallic flake

Start with 600 , then 800 and then 1000 grit and then with a good polisher and use 3m heavy duty cutting compound , then use my 3m waxes to finish it and it shined up like a new one . You can go to a harbor freight and get a polisher for 20 to 30 and you can even order one from there website .

Let's start...a good polishing products

There is only one to buy a Milwaukee best on the market(in the right photo above) the best thing it's light and speed controls very good . When you are polishing a hull it can get quite tiring light weight is very important and gives good finish Don't buy cheap alternative festool but very expensive.

Speed polisher for cheap

Harbor freight has a descent variable speed polisher for cheap. That orbital is good for smearing on your wax though.

This orbital worked great for me today. You can use the HF variable speed polisher for polishing. And then used this exact 10' WEN orbital for wax application. In fact, I had a 9" Craftsman, too, so I could wax-on with one and wax-off with the other. They were both great, but the WEN was lighter and it had an on/off switch (not a push-to-operate button), so it stayed ON when I wanted it on.

This thing worked great. But again, I'd never think to try and use it for polishing. Just for waxing. And thanks to all for the laughs today.

The fact that there was bashing of the wen product and promoting a HF tool - as if they are somehow radically different in quality... well, that made me laugh. It's as if we were comparing WEN and, say, Porter Cable.

How to take off cement glue that held down carpet on the fiberglass floor

http://www.uline.com/

There are basically three "brands" two glue down with adhesive, the other "sticks down" with high strength 3M brand backer. All are very good.

That stuff is xylene, benzene and toluene.. with a bit of NAPTHA. Works great, the naptha is really a gentle solvent but is slippery so the adhesives don't restick to the surface. You REALLY want to be wearing masks (carbon/charcoal filter masks!) to use these things and out side, not in your garage.

interior cleaner

A good interior cleaner that's not damaging to the upholstery that will help get in all the little crevices and also a good wax for the hull.

Exp boat owners use Scrubbing Bubbles on everything interior except glass where you can use RainX. Another vote for Buff Magic and Pro Polish. That stuff brought my red hull stripe back to red from a faded pinkish purple.Just use "Fantastic" and "Magic Erasers" lightly on the vinyl to loosen the dirt, then a second time immediately after the Eraser with a towel to remove the dirt. Follow it up with 303 Protectant.

What can you use to make the deck waterproof

You can use teak oil. It requires a little work every year but you avoid the buildup of vanish like products that peel off. Buy a good teak cleaner, whitener and sealer kit. When you clean the woodwork I would use a hard bristled nylon brush to avoid damaging the woodwork.

Trying to keep the water off the back beads is hard use Minwax Teak oil it works the best.
Even with the Canvas up if the rain came the right way - get water down on the kids back beds till you have this storm cover which stop all the water getting in dead in its tracks.

Patio Magic - This is a treatment sold in the UK to keep patios and garden decks free from algal and mould growth. You can it on your cockpit sole and seats. When dry, the wood looks clean silver-brown and when wet looks like new teak. Use Semco on the coachroof handrails and the trim around the hatch and washboard. Don't use the Semco or other two part cleaners, as the part one uses a strong alkali that will remove the soft fibres from the teak, leading to ridging over several years of use. Just wash the wood in the spring, avoiding any scrubbing and then reapply the Patio Magic.

Keep it natural - Snappy Teak Nu it's a 2 part product that u brush on rinse off never sand if possible it closes the pours.


Before and after the Meguiars

Do you like the 3m products but if you got the cleaner wax and you have any oxidation you'll need a polish or oxidation remover. Even with an orange pad the cleaner waxes usually aren't enough to cut through the haze.

That's what you can use. Griots 6" RO. Cant burn through the finish with it. Not easily anyway. Use an orange pad with the polish and put the wax on by hand. I took the wax off with a black finishing pad. Really doesn't get any easier.

The Griot's chemicals are very good as well if you can get them at a decent price. The Meguiars was about $9 and I've like their stuff for the money for a long time. Mothers is quality also without breaking the bank.
You can get your on eBay with 6 pads and a carry bag for about $160.

it's made by Porter Cable. Definitely plenty of power. I'd like a better handle towards the cord end but you get use to that. Probably wouldn't bother you unless you'd used a regular buffer.

There were some places you can't get close enough with the 6" pad. Guess that's why they make a smaller buffer. I just did those spots by hand. Buffer marks are not an issue with this system.


Boat Interior: stain removal from vinyl

Magic eraser gently and home depot HDX is a citris cleaner that does a great job on stains. We love mcguires cleaner and protectant from Walmart to clean and condition our seats. If u use magic eraser use the mcguires protectant after to help prevent drying out vinyl.

If your stain appears raised or has changed integrity of the surface there really is nothing that will fix such fabric degradation as this is mold in the fabric so using the bleaching in magic eraser wont harm the fabric integrity any more than it allready has. I say go for the best visual knowing that really at this point recovering the seat is only true fix. I know I am Queen of the obvious but that looks like a stain from moisture from canvas laying on the vinyl.

Note: Be careful when using Magic Eraser, it is actually like using sand paper. It will wear down the surface of the vinyl. I have always had the best luck with Meguiars Vinyl Cleaner and Protectant. I have also used a RV Black Stain Remover (purchased at Menards), but always use a vinyl conditioner after using any harsh cleaner.

You can use also bathroom cleaner with a mild bleach in it. It is not good to use on marine upholstery all of the time because it can cause the seams to burst. Make sure you wash it down really good with water after cleaning.


seat covers on a boat due to moisture

You can't put seat covers on a boat due to moisture which leads to mildew mold and god knows what else. The seats are upholstered to foam and that's glued to ply board. It is way too difficult to do it yourself and if you tried I would assume you would end up spending more money in the long run cuz it'll look horrible. Have an upholstery place do it. We took ours to an automobile upholsterer who also did some boats. We picked out the material and had it look different with the piping than the manufacturer. We went to the boat show in Chicago and looked at the new boats and had ours done to match them. Make it look updated.

We also took all the chairs out ourselves and the captains chair was the most difficult. If you need help finding out how to do that please message me and ill tell you. It took a very long time. Once they were completed we installed them back on to our boat. Your seats need to be redone otherwise it'll get worse and there's nothing you can do once they crack like that. Who ever owned your boat didn't maintain them very well. I have a 96 scr3200 and mine were bad but not near as bad as yours. I would also recommend changing the foam too and any boards that are rotted. One of our wooden boards was rotted with mildew and mold!! We would have never of known but for removing it! Our boat looks so much newer now that we have new seats and new carpet.

The best method of removing 3 to 4 coats of bottom paint.

When paint becomes old it looses its ablativness and actually absorbs and holds water. So Not see any benefits to keeping old paint stacked up on your bottom. Barrier coat is what protects the bottom not layers of old paint.

Layers of bottom paint is not a bad thing, use paint scrapers for the lose stuff and then bottom cleaner careful it contains HCL. You can sand a little but go easy bottom cleaner is sufficient for surface prep. also a power washer with a WIDE spray is okay not to close and stay away from the waterline gelcoat this will help with loser stuff paint all bare areas first then paint the whole thing. Stay away from you transducers - buy transducer paint and don't get paint into the cutlass bearings.

In fact you can use 60 grit to initially break through the layers then went to 80 once we started seeing white and then finished with 100 to smooth things out.

The more layers of paint the better the protection is. Bottom paint is meant to strip away when your drive to remove the stuff that likes to stick to the bottom. You will see in this link it says just prep the surface it is a known to be compatible.