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Cleaning a pilothouse boat

 
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JMacLeod



Joined: 26 Jun 2018
Posts: 114
City/Region: Stuart
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2018
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: C-Shalom
Photos: JMacLeod
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:51 am    Post subject: Cleaning a pilothouse boat Reply with quote

Hello c-brats.
It's been almost a year since my grandmother passed last holidays, and our c-dory project got pushed to the back burner.
Our tomcat is currently sitting in our drive waiting on me to get back to her.
Between the tannin stains, the Florida sun, and the orange streaks from the fittings and wipers, she's in desperate need of a cleaning.

I've read through most threads and articles on cleaning the hull using everything from commercial marine products to dollar store sno-bowl, but I still have a few questions before I get started.

When using an oxalic acid product like starbrite or wood bleach, what method do you use to protect your trailer from staining/etching?

Also along those lines and more specific to c-dorys, how do you treat gel coat stains above the rub rail on the pilothouse while protecting all the attached metal hardware and fittings?

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TyBoo



Joined: 23 Oct 2003
Posts: 4979
City/Region: Warrenton
State or Province: OR
C-Dory Year: 1996
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruise Ship
Vessel Name: TyBoo
Photos: TyBoo
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't really answer your questions, except to say I don't worry about the effect of cleaning products on the galvanized trailer. Rinsing with the hose keeps anything bad from happening.

I would suggest you try a simple Magic Eraser and water on a couple spots and see if it does anything good for you. I find the things to be somewhat addictive because they work so well. Of course, they work because they are abrasive, but no more so really than rubbing compounds or scouring powders like Barkeeper's Friend.

After it's clean you might look into McKee’s 37 Marine & RV Hydro Pearl Sio2 Coating. I tried it early this year and the water still beads up surprisingly well all over the boat. It even works on the rough nonskid surfaces without making them slippery (the textured bumpy surface, not the cockpit floor). It's kind of the same as the Magic Eraser - it is so simple it feels like cheating. Just squirt it on and rinse it off with a strong hose stream or an electric pressure washer. Done. Gelcoat, windows, aluminun trim, rub rail, stainless railing, outboard motors, everything.

The Magic Eraser does remove the wax, though, so if I clean small spots I spray and wipe some McKee's detail wax on it.

It's a lazy man's dream!

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little wing



Joined: 21 Sep 2016
Posts: 83
City/Region: Oakland, MI
State or Province: MI
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Toots
Photos: Toots
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TyBoo wrote:
it is so simple it feels like cheating.
It's a lazy man's dream!

You're talking my language, Tyboo Mike.
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BrentB



Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 4400
City/Region: Greenwood
State or Province: IN
Photos: BrentB
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

on the flip side, find a good detail shop

Call marinas and see who they use

Often they don't advertise and might a living from word of mouth recommendations

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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 17207
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer the question about trailer or metal fittings--you can either protect it by getting some cheap 3 mil plastic sheets from Home Depot and use masking tape to wrap off the frame (especially if really caustic material). I often just keep the hose handy, and squirt off any drips on the trailer (mine are aluminum frame, with minimal galvanized fittings.)

SS does not seem to be affected by any of the harsh chemicals. Be careful with concentrated muriatic acid around boats and gel coat! I avoid muriatic acid.

If the boat is well waxed, I usually use one of the "Wax friendly" car soaps. Blue Coral is more common that I use.

If the oxalic acid does not work, I usually use Bar Keeper's Friend. Certainly all of this will take the wax off.

I have had terrible experience with mobile detailers. I have had them do one boat and have it look great--then they come back the next day, and do a half way job on on the other boat or RV. There have to be some good ones--but I have not had good luck in our area. Huge turnover of people doing this. I have a friend who I pay $20 an hour and he does a decent job. Physically I am not up to the full detail anymore. As long as we stay on top of it, it seems fine....

I must have a dozen miracle sprays etc in the garage...nothing as good as a good compound, polish and cabana wax.

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Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011 to May 2018
Caracal 18 140 Suzuki 2007 to present
Thataway TomCat 255 150 Suzukis June 2006 thru August 2011
C Pelican; 1992, 22 Cruiser, 2002 thru 2006
Frequent Sea; 2003 C D 25, 2007 thru 2009
KA6PKB
Home port: Pensacola FL
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BrentB



Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 4400
City/Region: Greenwood
State or Province: IN
Photos: BrentB
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use 2 guys in the Charlotte County, FL area who does the Grady White fleet at several mariains. but mostly in Placida. They use 3M products and paste wax as a top coat and do a great job.

Now with new hips, I am back to the task but if The Admiral gifts me then no worries

I use wax safe soap
https://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/37_25/features/Best-Boat-Soaps-for-Regular-Washdowns_10953-1.html

microfiber mop not brush

liquid or paste wax - no peculiar brand When the can is empty, I tried a different. I prefer Meguiar paste wax. The secret is application and buffing. I have older machines like from WEN and Harbor Freight and lots of wool pads New machines and microfiber pads probably are better

Woody Wax on SS items, cockpit deck. outboard cowling, air horns
Use sparingly

It is the same guys for over 10 years

Always funny stories about items found during cleaning and in bilges
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TyBoo



Joined: 23 Oct 2003
Posts: 4979
City/Region: Warrenton
State or Province: OR
C-Dory Year: 1996
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruise Ship
Vessel Name: TyBoo
Photos: TyBoo
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob, I am an old school carnuba wax guy myself and have got into some good discussions with car guys who like the newfangled ceramic-this & quartz-that stuff. But my shoulder does not like rubbing much anymore so I broke down and tried the Sio2 ceramic (they say) stuff from Mequiar's on my white truck. I was so pleased with the result I now use it exclusively on my black car.

The Meguiar's doesn't work well on the gelcoat but the McKee's does. The car version needs to be dried off after rinsing (I use a heated blower) but the marine version just gets rinsed off with the pressure washer and is good to go.

Once a year I use restorer wax on the boat's colored stripes but I use electric buffers for it because I am too old, sore and lazy to do it by hand. (I don't trust myself to use a power buffer on the car.) Then I wash it with McKee's wash/wax soap, rinse it off, spray the Sio2 coating on while it is still wet, blast that off and call it done.
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gulfcoast john



Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 480
City/Region: PENSACOLA
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2010
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: Cat O' Mine
Photos: CAT O' MINE
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,
Your boat is still 'new' so it makes sense to me to start mild and work up to to 'the acids.'
I find Simple Green to work well on Florida grime and mildew. It will remove wax and grease, but it won't blind you if you get it in your eyes or etch the aluminum trailer. You don't have to even wear gloves. $10 a gallon with a free quart sprayer at Lowes (avoid the small sizes for a boat). Use a long handle deck brush, a 25% mix in a big bucket and slop it around everything...roof, cabin sides, hulls, engines. Rinse and repeat.

If I'm going to use oxalic acid for oxidation, I launch the boat and beach it to avoid getting it on the trailer. Scrub brush and salt water will remove chalkiness, but so will gentle wet sanding under a stream of water with 1000-600 grit wet or dry sandpaper with a drop of Dawn in the bucket.

Orange streaks from SS hardware is often from 'crevice corrosion' at a fastener. If you don't have bottomcoat, sometimes only acid will remove brown staining.

Agree with Woody Wax for stainless. Use a green Scotchpad for rust stains, much cheaper than bronze wool and works just as well. I don't like it as a nonskid deck treatment...Starbrite Nonskid cleaner doesn't stain like the Woody Wax can.

The premium Meguirs boat waxes are always at or near the top in reviews.

Have fun!
John

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2010 Tom Cat 255, Cat O' Mine
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JMacLeod



Joined: 26 Jun 2018
Posts: 114
City/Region: Stuart
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2018
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: C-Shalom
Photos: JMacLeod
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the suggestions.
I already have a small collection of Meguiars, StarBright, and AutoGeek products to try out, adding Simple Green to that now.
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 17207
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Mike (TyBoo), I 'm s sucker for a "magic product"--I am going to try the Sio2 from McKee. I have a fairly recent coat of cabana wax, so I'll probably Sio2 the boat in Feb. before Hontoon gathering.

John, with this yearly sanding, aren't you taking off a bit of the gel coat each time. I believe that you use one of the "Polyglow" type of products??. Is that why the sanding? I find that usually a quick and light run over with the minimal compound, and then polish brings it right up about every 6 months using McQuire's Marine wax...(Longer if I use Colonite).

Even though the person who I bought the boat from said there was no polyglow on my boat, I am very suspicious about the cabin top. At some point it is going to have to be stripped. Still looks pretty good--at least 18 months after the last major detailing...
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JMacLeod



Joined: 26 Jun 2018
Posts: 114
City/Region: Stuart
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2018
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: C-Shalom
Photos: JMacLeod
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thataway wrote:
OK Mike (TyBoo), I 'm s sucker for a "magic product"--I am going to try the Sio2 from McKee.

If you select the mix-and-match 3 deal you can choose 3 bottles of the Sio2 for 33% off.

I had to pull the trigger too after the recommendation and seeing the spray-on/hose-off application.
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Wandering Sagebrush



Joined: 21 Jan 2005
Posts: 2668
City/Region: Canby, Oregon
State or Province: OR
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Constant Craving
Photos: Constant Craving
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm, magic... I like magic. I’m thinking it will be nice on the Northern Lite camper as well as the boat.
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gulfcoast john



Joined: 14 Dec 2012
Posts: 480
City/Region: PENSACOLA
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2010
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: Cat O' Mine
Photos: CAT O' MINE
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bob!
Excellent points, as always!
My 2010 TC255 was splashed in Oriental Inlet, NC by the PO. It lived in full 100% sun until we bought it in 2013, and has lived 100% in full Florida sun since (with a few reprieves in Canada, New York, the Keys, the Chesapeake, ATL ICW, TN and KY rivers etc but they were relatively short in boat years). Unlike your canal and boat lift, there is zero shade ever at our wet or dry slips. (But they are both on PNS NAS 5 minutes from our house and we wouldn’t change that). Overall, this has resulted in more than the average gelcoat chalky oxidation like ‘plastic rust’. I do not advocate ‘Poli-Glow’ (basically a clear coat polyurethane sealant with a lot of UV protection) except for older boats with a lot of UV /sun damage oxidation like mine.
We all agree to avoid silicone; which most often leads to 3M Compound (equivalent to 1500 grit) then maybe 3M Finesse silicone-free polish (2000grit) with a buffing machine like my Shurhold. I believe I get better control and effectiveness with a bucket of water with a bit of Dawn and hand-sanding under a small spray of hose water. Unlike the buffer, with a bit of experience I can ‘feel’ the rough chalkiness of oxidized areas vs the smoothness of intact gelcoat with 1500 or 2000 grit 3M sandpaper and go very easy on the smooth gelcoat.

Bottom line, I suspect that compounding with a buffer removes a bit of gelcoat each time, and so does gentle hand wet sanding under a spray of water. The only alternatives are to apply your fav wax over ‘dead’ oxidized gelcoat (looks good for a few weeks) or just live with your chalky oxidized gelcoat and be happy.
Before our Canada Triangle adventure, I waxed smooth areas of the bow in May with premium Meguirs boat wax, and spent most of today on that area. Deep black spots and stains, sticky residual…Very disappointing with it compared to Poli-Glow. Practical Sailor gave Poli-Glow the longest lasting shine award. They claim it’s easy to remove, I say not so much. Simple Green or Poli-Stripper will remove it with elbow grease. Applying it with a big microfiber mitt is a breeze, the whole boat takes under 90 minutes.
Cheers!
John
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