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Old 10-30-2018, 11:38 AM   #1
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Seeking Cleaning Tips for Winter Storage

We are newbies entering into our first season of boat storage. Our vessel is stored in a heated building and we are hoping to do a lot of work this winter. I started small by cleaning the dinghy yesterday, but now it is on to cleaning the outside of our 1984 C&L Sea Ranger 43 and I am seeking advice.

What type of cleaner do you recommend? Web searches provide an overwhelming array of options. I'm tempted to just go at her with a bucket of warm soapy water, but thought I'd tap into this marvelous resource for recommendations.
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Old 10-30-2018, 11:45 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard. For miscellaneous cleaning I like Spray 9. It works well for general cleaning.
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Old 10-30-2018, 11:54 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Clean, then wax.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:03 PM   #4
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Ah yes, but before the 'wax on, wax off' step, what do you clean with?
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:10 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. 43. Soap and water, spray 9 for stubborn spots? Pretty well whatever works. Quite a few soaps will remove the existing wax but since you're planning on re-waxing anyway, no need to buy a "special" (usually meaning more $$) soap that leaves the wax intact. MY opinion only.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CNL43 View Post
Ah yes, but before the 'wax on, wax off' step, what do you clean with?
Depends if the boat is gelcoat or paint and what condition it is in.
For clean and non stained gelcoat we use a sealant (which is like a wax) called "gelcoatlabs". It is easier to use than most 'waxes' and lasts longer in our experience.
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:30 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone! Looks like I'll start out with a bucket of warm, soapy water (Dawn) and Spray 9.
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Old 10-30-2018, 02:03 PM   #8
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I would not use Dawn to wash the boat, it will strip the wax. Use a good boat soap instead. There are many out there that are good.
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Old 10-30-2018, 02:50 PM   #9
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Oooo - good to know. Boat U.S. recommended the following: 'Add a cup of detergent to a gallon of water ó warm water is better ó and use a sponge to wash the surface with this solution. Be sure to protect your hands with rubber gloves. If mildew is present, add a cup of household bleach to your cleaning solution.' (Restoring the Shine to Fiberglass - BoatTech - BoatUS)

Being new to all this, I just figured dish detergent and Dawn is my go-to dish detergent!

Can I emphasize newbie here! Not just newbie to forum, newbie to boating too.
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Old 10-30-2018, 03:26 PM   #10
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Glad you are here. New boaters can pick up a lot of great info here.
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:54 PM   #11
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Magic Eraser works well for those stubborn marks, scuffs and such. It will clean the wax off also.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:15 PM   #12
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Magic Eraser is also abrasive although a mild abrasive.
Not on my boat untill I've tried other , gentler products.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:44 PM   #13
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Greetings,
Mr. 43. I tend to agree with the potentially unacceptable abrasiveness of Magic Erasers BUT there is a place for them aboard.


Two other items I might mention...Even though your boat appears to be in fresh water, IF you have any rust or corrosion on your stainless steel, I highly recommend Spotless Stainless. Spotless Stainless Home. Follow the directions and do NOT allow it to dry on the boat. Keep it moist by re-brushing.


Secondly, don't forget the cleaning powers of simple vinegar particularly if you can immerse or soak an item. I've de-rusted a number of rusty tools by letting them soak overnight in a vinegar bath. Good for removing water scale as well.


Oh, and...


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Old 10-31-2018, 12:04 AM   #14
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Thanks for the recommendation. The previous owners had her in salt water so there are a lot of stains to tackle.

Do most of you do your own cleaning & waxing or do you hire out?
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:20 AM   #15
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Greetings,
Mr. 43. "Do most of you do your own cleaning & waxing or do you hire out?"



If that question was directed toward me the answer is "sorta". I don't wax at all, at this point, because I still have some small areas that need paint. I do wash and rinse up on occasion (long story) and if things get ahead of me, I hire a one time wash.


I anticipate a cut and wax job in the near future after all the paint is done. THAT I will hire out.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:34 AM   #16
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Our boat came from saltwater, so I am working my way around the boat cleaning and polishing everything to get the stains off. I have been using Blue Magic polish with a 90degree drill. I have painted the whole boat at this point.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:04 AM   #17
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I was planning on tackling the whole job (clean and wax) but have been advised by folks who store with us that it is simply too big of a job. Maybe Iíll see how the cleaning goes and hire out the waxing. We have one day a week to devote to her (Iím still working; husband newly retired). Or perhaps we should just hire out the whole job to get her back in good shape (after being in salt water) and then we can focus on cleaning the bilges and repainting the trim. We are so darn new to this! I do greatly appreciate all the information folks have shared on cleaning projects. This is a great place to get educated.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:43 AM   #18
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Greetings,
Ms. 43. Well, you can pay me now or you can pay me later. I am quickly approaching mid-range in the "2" factor....


It takes me twice as long to accomplish specific tasks as it did 30 years ago. I'm twice as sore/achy after doing said tasks.

Twice as long to recover (and band-aids aren't getting any cheaper).

2X longer to bend into the exact position to be able to work on the "whatever" that is on the back side of the engine while trying yet again to NOT drop the wrench/pliers.

3X longer to find and fish out said above mentioned dropped wrench/pliers.

2X longer to unbend. In other words 2 old.


Something I did 30 years ago and ONLY did once was strip and repaint anti-fouling. THAT job I have paid to have done since. Give me a clogged head or a stiff thru-hull any day of the week. NO more bottom work!


Now, for the "grunt work", I pay to have it done.


I really understand your enthusiasm and that's a great thing but as I mentioned to someone yesterday, you have enough on your plate without diverting your time to a project that can readily be purchased.



IF I haven't done so already, may I offer a bit of friendly advice...


Don't make any major changes to your new boat for at least one season. Please don't start building cupboards, extra "storage", or making any alterations or modifications to what you have now. By all means, clean, tidy up, whatever but hold off on adding or removing anything. Your opinions may change as to what is good or bad after you gain familiarity with Ms. Mary Barrow.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:34 PM   #19
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Thank you so very much for your wise words, RTF. I believe my enthusiasm is fixed at age 33; however, my muscles and bones have continued to keep beat with the march of time. Great timing on the advice about changes too. We were considering adding a thruster, but the $$$ scared us off, plus our advisers at Bay Marine (where we bought her and winter her) as well as our mentors at The Oconto Yacht Club have encouraged us to give it another season and spend lots of time practicing docking. Practice, practice, practice! (And trust that we won't squish the speed boat docked next to us at our Sturgeon Bay condo.)
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