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Old 08-10-2012, 02:36 PM   #21
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I think if you cruise a lot, I think you wind up with a stain pretty much no matter were you are unless all open ocean. Any coastal waters with soil contaminants will probably give a brow. If you you leave a new boat in the water without bottom painting it...it usually turns brown in my experience...so maybe that all there is to it.

No scientific evidence or long term thought on this one...just a hunch.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:08 AM   #22
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So here are the final results (before/after) of 15 minutes and a bottle of "the works" toilet bowl cleaner. I even get a reflection off the water now


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Old 09-28-2012, 12:53 AM   #23
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We used to use all these other products and then this year we tried lemon juice from the big green bottles. You put it in a spray bottle, dilute it about 75% with water. Squirt it on and within seconds the beard is gone. No severe chemicals, etc!
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:28 PM   #24
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We have been using The Works for years here in the Chesapeake Bay and love it. It is too strong as bought so we mix it half and half with water and the brown just runs off when sprayed.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:29 PM   #25
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The primary agent in most commercial hull (and Hypalon dink) cleaners is oxalic acid. It can be purchased in powdered form at most hardware stores as wood bleach. Mix your own. Don't believe I'd use hydrochloric acid on gel coat.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:57 PM   #26
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The primary agent in most commercial hull (and Hypalon dink) cleaners is oxalic acid. It can be purchased in powdered form at most hardware stores as wood bleach. Mix your own. Don't believe I'd use hydrochloric acid on gel coat.
Oxalic acid is a chemical bleach that works well on rust. Asphalt is the only surface I found that was adversely affected by it; turns it green. I used to buy it from a chemical company in 55# bags, used a cup to a gallon of water. No scrubbing, just rinse it off. If you use a pump-up sprayer, be sure to rinse it well after use. The stuff will turn back to a crystal if it is left overnight in the sprayer. Also works great on south Florida houses and sidewalks stained by irrigation water from a shallow well!
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:59 PM   #27
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Zing is a very strong hull cleaner that is based on muriatic acid. Muriatic acid is a weaker solution of hyrdrochloric acid. It is great for getting stubborn dried on algae and other stubborn stains off gelcoat. Bow stains don't usually need anything that strong.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:49 AM   #28
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Oxalic acid is a chemical bleach that works well on rust. Asphalt is the only surface I found that was adversely affected by it; turns it green. I used to buy it from a chemical company in 55# bags, used a cup to a gallon of water. No scrubbing, just rinse it off. If you use a pump-up sprayer, be sure to rinse it well after use. The stuff will turn back to a crystal if it is left overnight in the sprayer.
I use this product:



which contains oxalic acid and is labelled as safe for fiberglass. I dilute it with more water than what the directions call for and it still cleans the brown scum.

I've left it in a plastic sprayer for months without problems.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:10 AM   #29
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Marin I think it is a tannin stain. Down here it comes from the mangrove trees that line the shore.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:02 AM   #30
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DON"T USE THE ACID!! It's bad for your boat, it's bad for the water, it's bad for your skin, eyes, etc., it's expensive. Lemon juice in the big green bottles deluted 75% or so with water in a spray bottle works great. I use it all the time for the ICW beard and it desolves away in minutes. Then rinse. Done.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:09 AM   #31
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DON"T USE THE ACID!! It's bad for your boat, it's bad for the water, it's bad for your skin, eyes, etc., it's expensive. Lemon juice in the big green bottles deluted 75% or so with water in a spray bottle works great. I use it all the time for the ICW beard and it desolves away in minutes. Then rinse. Done.
Lemon juice is ACID !!
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:12 AM   #32
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YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:46 PM   #33
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DON"T USE THE ACID!! It's bad for your boat, it's bad for the water, it's bad for your skin, eyes, etc., it's expensive. Lemon juice in the big green bottles deluted 75% or so with water in a spray bottle works great. I use it all the time for the ICW beard and it desolves away in minutes. Then rinse. Done.

It's been 6 months and the hull looks awesome. Again, I have seen many positive real life experiences with "the works" and "Sno-Bowl" toilet cleaners. I have seen 0 negative 'real life' experiences.

For those with 'real life' horror stories, please step forward.

**Crickets**
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:15 PM   #34
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It's been 6 months and the hull looks awesome. Again, I have seen many positive real life experiences with "the works" and "Sno-Bowl" toilet cleaners. I have seen 0 negative 'real life' experiences.

For those with 'real life' horror stories, please step forward.

**Crickets**
If six months satisfies you that there will be no long term damage from cleaning your boat with toilet bowl cleaner, that's fine.

For me, I would want to know that using toilet bowl cleaner for ten years or more wouldn't damage the gelcoat. That's why I check the label of the product to make sure it's safe for fiberglass.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:42 PM   #35
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First of all, no one is using it to clean their boat daily, monthly or even yearly. We are discussing the dreaded beard and tannin stains. If the stain ever comes back, I know how to deal with it.

What does satisfy me, is the countless of individuals with years of 'real life' experience. The only horror story I see anywhere is the dreaded beard stain that is impossible to get off without an aggressive cleaner. Knowing that the expensive 'boat cleaners' contain the same chemical is also helpful in making the decision. Again, still looking for those with real life experiences rather than opinion. Here is a nice 'real life' experience article.

The Tidy Boat Man | The Ultimate Bass Fishing Resource Guide® LLC
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:50 PM   #36
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If your cruising the ICW or the Pamlico, Curituck or Albermarle and you want to look yachty then you do need to clean every few days. The most obvious problem I know of having used the acids is getting on your skin/eyes, $ and it dissolves the wax immediately thereby leading to more stains/more acid/more stains.....
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:23 PM   #37
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Daddyo, were not talking about boat washing here. We're talking about 'beard stain' removal. A once in several + years process.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:26 PM   #38
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Daddyo, were not talking about boat washing here. We're talking about 'beard stain' removal. A once in several + years process.

Down boy, down!! Come to the east coast. I am talking about beard stain removal. Welcome to our reality
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:09 AM   #39
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"I think if you cruise a lot, I think you wind up with a stain pretty much no matter were you are unless all open ocean. Any coastal waters with soil contaminants will probably give a brow."

I've always considered an end-of-season bow beard to be a cruising "badge of honor". It means the boat has been used. At least, that's what I tell the boat owner as we are staring at it.

Interestingly, my current boat has a painted LP hull, no beard has ever appeared even after 3000+ mile multiple seasons. From this, it is easy to speculate that softer hull surfaces (oil based paint over wood, older gel coat) tend to absorb the stain more readily.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:16 AM   #40
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OK DaddyO
How about 25 years if removing "beard" stain every time it re-appears? Several times every summer, is that long enough? I have tried a number of different brands of toilet bowl cleaner, all of which contain hydrochloric acid in some concentration. The ones that work best simply contain more HCl. My "beard" doesn't re-appear any faster now than it did when I first got my present boat in 1994, so I don't believe there is any damage being done by the cleaner.

About 20 yrs ago a friend of mine gave me a can of one of those expensive "marine" preparations (that don't tell you how much HCl they contain) and it didn't work as well as the better toilet bowl cleaners.

That same friend didn't need the cleaner any more, as he had just had his boat Awlgripped. His boat still doesn't get a "beard", proving that the only really effective remedy is Awlgrip. If could afford it, that is what I would use.
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