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FAQ's

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How often should my boat get washed?

This question is best answered pending where you boat is stored, in-water or out, salt or fresh water environments, heavy fallout areas are city’s, highways, airports are all areas that create heavy fallout in the air so more frequent washings as weekly or bi-weekly are typically recommended to keep all those contaminants off of the boats surfaces.

Can I use my car detailing products on my boat? What about home cleaning products?

Car waxes and polishes can work but gelcoat is much harder material than auto paints and clear coats. If you have to compound on gelcoat car products just don't' have the cutting materials to get down to good gelcoat, if it's just waxing then you could be recommend not as again, marine waxes, polished, compounds are formulated to work and perform in the harsh marine environment.  Cleaning products you can if not over the water as many are not good for the environment, marine product companies are formulating their products more and more to help with environmental concerns so best to spend the extra $$ to do so.  There are however some products that you can't do without for cleaning

Can I use Armorall on my vinyl seats?

Boat vinyl's/upholstery are a different bread than automotive, although stronger materials as they have to withstand, heat, cold, sun, salt, etc. they still need to be cleaned and protected with the proper products. Armorall has additives not good for the vinyl's, a good marine grade vinyl cleaner/protector is always the way to go, there are many out there in the market, they are formulated for these types of materials

When I bring my boat back from being in salt water, is hosing it off good enough?

Although this is better than nothing you need to take the time to wash with good PH balanced boat soap. If only have time to rinse then highly recommend salt dissolving products as salt away or salt terminator, these products are a few of many out there. Rinsing with water will not get  all the salt deposits out of nooks and crannies not to mention most marina water supply is either very hard or soft and can cause heavy water spotting which will etch the boats surfaces

If in the budget a good water softener to put at the water supply outlet is great

Should I use a black streak remover product or something similar to remove water streaks on my boat or just stick to boat soap?

Black streaks typically can't be removed by just soap unless a boat is freshly waxed. They are caused by fall-out in the air, dirt buildup on the boat etc. When the morning dew or rain drips down the boat and dries the dirt locked in so a good all purpose marine grade cleaner works great.

What exactly is oxidation?

Gel coat oxidation is the fading of color as well as the chalky feel that is on the surface. Oxidation which is caused by UV degradation of the gel coat is caused by several factors ranging from chemical exposure to environmental.

What’s the difference between compound, wax and polish?

  • Compounds are used to remove heavy oxidation on surfaces such as gelcoat and paint for the preparation of the next step in the restoration process.  

  • Polishes and/or medium cutting compounds are used after the compounding stage, they are less aggressive and are used to remove swirls and haze caused in the compounding process. They also give the gelcoat/paint a deeper wet look, providing the gloss you want to see as the process goes along. They like compound typically do not contain any protection, the final stages of the process do and are very important not to skip or you’d be wasting all the time prepping the surface for wax

  • Wax contain no abrasives and are used to seal/protect the surfaces prepped from the prior steps

What’s the best way to prevent mildew from forming inside the cabin and the cockpit?

Keep water out of that area when washing as much as possible, we opt to wet sponge and chamois with our service as much as possible.  Owners should run an oscillating fan inside to keep air flow moving especially in hot/humid climates.

How can I remove exhaust stains on the transom and stern area?

They don’t come off with boat soap or spray cleaners very well. When these stains are embedded that badly you will have to use a mild to medium cutting compound or polish with tool or by hand to remove, then reseal with wax of choice.  If you wash this area with an good all purpose cleaner and soap after each trip then this will cut down on the build up.

What’s the best way to clean mildew out of canvas, non-skid and teak decks and how can I keep it from coming back so soon?

Canvas/Non-skid-Although they have many mold remover claim products our there and depending on the level of mold they just don’t work compared to bleach.  When using bleach you can dilute to your needs and this is the most effective way to rid of mold period.  Just be sure to rinse the areas very well afterwards and follow with soap wash.

Teak Decks-If mold is present here and a lot of it, it means it’s time to call a teak specialist to have them resurface the teak as it’s likely become very grainy.  Over time you have to perform this task with teak as it ages.  If not heavily grained and moldy then a good 2-part teak cleaner & brightener are very nice to restore that original honey color.

What’s the best way to clean mildew out of canvas, non-skid and teak decks and how can I keep it from coming back so soon?

Canvas/Non-skid-Although they have many mold remover claim products our there and depending on the level of mold they just don’t work compared to bleach.  When using bleach you can dilute to your needs and this is the most effective way to rid of mold period.  Just be sure to rinse the areas very well afterwards and follow with soap wash.

Teak Decks-If mold is present here and a lot of it, it means it’s time to call a teak specialist to have them resurface the teak as it’s likely become very grainy.  Over time you have to perform this task with teak as it ages.  If not heavily grained and moldy then a good 2-part teak cleaner & brightener are very nice to restore that original honey color.

There are several deck brushes to choose from at my local boating supply store, but I can’t imagine I need one of each. Which one or two do I absolutely need on my boat?

We always have used at minimum 2 brush heads, 1 very stiff for non-skid deck and canvas cleaning and 1 soft for the rest of surface, now you need either a soft mit or lambs wool pad to wash your clear curtains if you have them, do not use a deck brush on those areas.

What are some good uses for cleaner wax and how should I use it?

Cleaner waxes have micro polishing agents for light to medium oxidation removal on gelcoat/painted surfaces.  Rotary or high torque orbitals with the appropriate pads are key to get the best results from any polish, compound or wax.

We’re going on a three-week summer cruise. What are some tips and tasks to help me keep the boat clean while we’re cruising?

Salt removal at bare minimum when get in each day from cruising with product such as Salt away or Salt Terminator.  Preferably was the entire boat and dry well, especially the transom to keep exhaust soot from building up and embedding into the transom areas.

I’m planning to sell my boat soon. What are some things I can do to prepare it for sale so it shows well?

Just like selling a home you want the “curb” appeal. Be sure all mechanicals and electronics are sound and functioning properly, then move on to all the cosmetics. Be sure the entire boats surfaces are clean and items organized.  Freshly polish the entire boat if not already done so, including gelcoat/paint, metals, glass etc. If you have a interior cabin, do a thorough cleaning, remove all personal contents not selling with the boat.

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