Simple Question: Cleaning the Decks - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-04-2006
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Simple Question: Cleaning the Decks

This is very basic question: what's your favorite way to keep the decks clean at dock?

We've done the whole "strip for painting" process on a boat on the hard, but now that we have two boats in slips we realize that we need to be a bit more thoughtful about run-on into the river.

We have a bottle of boatsoap from West Marine, and we assume that using a diluted amount in a bucket with a boat brush is the right approach, followed by a fresh water rinse off. Is a sponge better for broad areas? We assume this is alright to do at the slip.

Any other techniques or products that others might recommend to make the process more effective or faster, but without putting toxins into the river?

Thanks!

Jim H
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Old 03-04-2006
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Normally I use plain water and a short bristle brush, no soap or anything else and it keeps the boat nice and clean. I seldom run into anything that needs soap, but when I do I spot clean it, wipe up with a sponge or rag then continue with the plain water, had DNR show up as I was washing the deck, and after watching for a few minutes and asking what I used they walked over to the guys with sudsy water and bothered them so I'd assume plain water is DNR approved!

Also use the same technique to clean the waterline and never had trouble. get the boat to shallow enough water to walk around it and wipe it down with a scrubber backed sponge.

The only place I realy use soap or detergent is inside or around the engine.

Ken.
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Old 03-05-2006
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Krazy Klean and a power washer are my favorite

I've had good results with Krazy Klean and a deck brush for some time (a pricey product, but it got good marks from Practical Sailor), but started using an electric power washer a few years ago.

The power washer is ~1300 psi and removes an amazing amount of dirt with no soap at all. I then use Krazy Klean on stubborn spots (spider spots, bird poop, etc.).

One thing about power washers though -- they will remove loose gel coat or paint along with dirt, so keep the wand set for a fan pattern and ease into it. (Whatever you do, don't use the straight stream setting.) Once I figured out the magic combination of how wide the set the fan pattern and how far to hold the nozzle from the deck, I cut my boat cleaning time around 75%. On top of that, I'm able to get dirt out of places where I didn't know the boat had places. Electric power washers have become quite popular at my marina.

Mark
One Step Closer
Lake St. Clair, MI
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Old 03-05-2006
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Thanks for the responses.

I had pretty good luck yesterday using West Marine's citrus, biodegradable cleaner (diluted) and a deck brush to scrub the decks of our C&C 27. The results weren't magic, but it was good to see some of the jet exhaust (we're near an airport) go away, as well as the green slime along the toe rail and teak.

I haven't done the topsides yet, but I'm looking forward to doing a good clearning and wax job at the start of the season. Some areasy in the cockpit and on the companionway hatch cover are pretty far gone and fading through, so I may need to think of some partial repainting solutions (not up to doing all this year).

My brother has a pressure washer with a car attachment, and he suggested I try it next time. I've read several articles, though, about how gel coat is semiporous and getting water behind it is not-so-great idea. I've heard of others pressure washing as well, however.

Jim H
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Old 03-06-2006
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For the non skid area, I was impressed with Sea Brites non skid cleaner. I am not sure of its environmental impact. it sure made my 30 year old non skid look great.
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Old 03-06-2006
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Roll Off

I use a product called Roll Off. It works great.

In the Great Lakes over the years, I have experienced a great deal of problems with spiders. Its amazing how many spiders you can get on your boat (and how big they get!).

Well the spiders leave a mess for us to clean and its not very pretty.

Thousands of little tiny green dots everywhere on our decks. The only product I have found thats effective on these is Roll Off.

Roll Off is a very good all around general cleaning product.
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Old 03-07-2006
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Spider dung (soilent green) can be cleaned with water and the help of the suns bleaching affects. Any soap you use also removes the wax on the smooth surfaces of the deck and top sides. I rarely use soap, the deck gelcoat of my 1986 boat looks better than most boats only five years old that have been scoured with chemical cleaners.
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Old 03-10-2006
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To keep decks clean and easier to clean I use "deck wax" a non-skid product sold in most chandleries.... the boat stays much cleaner and when needing actual cleaning is much easier.
http://westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/sto...roductId=81500
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Old 03-11-2006
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Deck Cleaner

I've used a product called Simple Green. Available in hardware stores. Lowes in my area. It works very well and is inexpensive. They have a website www.simplegreen.com
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Old 03-20-2006
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Simple Green Usage

I tried Simple Green, and although it did a great job of cleaning, I found it left terrible streaks on my hunter green hull. Does anyone know if it will strip the wax off? I certainly don't want to use it again if all my waxing this spring is going to be stripped off!
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