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josrulz 05-09-2010 06:02 PM

Hull cleaning/streak removing
Hi all,
OK, let me preface by saying that the hull gelcoat of our Sabre 34 has lots of shine still. Normally, we'd just apply a coat of Collinite Fleetwax and call it a day. However, after washing the hull today with boat soap and a light brush, we noticed there are a number of black streaks remaining, along with some exhaust stains on the transom. They aren't terrible, but we'd like to get rid of them before waxing.

Since boat soap didn't do the trick, we tried a black streak remover (barely any effect), and we tried Roll Off and Interlux Heavy Duty Stain Remover. Both worked to some degree, but took a good bit of elbow grease with a rag or paper towel, and the results were uneven.

On a whim, in a spot that's not very visible (under the transom), I scrubbed some of the streaks with the backside of a sponge--the scotchbrite part. I would normally not use something like this on our hull of course. But the thing is, the streaks just wiped away. I mean with like no effort. And there was no "product" on the sponge.

So my question is, instead of trying cleaner after cleaner, are we just not using the right implement? Should we be using a tougher brush or something? We don't want to scratch the hull, but it seems like a little abrasive is working much better than the cleaners. Again, not saying we should use a scotchbrite pad on our hull, but is there something we should be using?

Thanks for your help!

eryka 05-09-2010 06:09 PM

We use the green scrubby side of the sponge all the time with no ill effect. When we need a product, we've been happy with Shaklee Liquid At Ease. Of course, you could just sail rail-down on that side of the boat and then no one could see the black streak ... ;)

DrB 05-09-2010 06:36 PM

Use SoftscurbTM. Works magic on gel coat stains and won't harm the gelcoat. Use a microfiber rag and apply a little dab on the stain and do a little finger swirl too remove. Just before it is dry, buff out with a clean microfiber rag.

When you get the Softscrub, get the lemon scented stuff and not the bleach one. The bleach can stain your clothes or irritate your hands if gets on you. Since the bleach really doesn't help with the stain on the gelcoat, there is no need for it.


sailingdog 05-09-2010 06:52 PM

I second using microfiber cloths... if you have a CostCo near you, you can get a bundle of 30 or so for about $18.

josrulz 05-09-2010 07:52 PM

Thanks everyone! Eryka, thanks for the tip. I thought the scotch brite pads would scratch, no?

As for microfiber, we have tons of 'em for waxing. But doesn't softscrub make the fiberglass porous?

Note that I'm speaking not from any scientific facts that I know, but rather from what I've read. I could be totally wrong. :D

Thanks again folks!

mgmhead 05-09-2010 08:03 PM

Soft Scub may be 'soft' but it's still very abrasive. My PO used it and I wouldn't recommend it to a friend.

DrB 05-09-2010 08:26 PM

is safe to use on glass cooktops and acrylic surfaces without scratching. It is no more abrasive than a final finishing compound used to polish fiberglass. It also won't make the gel coat porous as gelcoat is already porous. I used it on my boat for 4-years for deck surfaces that are not non-skid with excellent results. It leaves a nice glossy shine it easily removes water/rust/soot stains.

My boat is 31 years old and has the original gelcoat which has never been painted and looks like it came right out the mold. I have had people come to me ask ask me what kind of boat I have. When I tell them it a 1979 Pearson, they go wow!, looks like it's brand new.

If you are worried about using it, try it on a small area first. You can follow it up with A polishing/final finishing compound, like Finesse II to really yield a high gloss.

Softscrub is MUCH better than using a scotchbrite pad to remove stains on gelcoat. Scotchbrite will scratch it.


sailingdog 05-09-2010 08:36 PM

IIRC, softscrub is designed for use on fiberglass tubs... so it shouldn't be too bad for a fiberglass boat...

gershel 05-09-2010 08:46 PM

gershel 05-09-2010 08:50 PM

Sorry, maybe this link works better.
Marykate On & Off Hull & Bottom Cleaner (UPS Ground)

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