Cleaning a Boat on a Mooring - What do you do? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-17-2011 Thread Starter
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Cleaning a Boat on a Mooring - What do you do?

I'm about to start storing my new boat on a mooring, and I am concerned about how I might keep everything clean (and corrosion free) - especially the brand new rigging I am putting on it. Though I will be saving money by not having a slip, it seems like it will be harder to keep everything from degrading faster by not washing with fresh water, etc.

Anybody out there who has experience in this realm that would be willing to impart some wisdom on this young sailor?
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-17-2011
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As a mooring person in a packed harbor you learn to live with a bit more dirt a saltwater pump will take care of most of the bird poop

OR work out your timing to get a spot on the town dock long enough to do a freshwater rinse (generaly a BIG line )

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-17-2011
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Hey,

I rely on rain to wash of my standing rigging. I do a salt water wash a few times during the season, followed by a fresh water rinse at the dock. My marina has three docks that are used to short term use - like 15 minutes to load and unload gear, take on water etc. I can get on my boat mid week so those docks are pretty empty and I can use the hose to rinse my boat off.

There are some biodegradable boat washes that are designed to work with salt water. They seem to work OK.

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post #4 of 11 Old 01-17-2011
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ryan, it's a boat. If you really want to keep it clean, you get indoor rack storage.

Otherwise? Wash it as needed, wax it or polish it with a quality product to prevent UV damage, and use sailcovers. That's about all you can do.

If the spars are anodized and most of the rest stainless, there's not much to worry about and occasional waxing or polishing is more than most get.

There is non-skid deck wax for the deck, and low-tech top quality waxes like Fleet Wax do an excellent job on the hull.

And if you wash the boat with any soap or detergent and suds get in the water? That may be an EPA problem too, find out what's acceptable locally.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-18-2011
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-19-2011
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No really good answer, this is one of the specific reasons that slips cost what they cost.

Here is a solution, but not cheap in year one. It pays off over time, I suppose. Install a watermaker to be sure you have plenty of freshwater. This is expensive, but has obvious other benefits too. If you don't already have a washdown pump, install this with a y-valve to a thru hull for salt water and to the water tank for fresh. Washdown pumps are not very expensive. Don't skimp on the washdown pump, get as much pressure as you can or you will feel like you are washing down with a squirt gun.

If you are willing to run in to top freshwater tanks often, you could skip the watermaker. Not sure about your neck of the woods, but continuously taking up space at the fuel dock just for water may not be welcomed. The other downside to a watermaker is they don't like contaminated water at all, and many harbors are contaminated.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-19-2011
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A watermaker is usually not a great solution for this problem, since most moorings are in areas where the water is too contaminated or dirty for RO watermaker use.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-19-2011
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We have water hookups at the marina. A 12-volt water pump would do.

I just recently tested/used a sample bottle of Boat Zoap. It goes a long way, suds up very well, generally did a nice job. And, it's earth friendly.

Water is Life
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Last edited by carl762; 01-19-2011 at 02:14 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-19-2011
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One could use the watermaker to reload the tanks when out sailing, rather than at the mooring.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-21-2011
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I wash her once in the Spring before launching, maybe pull up to the dock for a quick rinse once mid-season and if I need to spot clean with fresh water, I fill a bucket from the galley sink. Other than that - rain.
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