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bwindrope 02-04-2013 12:07 PM

Gelcoat Mildew-I'm so sick of gelcoat mildew
This is just a rant, and a call for sympathy.

I'm so damn sick of cleaning black mildew off of every gelcoat surface on the deck of my boat. Sick and tired of it. Here in the PNW, our winters are famously dreary, and are perfect conditions for mildew. My old gelcoat is porous enough to provide great habitat for mildew-I get it. I still don't care.

Seems my boat is cursed to get the black mold constantly, in all but the warmest summer months. I clean it here, clean it there, scrub it off with my deck brush, scrub it off with a sponge. I get back to a clean white gelcoat, and not a few weeks later it is growing the mold again.

The mold even grows well on the few painted parts of my deck, where I have Brightside painted.

I just want to pick my boat up and dip it into a vat of acid and kill all the damn mildew. Kill it. And leave a residue that kills it again and again.

Yes, I just spent a few hours in the cold and rain yesterday scrubbing mildew off my beloved boat, and would have rather been doing just about anything else on her at the time.

Damn it. :hothead

CalypsoP35 02-04-2013 01:05 PM

Re: Gelcoat Mildew-I'm so sick of gelcoat mildew
Granted, I'm in the NE, not the PNW, but I have never seen black mildew on a well cleaned and buffed gel coat that is protected by a wax finish. I get mildew on various surfaces (generally below decks) but have never had mildew on my 30+ year old gelcoat. Even when it emerges each spring from under the shrink wrap.

bljones 02-04-2013 01:06 PM

Re: Gelcoat Mildew-I'm so sick of gelcoat mildew
I'd feel sorry for you, but my boat is on the hard under snow, for at least another two months.
i'd rather be scrubbing mildew. :)

pdqaltair 02-04-2013 01:14 PM

Re: Gelcoat Mildew-I'm so sick of gelcoat mildew
Buy dark glasses.

I'm not a Getty, I can't hire a staff to maintain my yacht (:laugher), and I'm not willing to forgo cruising, sailing, time with my family, skiing, climbing, hiking, cycling... in order to keep up apearances. I wash the boat a few times each year and that's it for mildew treatment. Maintaining Strataglass and mechanical fitness are a different matters.

RichH 02-04-2013 01:25 PM

Re: Gelcoat Mildew-I'm so sick of gelcoat mildew
You probably are a victim of 'artillery fungus' a rampant fungus that lives on tree bark and which thrives in cool & wet conditions near forests and woodlands.

The usual remedy is to keep the gelcoat buffed to a flat surface to lessen the porosity (which holds the moisture) and then fill the remaining porosity with wax, the wax helps shed the water.

If you don't want to do that, then simply find a clear 'caustic' detergent and spritz/wipe on the surfaces ... the residual caustic on the surface will inactivate the fungal spores. You'll have to wipe on regularly and especially after heavy rain.

BTW wax is removed by 'caustic' detergents, so you cant do 'both' wax and 'caustic' ... and 'caustics' are extremely harsh on single part paints such as "Brightsides".
Also check with local 'farm and garden' suppliers as artillery fungus is a major problem with 'home owners' and there are always 'new remedies' for artillery fungus control coming to market all the time.

djodenda 02-04-2013 01:36 PM

Re: Gelcoat Mildew-I'm so sick of gelcoat mildew
I've never seen this in Edmonds. My boat turns green, not black.

bwindrope 02-04-2013 02:43 PM

Re: Gelcoat Mildew-I'm so sick of gelcoat mildew
Thanks for hearing my rant. I know that waxing would reduce the mold, but really, I am a glutton for boat maintenance and punishment, but waxing the entire cockpit and deck of my Gulf 32 is beyond my limits of absurdity! My main approach is to take a Scotch Brite and with water do a wet rubbing. It takes off a fine layer of gelcoat, and the mold with it, and I know it is just a matter of time before I will have to paint the darn cockpt/decks anyway.

Artillery mold????? Damn. I just discovered a bunch of orange dots on my deck, is that it? Looks like rust dots, but isn't. Harder to get off than the black mold. Deeper in the gelcoat.

And yes, I get algae growth too, but not so much.

Black mold, Orange dots, green slime, what's next?

chucklesR 02-04-2013 03:05 PM

Re: Gelcoat Mildew-I'm so sick of gelcoat mildew
Would not a little bleach do the same thing?
We get spots here (over the winter mainly), whether or not we wax. I pressure spray with a bit of bleach in my sprayer's 'additive' tank. Works just fine, fast too.

djodenda 02-04-2013 03:17 PM

Re: Gelcoat Mildew-I'm so sick of gelcoat mildew
This is really weird. I'm not that far from you and I don't get anything like you are describing. I sure wouldn't want to scotchbrite my gelcoat though..

Are you in Eagle Harbor or somewhere else?

Have you tried the Mr. Clean pads?

chucklesR 02-04-2013 04:26 PM

Re: Gelcoat Mildew-I'm so sick of gelcoat mildew
Mr. Clean is the equivalent of a 1800 grit sandpaper. Just saying.

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