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post #1 of 13 Old 01-13-2016 Thread Starter
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Where do I start?!!

So our family is a total newbie when it comes to sailing and we just bought a1986 Hunter 23 today. We are very exctited and cant wait to get started into the world of sailing. We have absolutely no experience so the gentleman we purchased the boat from is going to give us sailing lessons on our new boat. My question is. When we first bring the boat home we want to give it a good deep cleaning. What is the best way to go about this and the best way to do it? Remember we are newbies here. lol. Over the rest of the winter we want to do all of the cosmetic work on the inside and some outside before we start our sailing adventures in the spring. Any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-13-2016
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Re: Where do I start?!!

Love to see the excitement of new sailors. Welcome aboard. I am minded by your post of how we felt just 3 years ago. And we too found this forum very helpful as you no doubt will too. The cleaning questions has many answers depending upon condition. Many here have preferred cleaners depending on the issue at hand. For most cleaning I have found LA's FInest cleaner from the dollar store to work well. For black marks or most other stains as well as deep cleaning, a liquid form of Barkeeper's Helper (from Lowes) to be an excellent product. Feel free to use the search button on this site to learn more. That and youtube have been our friends in getting started in the enjoyable journey of sailboat maintenance and use. Welcome

The two best days of a boater's life... The day he buys it and every day he SAILS it.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-13-2016
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Re: Where do I start?!!

Since it is an older boat a god fiberglass restorer will help clean both the hull and deck. If the gelcoat is dull and dirty, an afternoon with a mild rubbing compound like 3-M and a polishing wheel will help restore it faster. If the gelcoat is in good condition, a good heavy soap and wash may be all that is needed for the outside.

There are many marketed compounds for boat cleaning, some expensive, and some very cheap. I would usually start with a god wash to see what you have, then polish/wax the hull, recondition the topside as needed and get out there sailing.

Good luck, and the man thing is to enjoy sailing your new boat.

PDean
CS 34
Seattle, WA
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-14-2016
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Re: Where do I start?!!

Congratulations on the boat purchase, exciting times! We were where you are, last year, except that we both sailed for several years on OPB. ( other people's boats) which is a great place to learn.
Spend some time searching here, the search function works if you enter the right words. Some here may remind you from time to time to use the search function.
There is a sticky in "gear and maintenance" on polishing and waxing, long but absolutely worth the read.
Make a list of things that need repair, instruments that need replacement, safety equipment required, and things you "want" take your want list and put it away till next year, and prioritize the rest, of course, safety first.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-14-2016
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Re: Where do I start?!!

Open all of the cabinets, storage cubbies and bilge covers.
Remove -everything-. Air it all out. Pull out all of those ancient, mildew'd life jackets.

Simple Green for the bilges.
Bar Keeper's Friend or LA Cleaner for the cabin sole and the overhead (if the overhead is a fiberglass liner like the sole).
For stubborn stains you can try "FSR" (Fiberglass Stain Remover) available at West Marine. It's a blue gel in a clear, plastic can.

Spread the sails out in the driveway (the yard would make a muddy mess). Mix up a solution of Barkeeper's Friend or and water and use a stiff bristle brush to scrub the mildew out of the sails. Hang the sails up between a couple of trees or similar objects until they're dry. Flake and bag 'em or bend them back on the boat.

I admire your optimism. I hope your entire family enjoys sailing as much as you think they will.
Good luck.

1981 Tartan 33 #168
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-14-2016
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Re: Where do I start?!!

Good cleaning tips above, but I'll state what may or may not be obvious. Empty the boat.

It's amazing how much stuff can be squirreled about on a boat. Lines, spares, stuff, more stuff, etc. Sometimes, removing floorboards and cushions allows for a better job. That alone can take an extraordinary time. You want to clean the space your stuff comes out of, but there can be access panels to whatever is behind too. Get in everywhere you can. Don't leave any cleaner with chlorine on any metal surface, without a serious rinsing. Be sure you provide huge amount of ventilation below to dry it out. Then, clean all your stuff before you put it back.

Like you, a deep cleaning is usually my first approach to a new boat (or just about any other toy). It's the best way to get up close and personal. You become more accustom to where things are, you notice the imperfections that no one notices prior and you'll probably start to write down a to-do list.

Since it sounds like your first boat, let me suggest you come up with a formal to-do list. I like to have three. One is Maintenance items, which have to be done. Another is Repairs, which have to be done. The last is Upgrades, which I would like to do, if I ever get the first two lists done.

No upgrade has ever been completed, unless the result of maintenance or repair, in the history of sailing. Have a to-do list that can be easily modified. I used to have paper in a binder. I now use my iPhone Notes app.

Congrats on the new boat and I hope you enjoy sailing!
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-14-2016
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Re: Where do I start?!!

Last post triggered my old boat refit list. The steps I follow are:

1. Make it safe... inspect and fix all major systems
2. Make it comfortable
3. Make it pretty

In that order... and agreed... empty the boat first... getting down into every nook and cranny
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-14-2016
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Re: Where do I start?!!

GREETINGS EARTHLINGS .Before you remove anything take lots of photos and start a file of all the work you do or have done to the boat. draw a hull shape that your happy with and start putting the drawing together with all the bits of equipment and where it all goes. Make up a sail boat what and where it all is you will find this a great help (when your missing the boat) and need to refresh your memory on how or where the boat goes together. AS ALWAYS GO SAFE
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-14-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Where do I start?!!

Thanks everyone for all the great tips. I really appreciate it.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-14-2016
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Re: Where do I start?!!

MR Clean's Magic Eraser is amazingly effective for spots and stains that often don't respond to other cleaners. The pads last longer if you use them under a plastic pad rather than just in hand (the kind intended for some scotchbrite type pads)
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