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Hunter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Boat: Catalina 30, 1984
Location: Pensacola, FL
Problem: Deck is badly stained all over

I came out of a yard period... during which I wasn't particularly careful with the deck. Now the yard period is long over and the deck still looks terrible. It's stained with butyl tape from port rebedding, engine oil from haulout, and tons of horrible yard crap everywhere, plus some weird discolorations. I really want to get a wax on to protect it, but I don't want to wax over this mess.

Mary Kate on and off doesn't seem to touch these stains. An old liveaboard neighbor once told me pressure washing was the key, but that sounds mad harsh. I used Mary Kate roughly per her directions, any ideas????

- Hunter
 

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If the fiberglass wasn't waxed for a long time prior, the glass is actually quite porous and will absorb the stains quite well. Pressure wash won't hurt gelcoat but probalby won't help too much. It would be a good first step to get off what you can.

I have diesel soot stains and have not been able to get them out. I've tried a lot of stuff. Mary Kate On & Off is about the best thing I've heard of, if that doesn't work...

Soft scrub might help, it has bleach in it. You might find different stuff for different stains.

Post pictures
 

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I'll ditto Xort on the Soft Scrub - that stuff is pretty effective. You can pressure wash, but be careful. I've seen a boat that had the gelcoat come off after the owner used a powerful pressure washer on it.

If it's a miscellany of yard debris, I would suspect the right cleaner and a lot of patience will be better than brute force.
 

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FSR is rather effective at cleaning stains. Practical sailor rated it right up there.
Good old Spray 9 was the number one if I remember correctly.
Bleach is a last resort, but works as well, you'll have to go with a stronger sealer when done (poly whatever) to seal out further stains, and seal in what ever oils and bonding is still left.

If all else fails maximum degreaser and a a good paint job fixes the eyesore but not the underlying problems.
 

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Soft scrub or Tilex (both have bleach) or Simple Green/Bon Ami and a scrub brush and much more work than I'm capable of anymore have helped me in the past with your type of dirt.
I have seen people destroy gel coat with pressure washers when too strong and too close.
I think since you've done all that work you really deserve to HIRE a local detailer to put a crew to work for a day.;)
 

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Try 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and one cup of ammonia mixed in 1 gallon of warm water. You can put in in a spray bottle or work right out of the bucket.

JLBJR
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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For pulling up the oil stains, try looking for poultices designed to pull them out of cement garage floors. Various powders that you mix up, set on the stain, and they draw it out of the floor. I'd guess that's going to be your best bet on the deck, since the oil has now migrated into or past the gelcoat--and simple scrubbing is just going to erode the gelcoat further.

The butyl tape stains should come up with solvent, unless they also have migrated down into a very porous deck. In that case...might be time for doing the best you can, and then (ugh) asking the "coating" companies how well you can recoat & reseal the deck over them.

They get insulted if you say "paint" these days.
 

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Just to be sure I umderstand the original post, your ass is "stained with butyl tape from port rebedding, engine oil from haulout, and tons of horrible yard crap everywhere, plus some weird discolorations." You should really see a doctor. And please keep it covered when I am around.
 

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Hunter
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks

Thanks for all the input, I'll try this stuff you guys suggested and hope for the best.

Much appreciated.

- Hunter
 

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Been there, done that!!

For the removing the gummy residue, DO NOT use acetone. Try paint thinner and if that doesn't work, then try laquer thinner. For the oil stain, and most other stains, use laundry detergent as a general cleaner, a scrub brush, and Ajax or Comet cleanser. They both have bleach and abrasives. I guarantee that they will work. The oil stain will mostly come out, but there may be a slight discoloration that the sun will take care of over time. Don't worry about abraiding the gelcoat too much - it needs abraiding if it's as dirty as you say. I've followed this recipe for 40 years and it works.

Use polishing compound and a wax after cleaning, if you like.
 

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Use the NonSkid Deck Cleaner product with Teflon, I think it's from Starbrite.

You might want to try a Hull Cleaner first. The Hull cleaner should have Oxacilic Acid as an ingredient it's made to remove stains, especially waterline stains, but works on alot of other messes. Then use the Nonskid deck wash. It leaves a coating of Teflon to help repel dirt...Do Not Wax the Deck...
 

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Midwest Puddle Pirate
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There's an old house flippers trick for stains in the driveway and the toilet. Coca cola. Pour on a 2 liter, let it soak overnight, and scrub it off in the morning.

If all else fails, you might as well try it.
 

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"Coca cola."
High phosphoric acid content, and the syrup works better than the soda because it is more concentrated. Or, you can use Naval Jelly or generic phosphoric acid to work faster.
 
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