Lots of Hints / Ideas from Sailors
Hints / Ideas from Sailors
about chemical mixtures at the bottom of this list!
-Lifelines and Antenna look great covered with plastic shroud
-Soft Scrub w/ Bleach - cleaning lifelines, cleaning inflatables
- Acetone and a Scotch Brite pad to clean the vinyl insert of
the rub rail. Plus 2 coats of penetrol to preserve it, also puts
a nice shine on the rubber.
- I use the same rubbing compound, gel-coat restorer, etc., that
I use on the boat. Cleans the rub rail great and is very easy to
use. Then coat it with the same wax that you put on the boat.
-Use Rubbing Alcohol to clean up minor diesel spills and to
eliminate the smell.
-Lime-Away - Removes rust from fiberglass
-Vanish Toilet Bowl Cleaner - Cleans scummy bootstripes and hulls
-Future - Returns shine to old fiberglass non-skid areas
-Varnish/Paint Touchup - Fill empty nail polish bottle for easy
touchup, anytime. The nail polish bottle idea is great. Rather than
clean and old one, I buy new ones at a beauty parlor supply shop. I
fill them using a small plastic syringe. For small touch ups,
shaking the nail polish bottle beats opening a can of paint, mixing
it, cleaning the mixer, cleaning a paint brush, and recovering the
-"Pledge" furniture polish - for clear vinyl windows as
a preservative. The plain stuff not "Lemon Pledge"
-Engine Staring fluid (Either) to clean the butyl rubber sealant
from window frames when you remove them.
-Wesley's whitewall cleaner is great for bird poo removal.
-TSP and a dollop of dishsoap detergent in a bucket of warm water
cleans a deck better than anything else I've tried. I use this
concoction a few times a season and for the normal deck scrubbing I
use Soft Scrub.
-Axle grease on the prop to keep the Barnacles from sticking.
-Pressure wash before waxing or using future to see the true
bright white color of your deck. (1000 psi) Also great on lifelines,
fenders, stainless, shroud covers, and to remove old Armada finish.
Watch the high PSI from a pressure washer. I watched a friend of
mine who has a Westerly 26 go right through the dirt, through the
paint, and through the gelcoat. Don't know what that machine was set
for, but it's like using a belt sander. Keep it moving.
-I have found that Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner works great
on fiberglass surfaces and leaves a nice shine. It also works well
on Life Lines and the vinyl trim on the dodger canvas. If you are
going to try another bathroom cleaner be sure it is OK for use on
-Stubbing your toe on the midship cleat? Have you checked out the
new Shaeffer stainless steel mid-ship cleat? It mounts on the
outboard genoa track, is removable and adjustable and is finished
beautifully. Not at all like the crappy black coated aluminum ones
available at most chandleries. List price is around $60 discounted
to around $40 or so and well worth it. The cleat is big with an open
base that can be used as a fairlead for lines.
-Brush Cleaner - (not to be confused with turpentine or mineral
spirits), removes exhaust stains from fiberglass/gel coat. Also
cleans up uncured fiberglass resin and unhardened epoxy. Good for
cleaning Vinyl and gelcoat stains. Great for removing adhesive left
from labels and price stickers. Restores brushes, too. Removes wax
prior to paint or epoxy jobs. Best of all it rinses away with water.
-Clean fenders with GOOF-OFF latex paint remover then coat with
-Keep a box of BAKING SODA (Sodium Bicarbonate) on board. A weak
solution (a handful in a quart of water) will remove the smell of
Vomit, Toilet smells ( human or pet) or any similar odors. Store
Soda in a moisture proof container.
-Leftover silicone prevents paint from wetting a surface properly
and therefore reduces adhesion and causes fish eyes (small paint
If you want to comment on one of the items, start a new thread
and change the "subject" and post to the list. E-mail me a
Hint / Idea and I will add it to the list.
Capt Al ~~~~_/)~~~~~~~~~~~~(\_~~~~#55 C34 _/)
The best advice is to use bleach for mildew, soaps and
detergents for other cleaning, but don't mix them together! Remember,
bleach is a very powerful chemical, capable of all kinds of
reactions. For example, never, ever, ever mix bleach (contains a
"hypochlorite") and "ammoniated" cleansers.
Bleach plus ammonia yields free chlorine gas, a very nasty way to
Subj: Re: [C34] Hints / Ideas from Sailors "WARNINGS"
Mixing TSP and bleach is OK according to the directions.
OK, I confess, I am a chemist and I read directions.
I've watched the hint/ideas list from my fellow sailors with
interest. I've seen some recommendations and I thought that I might
try them. I've seen other recommendations and I thought that I would
test those suggestions carefully before I would try them. Many of
the recommendations on the list involve the use of chemicals. Diesel
is a chemical mixture as is brush cleaner, Softscrub is a chemical
mixture, Clorox is a chemical, wax is a chemical concoction, the
dacron or kevlar in our sails are a product of chemistry, the boat's
fiberglass structure is built of chemical entities, etc. In fact, we
live in a chemical world. The compatibility of some of these
chemicals with each other and our boats is sometimes in question.
Chemistry questions are not always simple to answer.
What's the answer to these conundrums? READ THE DIRECTIONS for
intended use. Presumably some testing and expertise (of chemists and
others) has gone into the directions. As a chemist with some
knowledge of some of these materials, I'm also smart enough to know
that I don't know how each material will interact with another.
That's why we have laboratories. Went I don't know how things will
interact, I don't mix them in my home or on my boat. Sometimes you
can get in touch with the maker of a product through an 800 number
on the label and ask them about your desired use.
In the case of bleach and TSP (trisodium phosphate), the
directions on my box of TSP that I purchased from Lowe's states
clearly that to treat mildew mix the TSP with bleach and they give a
recipe. I've been doing that to clean my house. It's in the
directions. Doing anything that's not in the directions that
involves household chemicals is something that you undertake at your
By the way, in spite of all this, please keep up the list of
Hints/Ideas from Sailors. I enjoy it and find it useful. However,
with household chemical products let's follow the directions.
Sorry if this sounds like a lecture, but I take my chemicals and
chemistry seriously. They fund my Catalina 34. In addition, H20
keeps my boat floating and oxygen and nitrogen propels it forward
(most of the time).
Art Bayer "Watermark", #491, ArtBayer@aol.com
Important: The opinions expressed here are
those of the individual contributors to this page, and not those of
the Catalina 34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc.
Additionally, this material has not been reviewed by Catalina
Yachts, Inc. for technical accuracy. This page's maintainer cannot
guarantee the accuracy of this information or the desirability of
suggested modifications or upgrades. Please obtain assistance from a
competent marine mechanic or boatyard prior to making any
significant modifications to your vessel.