We like Mariadz to look good as well as being in good working order. So she gets a regular clean from us but sometimes you feel it needs a little more. We’re not OCD (well mostly), but we think, since Mariadz looks after us, we should look after her and make sure she always looks pretty.
This blog is about some of the products which we have found really help us. Firstly, windows. Back when we had a house, it had a gym and we had mirrors fitted along one wall. The conpany that fitted them did a great job but the mirrors were filthy when they were first put up. We looked on and thought “that’s our first job”. However, the team from Kent Blaxill had different ideas and produced a cleaner in a white aerosol. A spray and a quick wipe and the mirrors were perfect. No elbow grease and no smudges or streaks. It was amazing and we have used their glass and mirror cleaner ever since. We use this on the windscreen and all hatches and we do think it comes up great. Well at least until the next spots of dirty rain!
Next up, the antislip. This was getting black dots all over it and looked filthy. I generally clean the boat down with car shampoo, with added wax, and a soft brush. However, this wasn’t touching it and the black spots remained. Last year, I had addressed this problem with a nail brush in the direction of the grooves. This was back breaking stuff but came up well. There had to be a better way though. Going onto the forums and speaking to our neighbours came up with a mild bleach that would help and so we used the same as we had on the cockpit tent, Mould and Mildew Remover. I did use the nail brush too but it didn’t take as much elbow grease. I was also very careful to wash it off very quickly from the teak using a lot of water to dilute it as much as possible. We don’t want discoloured teak! This process is a lot easier to do but time will tell whether this the product has cleaned it or just changed the colour of the marks from black to white! Still the anti slip has come up gleaming and looks like new which I guess is the point of doing it!
Although, we refresh the teak using Wessex Teak Cleaner & Renovator every year or two, this is not something you do every week. We hose down the teak after a good trip out, especially if there has been sea water over the decks, and I will generally try to make sure the teak gets thoroughly cleaned using the hose. It is amazing how much dirt is just lying on top, although that may be because of where we are adjacent to docks. I use a soft brush across the grain so hopefully I am preserving my teak. She is a 16 year old boat though so I imagine at some stage in the future the teak will need to be replaced. Hopefully, we will be able to do that where teak is especially cheap as we tour the world.
Readers of the blog will be familiar with the stainless steel work we have had done. We have mast pulpits, solar panel frame, life raft holder, davits, pushpit, pulpit, main anchor, stanchions, dorades (or funnels), protection for dorades and a bbq holder! Now it’s payback time for all of these features – cleaning…. The stainless gets dull over time and water spots make this look even worse. We have tried a number of stainless cleaners and have generally found the clear liquid ones to be rubbish but the cream ones to be very good. So this weekend, Maria set about polishing the stainless and it looks excellent. We have yet to find the perfect product for this yet so any suggestions more than welcome.
Another trick which we discovered early in our boating career was how to remove black scuff marks from the hull. We discovered this when the day skipper candidate on the school boat we were on hammered the yacht into halfpenny pier at Harwich. We stopped and the skipper got out another cleaner, Cif Professional Cream Cleaner, this removes all those little pontoon scuffs to a reasonable state, at least until you can haul out and do the job properly! Of course the skipper didn’t let anyone else have a go, he decided that one accident was enough for that trip. This lack of opportunity pushed us to buy our own boat so it ended well.
We have also noticed from time to time blue marks on our top sides. These may have been from the hose, the electricity cable or a blue sheet for our sails. Either way, these marks were incredibly difficult to get off. Much scrubbing ensued with no real progress. That was until we found Magic Sponges. These little white blocks remove the marks really well although they do waste away quite quickly – I guess we might use them a lot! They are also substantially cheaper than exactly the same product available in the chandlery!
So the only thing left to add to this blog in the future is how to clean up the exposed corner of main sail that pokes out when you have in-mast furling. This gets dirty over time. Neat car shampoo did a reasonable job but I have a cunning plan for how to fix this. I will update the blog with progress….. but for now that is how we keep Mariadz so clean!