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Boating Clean and Swabbing Decks

Aug 17, 2007
Whether your sitting at the dock or floating in your favorite anchorage, there may actually come a time when your bored with reading the latest great paperback while sipping those boat drinks down. What to do then? Well, your on a boat, and as all boat owners know, there's always plenty to do. Starting with keeping the boat clean, here's a few tips, tricks, and handy nautical hints for keeping your SS ---insert boat name--- sparkling like new.

One very natural cleanser, that dose a multitude of boat cleaning jobs is baking-soda. A solution of baking-soda can be used onfiberglass, chrome, counter tops and sinks. It's great for cleaning out the fridge or cooler, and also does a wonder on stoves, pans and cutting boards.

Ever left an old pair of pliers on the boat deck all winter under the tarp? I did. Leaves a nice little rust stain on the fiberglass deck for you to clean in the spring. Fantastik, Bon Ami, or Soft Scrub will get rid of it. Or, I've even heard that cream of tartar mixed with some cola should do the trick. Haven't tried that one yet.

If you've been cruising the Intercoastal Waterway, and have grown an ICW mustache, there are a couple of cleaning solutions. Apparently Bar Keepers Friend or Bon Ami will come in quite handy here.

Everybody loves cleaning out the boat bilge. Especially those hard to reach little crevices way down low. Try fastening a sponge or very absorbent rag to the end of a long stick. Much better then sticking your hand down into that mixture of stale water, slime, and dead bugs.

Copper and brass, which can be found on many boats, and is notoriously getting dirty, can be cleaned with a simple solution of vinegar and salt.

Bimini tops, dodgers, and other canvas are pretty simple to keep clean, and there are a number of choices in this category. A concoction of mild soap (Ivory), water and a little bit of Clorox (for those nasty mildewvillains ) will do the trick. Be sure to rinse well with cold water. Waterproofing is always a good little piece of maintenance to do while your at it. Check with your manufacturer for this. The ever popular Sunbrellasuggests Aquaseal No. 3.

And finally for those of you anal enough to worry about cleaning your through hulls, try using wire coat hangers. Very simple, and effective.

Well, after all that hard work, must be time to get back to those boat drinks. Those are of course a concoction for another article.
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