Many cleaning and repair problems aboard your vessel may seem difficult to approach. Here are some tips on how to solve some of them.
Tip #1 EASY CHIP REPAIR
After filling the chip with resin or gel coat, place wax or cellophane paper over the repair area. As the filler starts to set up, gently rub out the bubbles and smooth out the patch. Once the material has dried completely, peel off the covering and you will find a smooth, even finish with little or no need for sanding.
On larger areas where sagging may occur, tape the cellophane covering at its lowest point and work patch material upward as it sets up. While pulling upward, tape it at the top. This will greatly reduce sagging making sanding and polishing easier.
Tip #2 CHROME, STAINLESS CLEANER
Chrome and stainless rod holders and fittings such as rail bases, develop buildup of corrosion . Before resorting to replacement, try a bit of “LIME AWAY EXTRA” hard water stain remover. Be careful not to get any on fiberglass surfaces as it may dull the finish. Best results will be obtained by removing pieces before cleaning.
Tip #3 KEEP STAINLESS FASTENERS FROM SEIZING UP
Apply Teflon tape to the threads when installing. Corrosion will not build up in threads and fasteners will be removable, no matter how tightly drawn up.
Tip #4 MILDEW STAINS
For mildew stains on life jackets and upholstery, try CAMCO R.V. AWNING CLEANER. This cleaner will remove the stains without weakening the fabric as chlorine based products do. Chlorine can ruin a life jacket in one application.
Tip #5 CAULKING DONE RIGHT
If caulking beads up, it will likely pull out or catch on deck shoes. For a better seal, with less problem and longer life, try this. Clean and dry the area thoroughly then run a strip of masking tape along both sides of the crack before caulking. Run caulk into crack, put on rubber gloves, wet your finger and press repair area as you apply fresh caulk. This action will force caulk down into the area to form a better seal. As soon as caulk starts to set up, remove tape and let area dry completely.
Tip #6 COAT CABLES FOR LONGER LIFE
Wipe a coat of “Armor All” vinyl and rubber treatment on vinyl coated shift, throttle and steering cables exposed to sun and water. This will keep covering soft and delay cracking. Once the coating is cracked, water can get in and cause cables to seize up. Wiping as noted will greatly extend the life of your cables.
Tip #7 PAINT TOUCH UP
Need to touch up an area with spray paint? Many people tape closely around a touch up area and spray the entire area inside the masking. After removing the tape, they find a very noticeable ridge around the repaired area. To avoid having this happen, mask off a larger area to protect from over spray then spray area to be painted. Remove masking when through spraying. After paint cures, rub area briskly with polishing compound (not rubbing compound).
Original Story By Randy Troutman of United Marine Underwriters