Wednesday, July 10, 2013

On & Off

Over the past month, we noticed that Moitessier has been getting a little darker in color.  I wondered if it was normal for a boat to be getting tan, even in sunny St Augustine, and after the 3rd week of our decks turning a golden brown color, I decided that something was terribly wrong.  Initially, we thought that it was just dirt or dust from ground bottom paint, because it started out as a cream color, however as it started to get darker and darker, we deduced that it must be rust caused by our neighbor grinding on his steel boat. We didn't initially notice it when the airborne metal particles settled on our decks, but with the dew hitting it every night Moitessier was starting to look more and more like our old steel boat.  Since our gel coat was so porous, the rusty particles became embedded into it and it made it impossible to simply wash it off.  After doing a little research online, we found that people use this stuff called Bar Keeper's Friend which is an abrasive cleaner with oxalic acid as its main ingredient.

We spent a couple hours scrubbing with only 1/4 of the boat done within that time.  I even managed to hurt myself.  When I went to pull the hose to rinse the cleaner off, I didn't realize that Frank had untied our ladder to work on another area until I heard a loud CLANG, CLANG, CLANG.  The hose had knocked over the ladder, and there we stood pathetically looking 12' down at the ground wondering how we were going to get off.  Since it was my fault for knocking over the ladder, I decided that I should be the one to remedy our newfound problem.  I knew that Frank would've gladly climbed off, but I felt guilty that he had to fix my mistake so when he had his back turned, I decided that I was going to climb down using our stern pulpit.  In my rush to get off the boat without him noticing, I didn't think about putting any shoes on until I was hanging about 3 feet from the rocky ground.   I hung there for about a minute contemplating how much it was going to hurt when I let go, and thought F@#$ it, and bit the bullet.  When I landed, the heel of my foot slammed onto the rocks and yes, I was right, it hurt as much I thought it would.  When Frank noticed me on the ground, he asked how I managed to get off, and laughed at my story until he noticed my new pirate gait, then he felt sorry for me :P

Since this crap was such a pain in the ass to clean off, we decided that I best go talk to yard about moving our boat so that this wouldn't all be in vain .  I spoke to John about this, and he took sympathy on us and offered to move our neighbor's boat instead of ours.  He then gave me this stuff called On & Off Hull and Bottom Cleaner, bestowing upon us his wisdom.  Let me tell you, he really saved us from hours of unnecessary work because this stuff is simply AWESOME.   When he gave me some of it in a bucket, he warned me about not getting any on our metal (as apparently it's what some people use to etch metal and it somehow changes the color of it) and to not freak out if it does discolor our bottom paint as it's not doing any harm to it.  He also warned me of its toxicity, and as I held the bucket in my hand, I could see the smoke rise from it, forcing me to hold it away from my face as I walked back to the boat.   Its active ingredients are hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, and oxalic acid.  You don't want to breathe it in because it will burn your lungs, and you obviously don't want any to contact your skin because, well it's an acid.  I was a little skeptical of its magic at first, however after doing a test spot, literally applying it with a brush and rinsing it off, I was a convert.  It removes rust stains like a charm, and what would've taken us a day only took us about an hour or so. It also removes waterline algae, and exhaust stains just as easily, plus it is safe to use on painted surfaces and gelcoat.  I'm glad I turned to a professional this time, as we never would've known that it ever existed since there is no information about this magic potion on any of the forums that I've read.

What a difference!

Happily hosing off the acid

1 comment:

  1. We never told you about Mary Kate's On & Off? God I love that stuff. And I can just imagine you dangling off your boat, haha. Wish I could have been there to see it.