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Spring Cleaning Of The Wooden Boats

April 12, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

Warmer and longer days ahead stir the hand and heart to getting our boats ready for the water.  All the efforts in the fall winterizing a wooden boat are rewarded in the spring.  The winter’s accumulation of dust and possible vermin intrusions need to be cleaned out. Chrome is easily the victim of oxidation and pitting without being covered in a protective coating such as petroleum jelly. Removing the film will take some work and the proper cleaners that won’t also damage varnish.

One of the most annoying aspects of getting ready for spring is remembering where you put all the all the bits and pieces from the fall. The seat cushions are easy to find and may need a good cleaning as well. The flag staffs need to be looked after too.

Sometimes in the rush to get a boat out of the water in the fall, the engine bay and bilge may still bear oil and muck residues that may have yet to be cleaned out. The bilge should be washed and cleaned out to avoid build up and promoting rot or mold.

A mild dish soap is a pretty good start for most of the boat, including cleaning the chrome and varnish. When you are finished with the soap, a good polishing with chrome cleaner will make the chrome shine. Wiping and buffing varnish can create small scratches that dull the finish. Beyond a serious sanding and new coat, some recommend mineral oil in small amounts buffed with a soft cloth can help to return the gleam of a finish. There is a huge variety of styles and build in wooden boats, so one solution may not apply. But one consistency is that brass, chrome, aluminum and bare iron are all found on wooden boats.

By Tim Du Vernet

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