3 Things I learned in the Boat Yard

Three of the many things I learned at the boatyard,,,,,mostly from my broker.

Tulum IV was for sale on the docks at the Shelter Island Boatyard in San Diego from October of 2016 – June of 2017, while we kept her there near our broker and worked to improve her overall.  I want to share three basic things I learned about that were quick fixes to slimy and smelly situations and helped improve the quality of the boat overall.  >>>Disclaimer<<<: Many of you old salts are going to laugh at this blog post and go,,,,,,duh,,,I’ve been doing that,,,,,but these small things helped a lot and can be done cheaply and easily with a little elbow grease,,,,,yet I’ve been on too many boats that don’t practice these things.

Here’s three easy cleaning fixes that will improve the look, smell and value of your boat no matter what,,,,read on (do the work in this order!!!):

  1. Motor Mounts:  If you own a boat,,,,you probably take these babies for granted, but they’re pretty important.  These are the rubber or metal “legs” that mount your motor (engine) into your boat,,,so that when you turn on the old iron ginny,,,,it goes.  They rust and wear out.  They do.  Once they get rust on them,,,,it’s time to make them pretty again.  Plan on pain.  Get yourself contorted into a nice pretzel unless you do yoga and get into the engine space, with all intentions of actually trying to get under the engine.  Find the motor mounts and go to work with your small wire brush, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.  If done right,,,,,you’ll be filthy, covered in rust flecks, cursing, sweaty and hot and generally sore.  (if you’re down on the motor mounts and not feeling this way,,,,,start over again or fire the mechanic and do it yourself).  Once you’ve wire brushed the hell out of all four motor mounts, try to go over them once with a dry towel to get all the dust off them.  Choose a colored Rustoleum paint that will spray upside down and get in there and spray.  Try to get most on the motor mounts and less down below the engine,,,,so you don’t have the blue streaks I have below my engine now.  Use the stuff generously and your motor mounts will be protected for the cost of the paint.  A bit of work,,,,but good protection.
  2. Power Sprayer:  I broke down and bought one to clean my hull and decks,,,but my broker told me several secrets of boat prep that opened my eyes to how they get things so clean for boat shows.  One of these things is the specialized industry that only does interior or exterior boat prep,,,,like a specialty cleaning company.  When pressed, he admitted that I could bring my power sprayer below decks,,,,,and if I could get to a space below the sole of the boat,,,,I could spray it.  By this, I mean bilge spaces, engine, engine spaces, shaft compartment, generator compartment ect.  So,,,I did.  What a glorious mess I had then,,,,but the power sprayer did it’s job.  Engine came clean of oils and other gunk, bilge lost some filth, compartments began to reveal their original color.  I was impressed and a the same time upset, cause I should have done that when I bought the damn boat.  When you’re spraying,,,,,don’t forget to throw a mini-oil soak pad into the bilge, cause you’ll knock that filth loose and you don’t want your bilge pump to put it over the side.  This should be your second step after you make sure your engine mounts are nice and coated in Rustoleum and dry.
  3. Sanitize and Whiten:  Lastly, you probably want to sanitize and whiten everything occasionally, especially if you ever join the Platypus Club,,,,,hopefully you never will.  When we had to have a crack mechanic come recently and help me with a minor plumbing issue,,,,,he went to get parts and came back with BEST cleaner I’ve seen.  It sanitized, cleaned and removed smell.  But it left a bleach like smell, which I don’t mind.  I’ve fallen in love with the “Zep Mold Stain and Mildew Stain Remover”.  The stuff works and I think I’ll use it on everything, as it’s GRP and fiberglass safe and makes things whiter,,,,great on a white boat.   You probably want this to be your third step and I highly recommend you use this stuff in your bilge,,,,helps with smell.

Ok, have a great Saturday morning,,,,another post tomorrow-

 

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