Saturday, 10 November 2012

Hull cleaning

The sides of Ciao Bella have become very grubby looking this year. A brown stain has spread along the hull, rust stains from a previously repaired stanchion add to the overall rundown effect with a good helping of weed just above the antifoul line just for good measure.
A friend of mine provided me with some cleaning products that his company manufactures and supplies.   Before rushing in with the Oxalic Acid, I decided to try a few other suggestions so that I had something to compare it to.  My first effort was with some traffic film remover that I had in the garage.
This didn't touch it at all. I then tried some soda crystals, no joy there either.
Time for the Oxalic acid.. I mixed up a small amount in a bowl of warm water and went out to brush it on.  I was amazed, the first contact cut straight through the stain but only for a short distance.  I brushed over a good area and let it soak.  While that was soaking I stippled the brush on the bits that were covered in weed. Slightly optimistic I suppose, it didn't shift the weed but eventually turned it pink.. like an old lady's hair do. I brushed over the first area again and the stain just melted away.  I was really happy with this. The weed would need a bit more persuasion.  To my surprise it didn't need that much help.  An good scrape with a plastic card (Like a credit card) shifted it easily.  Another brush over and it was clean.  A good swill off with clean water and it's sorted.   It just needs a polish over now. More on that later.

The base of this stanchion had left a streak of rust down the side of the hull.  The oxalic acid just wiped this away.  The extra effort is needed to clear the growth which is between the antifoul and line.
I was really happy with the result here. Even the weedy bits have come up alright.

Another quick fix was the life threatening open topped stanchions.  I spend most of the summer worrying about impaling myself on these.  I have seen Stainless steel end caps which look good but the cost made me balk. In the end I bought some plastic tube caps from RS Components, a bag of 5 came to less than £3 delivered to my door.

As was, sharp top ready to gouge into me.

As is,  a cheap professional looking finish... shame about the rusty guard wire :)

Silky cleaners -

End caps -

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