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Old 24-08-2010, 22:30   #1
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Cleaning the Boat on the Hook

Here's one for all you cruisers who live on the hook and avoid marinas like the plague. How do you keep the boat clean?

Do you pull into a marina on occasion and pay their ridiculous daily rate for use of dock water?

Do you blow your water supply and then do a fuel stop so you can refill the tanks?

Or do you just schedule baths for rain days?

I'm kind of liking option 3, after doing it even at a dock. Less work that way, since you don't have to rinse. Next time it rains I think I'll wax.

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Old 24-08-2010, 23:25   #2
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Teak decks prefer salt water; easy solution. Canvas bucket.

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Old 25-08-2010, 02:04   #3
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I got one of those small pressure washers. About the size of a lunch sized cooler. Wash down the big chunks with salt water and do the rinsing with this sucker. Uses a lot less water and does it well. I stole the idea, so I'm not the only one. Several boats I know use them. You don't want a high pressure model anyway. But this thing puts out plenty of pressure and cleans things that are hard to get clean otherwise.
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Old 25-08-2010, 02:21   #4
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G'day, mate. Use the watermaker to supplement catching rain off the deck. UV lights and filters to treat the water. Always give the gear, stainless, varnish and topsides a good freshwater rinse after a good sail to help prolong their life and luster, with plenty left over for a shower everyday. Its tough to maintain the joy of the lifestyle long term if you're always in "camp" mode if you know what I mean. Cheers.
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Old 25-08-2010, 03:13   #5
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While at anchor we enjoy the fresh water rinse with the rains. We scrub the deck and bathe in the showers in our warm climate anchorages. We also keep a cache of collected rainwater that we use for salty windscreen wipes between the rains. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 25-08-2010, 06:08   #6
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The boat does not get very dirty when at anchor in the Bahamas. There's salt on it but hopefully a rain squall will wash it off eventually. It does get black stuff over it while in Miami waiting to cross (they say it's fuel from the planes as we seem to anchor in the path to the airport.) Crossing the gulf stream washes this off. A bucket of water does fine to clean the stainless and a squirt bottle does the glass on the dodger. Fish blood comes off with a salt water sloshing. The cockpit floor seems to collect a bit of dirt but a few buckets of salt water takes care of that.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 26-08-2010, 07:28   #7
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Vasco - I think you hit the nail on the head. On the hook, depending on your location, all you usually seem to need for the most part is an occasional salt rinse. It's in the slip and especially in the yard where the boat seems to get filthy. Good...that means more fresh water for rinsing dive gear.
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Old 26-08-2010, 07:36   #8
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We have a wash down pump installed with a hose fitting on the foredeck. We use this to wash the decks and anchor chain. The only thing I rinse with fresh water is the teak if I am putting on another coat of Cabots.

We fill the water tanks via
1) watermaker (only when running engine - i.e. in and out of harbors)
2) jugging it from shore
3) catching rain water
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Old 26-08-2010, 08:17   #9
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i do not use fresh water on my topsides. i have glass over wood, most of this wood is teak, some still phillipine mahogany, but not much of that exists on here anymore--i wash my boat with buckets of salt water from under my boat--when i am cruising, i dont worry about the decking , as i dont want to fall on a slick deck. there is only a lot of dirt where boats are imprisoned--marinas, moorings, city anchorages all have a lot of dirt coming into boats. boats dont care if the water washing them is salt or fresh, unless there is teak wood involved in quantity--then should wash in salt, as fresh tends to rot teakwood. i use oil after my salt water dries, and only once per year, but then i have an older boat that looks so much better without that new boat shine.....
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Old 26-08-2010, 14:40   #10
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Exterior: I wait for rain or when I come to the dock to fuel up (and fill the water tanks if I'm low).

Interior: I make sure the salt stays in the cockpit. I use a spray bottle to wash the bottoms of my feet. I try to make sure I'm not dripping salt water. I also use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to wipe down the cabin sole, ladder, and other surfaces on a regular basis.

Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/M.I./C.I. 500-ton Oceans
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