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Old 10-10-2016, 22:06   #1
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Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

We bought our boat in May and I've just been back aboard for the first time since then.
At the time we purchased the boat I noted that most of the lockers needed to be painted inside but some lockers were not fully accessible due to the po's stuff.

I'm finding that most of the lockers around the hull have faking paint and mildew stains. I assume most of it is due to condesation and the lockers may have not been painted since the boat was new nearly 40 years ago. I found one locker, behind the stove may have old mold too. What can be done to help ensure the mold doesn't come back?

What is the best way to deal with this problem? Scrape off the loose stuff and bilge coat? While we are at it, is the flaking stuff paint? I'm sorry I don't have pictures but it looks like a pretty ordinary problem on an older boat.

Also, some ares are a little more intensely dirty, like the locker with the head hoses and under the sink in the galley where the fridge compressor is. What us the best way to clean these areas?

Also, the teak near the stove is quite sticky from cooking. Is there a way to remove this gunk?

Finally, is there a way to do this work while at anchor? We are working on the major stuff now but I'm hoping we can do some of the interior stuff as we go. Empty locker, prep, paint, refill. Or is that unrealistic?
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Old 10-10-2016, 23:28   #2
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

Hi, Sea Dreaming,

The biggest problem with painting at anchor is disposal of stuff. If you use oil based paints, there's all the turps soaked rags. You'll want to stockpile lots of newspaper and small jars and rags first. Or, keep it on the hard, while you're in the motel, and do all the lockers in one day or two.

As to the sticky stuff by the stove, yuck!, it can be scraped off with a good quality scraper, and maybe you could dissolve it with turps, but ammonia is a really good solvent for grease. Don't try oven cleaner, it will surely bugger things up. If you try using coarse sandpaper, you will find it clogs the sandpaper, so it will take a lot. You can also use bronze scritcher pads. It may be teak oil, it may be cooking grease. There are paint strippers you could try. With scraping, sanding all the way back, or stripping, you will then need to clean off the stripper residue, wipe the cleaned surface with acetone and then start building up coats of varnish (if you plan to varnish--I would, because our oiled teak allowed mold to get established, and once stripped and varnished there was no more mold problem). It's a lot of work, but once done, looks lovely. I recommend clear gloss varnish, not the matte finish for high wear areas, because it is harder when cured than the matte. This job, you can finish at anchor once the first coat of varnish is dry. And, fyi, you can keep your varnish brush under water between usages, till you're done, just get the moisture out of the brush before you reintroduce it to the varnish. Eventually you'll have to bag the trash and burn or get rid of it ashore where the locals do.

It is probably more dirt than mold most places (San Carlos isn't all that humid, usually, but dust is everywhere in the world), but in the wet places (head locker, sink locker,) could be. I have always used dilute household bleach mixed with regular dishwashing detergent) to clean off and kill mold, but I have been told that using a solution of 10 drops of clove oil to 1 qt of water will not only kill it, but penetrate to kill the mold spores, never had the courage to try it. So much in this life is trial and error, I've always stuck with what works, and that's vinegar against mold. However, clean first with bleach or mold remover (if they have it where you are). Jim just used that in the kid cabin, and it took him 1/4 the time I took in the guest cabin with my white vinegar. We were cleaning paint, though, not oiled teak.

Let us know how it comes out. Enjoy making your new boat yours.

Ann
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Old 11-10-2016, 00:14   #3
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

My first boat was in similar shape as far as moldy lockers and nooks and crannies were concerned. Bleach diluted with water was the ticket. Just make sure all areas are well ventilated when you're down there scrubbing and wear a respirator or at least a good mask with a filter.

As to the teak I have no experience with cleaning heavily greased surfaces so I'll be interested to hear the methods of those who have done it successfully.
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Old 11-10-2016, 01:30   #4
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
My first boat was in similar shape as far as moldy lockers and nooks and crannies were concerned. Bleach diluted with water was the ticket. Just make sure all areas are well ventilated when you're down there scrubbing and wear a respirator or at least a good mask with a filter.

As to the teak I have no experience with cleaning heavily greased surfaces so I'll be interested to hear the methods of those who have done it successfully.
Well, for me, for teak, manual abrasion worked. It is labour intensive, but, ultimately, did the trick. And it has the virtue that once it's done, I never had to do it again, had the boat 18 yrs.
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Old 11-10-2016, 02:05   #5
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Well, for me, for teak, manual abrasion worked. It is labour intensive, but, ultimately, did the trick. And it has the virtue that once it's done, I never had to do it again, had the boat 18 yrs.
Thanks Ann, I was afraid of that.

I now recall that on that first boat of mine which required lots of bleaching there was a place on the teak which was damaged by what must have been a gallon can of something left to seep through the woodwork. And I could not get rid of it by any means. Yes, that $400 boat had real teak (not veneer) lined seats throughout the cabin underneath everywhere cushions were supposed to be (but no cushions though). Since she was my "training boat" I did not bother to waste $$ making custom cushions and just used Walmart bought outdoor ones for comfort.
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:41   #6
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

Thanks for the tips Ann. I'm not really sure how much time I will have before we splash. This is a quick trip. Just a few days and there is much to do!

The couple we bought the boat from cruised the Pacific twice. The stains are most assuredly mildew and mold. But we have a slip planned for a month or so after splashing so that may be my time. I'll might try the clove oil trick. I have some.

What about painting those lockers? Scrape the flakes, clean, and paint? Bilge coat or exterior enamel?
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:39   #7
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
We bought our boat in May and I've just been back aboard for the first time since then.

Congrats.

At the time we purchased the boat I noted that most of the lockers needed to be painted inside but some lockers were not fully accessible due to the po's stuff.

Typical.

I'm finding that most of the lockers around the hull have faking paint and mildew stains. I assume most of it is due to condesation and the lockers may have not been painted since the boat was new nearly 40 years ago. I found one locker, behind the stove may have old mold too. What can be done to help ensure the mold doesn't come back?

Flaking paint inside hull below waterline most likely due to painting in water, with condensation occurring before paint applied or cured.

What is the best way to deal with this problem? Scrape off the loose stuff and bilge coat?

Yes, preferably when on hard, or at least when water temp warmer than cabin air.

While we are at it, is the flaking stuff paint? I'm sorry I don't have pictures but it looks like a pretty ordinary problem on an older boat.

Most likely.

Also, some ares are a little more intensely dirty, like the locker with the head hoses and under the sink in the galley where the fridge compressor is. What us the best way to clean these areas?

Diluted generic Ammonia cleaner (do not use with bleach).

Also, the teak near the stove is quite sticky from cooking. Is there a way to remove this gunk?

Same as above, then after drying, apply fresh teak oil.

Finally, is there a way to do this work while at anchor? We are working on the major stuff now but I'm hoping we can do some of the interior stuff as we go. Empty locker, prep, paint, refill. Or is that unrealistic?
No problem doing all at anchor, just be sure that water temp is above cabin air temp, and hull is dry before applying paint.
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:45   #8
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

Don't get all scientific and don't waste your money of boat cleaners and such.

There are but a very few essential cleaning agents and they are all cheap: Clean water (lots of it); white vinegar; household ammonia; household bleach, TSP (TriSodiumPhosphate), methyl hydrate (wood alcohol).

Add thereto: Rags (lotsa them!); sponges of appropriate sizes; scraping hooks of appropriate blade shapes; a file to sharpen the scraping hooks; sandpaper of appropriate grades and types.

I wouldn't bother to pressure myself by insisting that the job be finished before you splash. There is prolly nothing that needs doing that you can't do while afloat. The key to a thorough job is to NOT try to do it all at once. What you need to do is define a little area, a little "field of action", of maybe half a square foot in area, then get down an dirty confining yourself to that little area till it's clean. Then you move on to an adjoining area till it's clean. And so on. Ad infinitum.

NO new finish is gonna stick until you've gone through that routine :-)

TSP is the essential mould killer! The only reason it has fallen out of use for the purpose is that the EPA got it's skivvies in a knot about phosphates about fifty years ago. "A nation of laws...". Go ahead and use it - you have my permission ;-0)

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Old 11-10-2016, 09:45   #9
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
Thanks for the tips Ann. I'm not really sure how much time I will have before we splash. This is a quick trip. Just a few days and there is much to do!

The couple we bought the boat from cruised the Pacific twice. The stains are most assuredly mildew and mold. But we have a slip planned for a month or so after splashing so that may be my time. I'll might try the clove oil trick. I have some.

What about painting those lockers? Scrape the flakes, clean, and paint? Bilge coat or exterior enamel?
I'm with the bleach/water & crowd. I keep a spray bottle of it and spray and wipe after a cleaning. I'm in the P.N.W. and mold is a constant battle won by constant cleaning only. I'm doing lockers right now too, scrap, wipe down with acetone then paint with exterior enamel. I'm sure some will say I have it wrong as I'm not a proper seaman, just a live aboard part time cruiser, but I was trained by the U.S. Army how to be a proper janitor. LOL
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:54   #10
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

You can do it in the water fine. It's just an elbow grease job. Bleach mixed with water in a spray bottle is a good start. I've found for black surface mold, like in a shower etc, that maybe 1/4 cup bleach in a spray bottle gets rid of it. Spray it on and the black disappears on it's own. Of course I would manually clean it also.
As far as why it's flaking off, my guess is it's paint from a previous owner. I've not known gel coat to be very prone to flaking, but possible.
Although I swear I would never use latex paint anywhere on a boat, I might consider it on an old boat inside lockers.... it's flexible and may adhere well. If I did, I would buy good quality, exterior house paint. Not from a big box store but from a paint store that carries pro paint. You need to spend $35-40+ a gallon. Be sure to get one that wont be tacky.
Another thing, is if you have a cheap garden sprayer, you can do water and bleach in it and open up your bilge boards, spray all under the floor as far as you can get to kill mold. That area is often the worst place of all due to the wet bilge and being enclosed by the floor.
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:59   #11
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

I have had good luck with Tilex mold and mildew remover, probably just bleach with marketing, but it's not expensive
https://www.amazon.com/Tilex-Mildew-.../dp/B00112NYDG
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:11   #12
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

One of the best, yet little known 'cleaners' is brush cleaner. says so in a book I have in front of me as I type.
The book is written by Bruce Bingham N.A. and the page is titled "Secret Super Solvent" Bruce lists a number of things one can clean with this cheap and readily available product. I would like to retype a list here but, not being a typist, it would take me forever to do so. However, I will type what I think might be pertinent to your inquiry from his long list of things it will clean.
Quote:
"It's an excellent general wipe-down before painting or varnishing, removing all traces of oil and finger prints.
It cleans the galley and stove of cooking spatters.
you can clean vinyl upholstery with it if you rinse thoroughly with water when finished.
It removes pencil and crayon from anything."

Bruce writes: "I could go on, but you get the idea. It does a lot of cleaning jobs that would be difficult or impossible with heavy-duty, general-maintenance detergents or solutions."
The best part is, it is water soluble so final cleaning is easy.
Brush Cleaner is sold under a number of different names, in my area it is called 'Poly Clens' ... you might want to try it on your galley teak. As always, try it on a small area before creating a bigger problem. Hope it works for you.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:20   #13
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

I should have mentioned I don't like the idea of Bleach on teak wood. If it lightens the teak in one area, will you be needing to clean ALL your teak with it to gain the same 'light' colored finish? Something to consider when doing your clean-up.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:23   #14
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

on teak inside boat i use lemon oil or orange oil best success with orange oil
in the lockers and bilges i use vinegar--full strength. when i t dires is odorless. good stuff. then paint the crap out of interior lockers after cleaning, as paint wont stick to flakes and dirt. \exterior teak i use sea water and a 3m pad for best results.
wo w. lotta work in a new to you boat, but after the elbow grease you will be soooo happy with your new purchase--hope to see you in mazatlan. whenever you arrive. i will be here a while removing all po errors to my project.
oh yeah murphys oil soap works very very well. spray bottle --get 10, as you will need them for long time.
mine came with a dirty oil stain on interior teak and holly sole--oops.. i almost made another in the main saloon after relocation of oil dipstick.. and every item of pos clothing and stuff..he upped and ran from this boat.
you have a team so itis easier than sola-- best of wishes an d you will smile in happiness soon.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:37   #15
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Re: Flakey paint and old mildew in our lockers, grease on teak.

Like zeehag, I find the essential oils good for upkeep (after all the hard work is done). I mix a few drops of tea tree oil, a few drops of jasmine oil, some vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Since you're oiling an oil based finish there's not much sign of the spray, just a clean scent. A couple drops of jasmine oil down the sink drain makes a huge difference. A female friend onboard commented "your bathroom smells really nice". Of course I said, "it's called a head, now get off my boat!"

goats got no patience.

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