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Old 12-07-2018, 12:20   #1
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Maintenance of SS while cruising...

Good day all

Well, we’ve been out a bit over 2 months and the stainless steel on Rocinante is starting to show a bit of surface rust. Specifically, the bow pulpit, the running light fixtures, a couple of spots on the SS lifelines (not plastic coated) and quite a bit on the screws holding the hinges of the swim platform (transom).

We primarily anchor out and occasionally take a mooring; so obviously, we can’t indulge in fresh water washdowns on any kind of regular basis. To top it all off, I’ll occasionally wash down the decks with buckets of seawater.

So, how do those of you that cruise full time maintain your stainless steel?

Any tips would be greatly appreciate!

regards,
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:40   #2
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

You can just brush a bit of phosphoric acid on the SS and rinse it when the rust is gone (about 20 minutes). This keeps it looking good for a while. There is also a citrus-based product in the US for SS (I think it's called "Spotless Stainless" or something like that) that has great reviews, though I've never tried it. If you have the time and patience, a good polishing to a mirror surface goes a long way to preventing rust from forming.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:42   #3
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
You can just brush a bit of phosphoric acid on the SS and rinse it when the rust is gone (about 20 minutes). This keeps it looking good for a while. There is also a citrus-based product in the US for SS (I think it's called "Spotless Stainless" or something like that) that has great reviews, though I've never tried it. If you have the time and patience, a good polishing to a mirror surface goes a long way to preventing rust from forming.
Thank you Copacabana.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:58   #4
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

Collinite metal wax
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Old 12-07-2018, 13:18   #5
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

Whenever practical replace that Chinese SS junk with old time US stuff.

As I was installing a home made swim platform a few years back I ran out of WM bought SS bolts and nuts. Had to scavanger old ones at the boat yard. Really old ones, from 25-35 year old junked boats. Since I was grabbing any lenghts I can still tell which were WM (uniform length) and which were from old boats. Guess which ones started bleeding rust after just one or two seasons?
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Old 12-07-2018, 13:26   #6
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Maintenance of SS while cruising...

Barkeepers friend, looks sort of like comet or Ajax cleanser, use it the same way, it has some acid in it.
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Old 12-07-2018, 17:02   #7
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

It's hard without access to fresh water. The chemicals that remove rust require rinsing off, afaik.

Wichard makes a product that may help you, I think it's called Wichinox. It removes the rust, and is supposed to passivate the s/s. It is expen$ive, and it may be difficult to follow the instructions exactly, but it should make the s/s pretty again.

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Old 12-07-2018, 17:13   #8
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

Outside of US, everyone uses Ospho. Its an acid also, rinse w/ fresh water afterwards. Big help is to wax after that, holds up several months. Any wax will do, I leave the wax on.
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Old 12-07-2018, 18:15   #9
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

I use Spotless Stainless Rust Remover and Protectant. It a gel. Brush it on, let it sit, then rinse off. Best stuff I have ever used, especially for tight places where polishing is impossible. Makes fittings, bolts, etc look new. The two downsides are it is expensive and requires a good water rinse. We have a water maker, so the water at least is not an issue.
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Old 13-07-2018, 06:15   #10
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

If the rust is bad enough that it takes more than a chemical remover, DO NOT use regular steel wool to clean it off! That will only make it worse in the long run. Do a search and you can find stainless steel wool. That is the only abrasive that you should use for cleaning stainless steel metals.
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Old 13-07-2018, 07:37   #11
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Maintenance of SS while cruising...

Barkeepers friend is a mild abrasive, when used with a rag or sponge, it’s very effective. However as you say do not ever use steel wool anywhere, it leaves small particles embedded into whatever it was used on, and those rust.
The Delorean car when it was first being sold, the dealers were telling people to use steel wool on it, with predictable results. That didn’t last long.
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Old 13-07-2018, 09:25   #12
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

Hi.
We use Barkeeper's friend to clean SS rinse and wax it with wathever wax I put my hands on for ''protection''. Coolinite, 3M, paste, liquid.....
Regular maintenance,less than an hour every now and then.

Bob
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Old 13-07-2018, 09:32   #13
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

Of the many metal polishing products I have use the most impressive is Flitz. Expensive but amazing.
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Old 13-07-2018, 09:59   #14
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

Cheap green scouring pad for cleaning but it should not be needed. My rails are 50yrs old and have never shown a speck of rust. Marine grade S/S does not rust unless badly welded. Problems with bolts & screws are common because people use 304 S/S to save money. If they show rust they need to be changed. You can polish the top but they will also be corroding inside and can break or leak. I am wondering about stantions/lifelines. I would be surprised if things like the pulpit are not 316. Check you wiring to make sure you don't have any current leaking from the light feed causing electrolysis.
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Old 13-07-2018, 09:59   #15
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Re: Maintenance of SS while cruising...

There are lots of effective metal treatments, we also have had great sucess with the Collinite products. Any solution requires some elbow grease and regular attention.
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