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Old 20-04-2008, 18:39   #1
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Pressure Washer Or Not?

As the years go by it gets increasingly more difficult to maintain my boat. In the interest of minimizing back pain I purchased a 2000 PSI pressure washer to do the decks and hull.
I am aware of the need to be careful near wood surfaces with that kind of pressure, but what about the nonskid? Do you think it increases wear or damage to the deck and mounted hardware sealants?

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Old 20-04-2008, 18:50   #2
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It's far too much overkill. The cheap electric power washers are tough enough. How dirty is it? It still won't remove barnacles 100%.

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Old 20-04-2008, 19:11   #3
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Old 20-04-2008, 21:09   #4
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DON'T allow a high pressure water blaster anywhere near Teak. It will tear the stuff away. Be careful of paint. If it gets under the paint, it will tear sheets of Good well adhered paint off. These blasters are great at washing away bottom growth, but that's about the limit. i would keep it well away from anything above waterline.

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Old 20-04-2008, 21:15   #5
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I not sure of the purpose. Is it for below or above the waterline or both?

I know that boatyards use pressure washers that are way more that 2000 PSI. So the possibility exists that yours may not be adequate for blasting away the critters. You absolutely want to keep it away from any type of wood. As far as blasting what type of non-skid? Gelcoat non-skid? That should not be a problem. Painted on non-skid...that depends on the type of paint that was used. If it was Awlgrip then it should be no problem but if it was plain old boat enamel that may be a problem. I would do a few test patches first.

I took a pressure washer to my whole bilge once. I had a great time blasting away the years of accumulated crud.

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Old 21-04-2008, 02:33   #6
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Pressure washers will certaily find any weakness in adhesion (bonding) between gelcoat and the subsequent GRP layers. I lifted a few areas, and now look as though I have the pox, but on the deck.

I agree with Alan, great for cleaning bottoms, but nothing above the waterline.

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Old 21-04-2008, 02:42   #7
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Pressure washers are safe up to about 2000 psi (135 Bar), when the nozzle is held 6 (150mm) away from the painted or gelcoat surface. Smaller models of 1600 psi (110 bar) pressure benefit from having the dirt-blaster (i.e. the rotating jet) nozzle used, to increase the impact of the water and improve tenacious fouling removal.
Industrial washers, though very effective on barnacles etc, (2000 4000 psi) are very difficult to use safely, and could easily damage your hull surface.

Higher volume washers (> 3 gpm) are more effective than low-volume units.
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