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Old 29-11-2021, 16:16   #1
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Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

Hey gang-

I've never found a topic here that doesn't elicit strong opinions, so figured this would be a good place to ask this. Looking for thoughts in general on pressure washing hull and deck? I've always admired our slip-mate's spotless pressure washed boats, and watched with envy as they deal with the state flower of Georgia- mildew. My old back is fast reaching (if not there already) the last all-day deck brush outing and thought maybe it was time to join the crowd.

So today I snagged a Black Friday deal on a cheap Ryobi pressure washer. I chose this one specifically for its small size, quiet operation, and because it has no reservoir for detergents or bleaches since I won't use those (and are prohibited by the Corps of Engineers anyway.) Just water.

My concern is, and always has been, water penetrating around ports and even the hull-to-deck joints. This unit is low pressure by most standards at only 1,600 psi if that makes a difference.

A particular challenge we have is cleaning the beautiful dark blue hull on our 1984 Tartan 28. I'm concerned of course of removing wax or damaging the surface, and I'd appreciate any insights on this as well. I've purposely not opened the box and have no issue simply returning the thing if the sentiment is overwhelmingly nay.

Thanks gang!
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Old 29-11-2021, 16:30   #2
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

It's not going to peel your gelcoat. I use a little 1600 psi on everything from the boat to my sports car to our house to motorcyles. Your fears really can be put aside.

You might manage to sneak some water past your ports if they are badly bedded and you take careful aim. Don't do that. Clean your boat and go sailing. Great invention.
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Old 29-11-2021, 16:30   #3
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

I’ve typically avoided pressure washers, concerned it may increase small pits inherent in older nonskid. This may be totally wrong.

It will strip wax and paint.
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Old 29-11-2021, 16:49   #4
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
Hey gang-

I've never found a topic here that doesn't elicit strong opinions, so figured this would be a good place to ask this. Looking for thoughts in general on pressure washing hull and deck? I've always admired our slip-mate's spotless pressure washed boats, and watched with envy as they deal with the state flower of Georgia- mildew. My old back is fast reaching (if not there already) the last all-day deck brush outing and thought maybe it was time to join the crowd.

So today I snagged a Black Friday deal on a cheap Ryobi pressure washer. I chose this one specifically for its small size, quiet operation, and because it has no reservoir for detergents or bleaches since I won't use those (and are prohibited by the Corps of Engineers anyway.) Just water.

My concern is, and always has been, water penetrating around ports and even the hull-to-deck joints. This unit is low pressure by most standards at only 1,600 psi if that makes a difference.

A particular challenge we have is cleaning the beautiful dark blue hull on our 1984 Tartan 28. I'm concerned of course of removing wax or damaging the surface, and I'd appreciate any insights on this as well. I've purposely not opened the box and have no issue simply returning the thing if the sentiment is overwhelmingly nay.

Thanks gang!
We use a similar pressure washer. The nozzle on ours permits a choice of a wide spray pattern or a point of higher pressure stream.

I recommend the wide spray pattern and keep the nozzle at least 6 inches away from the object being sprayed. Farther, if you are using the point stream. Be especially careful of teak and other wood. You can expose the grain.

If you find leaks in your ports, good on you, they would leak sometime anyhow. Now you know where they are.

We donít use it on our dark blue topsides, they must be handled with care, but we do wipe them down with vinegar prior to waxing, it does wonders.
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Old 29-11-2021, 16:55   #5
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

Quote:
I recommend the wide spray pattern and keep the nozzle at least 6 inches away from the object being sprayed.
Really good advice- I have ruined a car bumper by not following it, but with some common sense, pressure washing is safe.
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Old 29-11-2021, 20:39   #6
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

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We donít use it on our dark blue topsides, they must be handled with care, but we do wipe them down with vinegar prior to waxing, it does wonders.
Just looked at some pictures of SV Wings- what a beauty!

By topsides, do you mean the entire hull above water? Gosh that is the part of our boat most in need (only because it's been out of our reach for so long). How do you wipe down such a huge hull with vinegar? (hiring a crew of locals is not fair LOL!)

Great stuff thank you!
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Old 29-11-2021, 21:49   #7
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
Just looked at some pictures of SV Wings- what a beauty!

By topsides, do you mean the entire hull above water? Gosh that is the part of our boat most in need (only because it's been out of our reach for so long). How do you wipe down such a huge hull with vinegar? (hiring a crew of locals is not fair LOL!)

Great stuff thank you!
Now you're just trying to make me feel good.

Wiping the hull (topsides) is pretty easy from a dingy when at anchor. At the dock it requires some shifting of lines, etc. We did it, (and waxed it) for many years.

But now we hire Adrian who does it with some helpers quite reasonably.
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:20   #8
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

I use a Hydroshot, works surprisingly well. As i'm in fresh water only need to throw the pick-up overboard. Uses very little water. A couple of 2 liter soda bottles will do the topsides. Like other power washers don't force high pressure water around any deck fittings.
https://www.worx.com/20v-hydroshot-p...ner-wg620.html
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Old 01-12-2021, 07:50   #9
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

I cannot solidly link this together but it makes sense to me. I had a Beneteau with not one crack in the gel coat and I owned it a few years in a spot where it got quite grey with dirt I could not brush off with boat soap. I took a power washer to it and was SO happy how it came back to white again so easily.
The next year I noticed lots of cracks in the gel coat in the cockpit and on deck. My theory is that the pressure washer blew out gel coat filler from lots of normal cracks which then showed the dirt over time.
I won't pressure wash my current boat nor likely any future boats.
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:29   #10
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

"..and watched with envy as they deal with the state flower of Georgia- mildew. ..

I thought that the state flower of Georgia was the green pollen dust from the pine trees each spring...
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:07   #11
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

Pressure washer removed all the dirt but also a couple of spots, about 1 cm each, of the deck nonskid and gelcoat down to the fiberglass. I was more gentle after that and it worked fine. Huge time saver!
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:32   #12
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
Hey gang-

I've never found a topic here that doesn't elicit strong opinions, so figured this would be a good place to ask this. Looking for thoughts in general on pressure washing hull and deck? I've always admired our slip-mate's spotless pressure washed boats, and watched with envy as they deal with the state flower of Georgia- mildew. My old back is fast reaching (if not there already) the last all-day deck brush outing and thought maybe it was time to join the crowd.

So today I snagged a Black Friday deal on a cheap Ryobi pressure washer. I chose this one specifically for its small size, quiet operation, and because it has no reservoir for detergents or bleaches since I won't use those (and are prohibited by the Corps of Engineers anyway.) Just water.

My concern is, and always has been, water penetrating around ports and even the hull-to-deck joints. This unit is low pressure by most standards at only 1,600 psi if that makes a difference.

A particular challenge we have is cleaning the beautiful dark blue hull on our 1984 Tartan 28. I'm concerned of course of removing wax or damaging the surface, and I'd appreciate any insights on this as well. I've purposely not opened the box and have no issue simply returning the thing if the sentiment is overwhelmingly nay. Thanks gang!
I pressure wash my boat each spring using a Husky 1550psi (Home Depot) washer...I would stay away from anything super high pressure. Use the fan spray and don't loiter on one spot. I once tried using a brush and bucket but my foredeck is much too busy to get into all the little nooks and crannies. My boat also gets more than it's share of bird droppings and the washer works great for that. Additionally, the boat was painted many years ago and every time I pressure washed it I got a layer of old paint (white tinted water) off the deck...so when I painted it last year there was not as much to sand.

Go for it.

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Old 01-12-2021, 12:47   #13
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

I don't know if a pressure washer will damage gelcoat, but I hope it does. At least on the boats of the people in my otherwise quiet marina who use their noisy contraptions for hours.

In my marina, they seem to get used on poorly maintained boats with nasty looking gelcoat, and after hours of racket, the boats still look nasty.

Okay, that rant over.

240 boat in my marina, and mine is one of the cleanest, best maintained of the bunch, and has never been near a pressure washer. It doesn't take me much time to use a soft brush and a wooden handle I got from Home Depot with some mild detergent. On the non-skid I use the wood handle on a brush with stuff plastic bristles. Rinse and done. Very clean boat.

My personal verdict: Noisy and unnecessary
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Old 01-12-2021, 13:07   #14
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by siamese View Post
I don't know if a pressure washer will damage gelcoat, but I hope it does. At least on the boats of the people in my otherwise quiet marina who use their noisy contraptions for hours.

that's what I was going to say. when your neighbor decides they are going to pressure wash all day .. well I hope you have ear plugs or maybe want to be somewhere else while they do it
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Old 01-12-2021, 15:49   #15
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Re: Pressure washing...to do or not to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
Hey gang-

I've never found a topic here that doesn't elicit strong opinions, so figured this would be a good place to ask this. Looking for thoughts in general on pressure washing hull and deck? I've always admired our slip-mate's spotless pressure washed boats, and watched with envy as they deal with the state flower of Georgia- mildew. My old back is fast reaching (if not there already) the last all-day deck brush outing and thought maybe it was time to join the crowd.

So today I snagged a Black Friday deal on a cheap Ryobi pressure washer. I chose this one specifically for its small size, quiet operation, and because it has no reservoir for detergents or bleaches since I won't use those (and are prohibited by the Corps of Engineers anyway.) Just water.

My concern is, and always has been, water penetrating around ports and even the hull-to-deck joints. This unit is low pressure by most standards at only 1,600 psi if that makes a difference.

A particular challenge we have is cleaning the beautiful dark blue hull on our 1984 Tartan 28. I'm concerned of course of removing wax or damaging the surface, and I'd appreciate any insights on this as well. I've purposely not opened the box and have no issue simply returning the thing if the sentiment is overwhelmingly nay.

Thanks gang!

I bought the very same unit for a steal. Can't wait to try it... with caution of course.
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