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Monday, March 27, 2006

Spring Clean 2006

We rented a pressure washer to clean the dirt and grime that accumulated over the winter on various things (deck furniture, BBQ, front and back porch). I decided, while we had it, I might try it on the deck of the Westsail. I had already taken smaller 2hp pressure washer to it last summer, but this one we rented is a 7hp. Boy did it make a difference. You might recall my post from last summer when we discovered the gelcoat is actually WHITE instead of OFF-WHITE after we scrubbed it with mild hydrochloric acid. Well, after this pressure washer it is even WHITER. The higher pressure removed much more dirt and oxidized gelcoat. In fact, it removed so much oxidized gelcoat, that it looked like milk was draining from the deck drains. Also, I removed the plain plastic sheeting we had taped over the hull/deck joint. The wind and UV was trashing it. It was replaced with 4 inch wide preservation tape (white). This is to keep weather from leaking through the hull/deck joint. Plus, the tape being white, helps the boat look nicer instead of "white trash" . While cleaning the deck, I came up with an idea. Something needs to be done with the deck (it has a lot of hairline and spider cracks in the gelcoat). The solutions are generally 1) grind it all off, fair it and paint (very labor intensive) or 2) grind off the non-skid and cover it up with Plas-Teak, Treadmaster, or even Rhino lining (not as labor intensive, but wont look as nice). Since we dont have to deal with this for a couple years, we have an opportunity to try different ideas on saving the existing deck coating by treating some test patches. The tests will get exposed to a couple years of weather and UV. I do like the existing non-skid "waffle pattern" that was originally molded with the deck and it would be nice if we could keep it. As one of the first tests, we still have some Sterling two-part polyurethane paint chemicals left over from a paint job we did on our 28 foot sloop. We will try applying that to a test patch and see how it works out. I am not optimistic, but you never know, we might find something that works.