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  1. #1

    Default Need Help with Aluminum Boat Hull cleaning

    Good afternoon folks - I'm new to this forum but am hoping I can get a little help. I have a 1991 Star Craft 19' deep V boat. It is new t me this year. It has been docked in the water (river in upstate NY) for the last 5 months. I pulled it yesterday and it has a lot of hard water build up at the water line and some algae as well. The boat is painted aluminum (factory paint). I haven't been able to find anything that will touch the hard water deposits - I've tried pressure washing, scrubbing bubbles, vinegar, brillo pads (which worked partially with a lot of elbow grease) and some stuff from a marina that did absolutely nothing.

    So I'm looking for somethiing that is as close to spray and rinse as I can get to clean up the hard water deposits. Any ideas?

    Thanks
    Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hague, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,833

    Default Re: Need Help with Aluminum Boat Hull cleaning

    I would first apply Star Brite hull cleaner per instructions on the container. Then, I would use CLR (Calcium, Lime & Rust cleaner) to get rid of the calcium deposits, then a second dose of Star Brite. Both are available at most Ace Hardware stores.
    CHawk 25 DLX

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need Help with Aluminum Boat Hull cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by chawk_man View Post
    I would first apply Star Brite hull cleaner per instructions on the container. Then, I would use CLR (Calcium, Lime & Rust cleaner) to get rid of the calcium deposits, then a second dose of Star Brite. Both are available at most Ace Hardware stores.
    Thanks for the suggestion. I tried the star brite and it did a rasonable job with some scrubbing. I'm a bit concerned with CLR as its web site is very specific that oit should not be used with aluminum.

    Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hague, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,833

    Default Re: Need Help with Aluminum Boat Hull cleaning

    I did not know that! Been using that stuff for a long time and have not had any problems with it, but do not remember whether or not I've ever used it on aluminum. Thanks for the heads up.

    The calcium scale should be vulnerable to about any mild acid. Maybe try some vinegar first. If that doesn't do it, a very mild solution of muriatic acid may work, but wash it off quickly. There is another acid called hydrofluoric acid that supposedly works well on aluminum, but I would research that extensively before using.
    CHawk 25 DLX

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Baton rouge, La, USA
    Posts
    2,501

    Default Re: Need Help with Aluminum Boat Hull cleaning

    as an owner of an aluminum houseboat for 40+ years i will throw my 2 cents in...it does not matter what you use because you are not going to get it down to good looking paint..the paint is coming off also if you get all the crap off..so i would only worry about the stuff thats going to affect the boats performance ....other wise plan on painting the boat..

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need Help with Aluminum Boat Hull cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by papyson View Post
    as an owner of an aluminum houseboat for 40+ years i will throw my 2 cents in...it does not matter what you use because you are not going to get it down to good looking paint..the paint is coming off also if you get all the crap off..so i would only worry about the stuff thats going to affect the boats performance ....other wise plan on painting the boat..
    Thanks - I have pretty much accepted your point of view. Will probablyjst pressure wash to get the worst off and call it done

    Rick

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need Help with Aluminum Boat Hull cleaning

    Just clean it an enjoy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Greenfield Me. USA
    Posts
    6,083

    Default Re: Need Help with Aluminum Boat Hull cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick_B View Post
    Thanks - I have pretty much accepted your point of view. Will probablyjst pressure wash to get the worst off and call it done

    Rick
    Ayuh,.... My ole tin barge is moored in Chaumont Bay, at the river 5 months a year,....

    I pulled it last weekend, winterized at the launch, 'n parked it in the driveway for the time bein',...
    It's got the usual bit of green slime where the sun shined on it, 'n zebra mussels on the transom, in the less turbulent waters,....

    In the Spring, I'll drag a green scrubby pad over it, wash it off, 'n slather on another coat of Rustoleum industrial enamel on it,....
    'bout every 2 or 3 years,....

    Moored hulls, Never look pretty under the waterline,.... Nothin' like any trailer queen,...
    Any Grease is Better,... Than No grease at All....

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