Take a day off from sailing to complete some mid-summer maintenance. By Terry Boram
Do you have the Chesapeake Bay “Mustache” or some mold and mildew forming below deck. Take a day off from sailing to complete these simple, safe and economical mid-summer maintenance items.
Scum line – No matter how much wax you applied this spring if you sail the Chesapeake Bay you will eventually acquire the brown stain just above your waterline. To clean without harming the bay or stripping your wax use undiluted vinegar and some elbow grease. It will get you through until the end of the season.
Stains – Have you ever tried Bar Keeper’s Friend to take out the tough stains? Make a paste out of the powder and rub it into the stain. For tougher stains let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Use it on bird droppings, scuff marks and even piling rub marks. Find it in the cleaning section of the grocery or hardware stores for about three dollars. It will take off wax so be prepared to follow with a maintenance coat.
Mold and Mildew – Vinegar is the safest and most economical way of dealing with mold and mildew. To clean counters and vinyl use a solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. Vinegar is also safe to use on your headliners and cushions but test a non-conspicuous area first. Let the boat air out well before taking your next trip.
Dock lines and anchor lines – By this point in the season these lines might be getting pretty dirty and stiff. To soften use a half of cup of laundry fabric softener in a two gallon bucket of water. Soak the lines overnight then let them dry out of direct sun. Give your chain a fresh water rinse and clean the salt and mud build up inside the locker. Let it air dry the best you can before putting all line away.
- Head – Run some vinegar through your system once a month to help keep calcium deposits under control. Vinegar is safe on all types of holding tanks.
- Cabin odor – Place some dryer sheets under your cushions and in storage compartments behind the settee. It will not only freshen the air but it will keep the bugs away.
Clutter – Open cockpit lockers and storage areas to assess what you have used and haven’t use. Re-evaluate the need for those unused items on the boat.
Other items to check
- The electrolyte level in the battery and fill with distilled water, if needed.
- Retape cotter pins or split rings with sail tape.
- Look for small holes in your sails and tape where needed
These are fast and easy to do in a day. Then get back out there and enjoy a nice sail.