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Muriatic acid cleaning question

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Recruiter

I am going to have to clean the boat with muriatic acid this year. I posted this mishap a few months ago and have been in a "discussion" with my co-owners of the boat about it. They chose to "put it off" until the eand of the season. That end comes today at 3PM when I pull the boat out of the water for the winter. My question is this - is there any benifit to cleaning it today while it is still wet from the lake vs. having surplus time this weekend - after it has been winterized - to spray this stuff on and off? I have a finite time frame today but will try to clean it if it will be more advantageous to do so.

Any thoughts and input are greatly appreciated.

Best,

Katie

1996 Malibu Sunsetter LX

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Marine Specialty

I have cleaned many boats with acid. IMO I would clean it asap it is much easier to clean off. You will also not have to use as much acid. Make sure that you get the acid off the trailer bunks. I have seen the acid eat the carpet off them.

When I would clean a boat I had the means to take it off the trailer a much easier cleaning process.

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MalibuNation

I'd wrap the whole trailer with plastic

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martinarcher
I'd wrap the whole trailer with plastic

Plus1.gif

I cover my trailer with plastic when I do mine.

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mcbean7

What's the best way to apply the acid? Spray bottle?

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Baddog

Muriatic may be too harsh a chemical. I don't know if this is much less harsh but there are many threads here about Tony's Toilet Tonic or something like that, but I have used that in past years with great success. It is a 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and Tydbol toilet cleaner (the regular stuff, not the version with bleach added). You do have to watch out for the trailer as others have stated. I do a small section of hull at a time and simply keep great quantities of water going to keep the trailer doused.

Curious, you said you have boat patners. How many and how has the group ownership thing worked out for you?

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Sixball

I don't think it will make a big difference if you wait till the weekend. I did my old boat every year on the trailer. I would work a quarter of the boat at a time and rinsed very thoroughly. I kept the trailer wet and rinsed it as well. I never had any problems.

I used soft scrub brushes. Just a good mitt or rag did not do the job

After you are done you will need to do a very good wax. I used a hi grade past wax.

Its not a fun job but I could get it back to looking like new. The boat was 8 years old and still had people ask if it was new.

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ACE hardware sells some stuff- at least they did a couple years ago, called Acid Magic. This does all the good stuff in terms of cleaning up hard spots and grunge but doesn't present the personal inconvenience that muriatic acid presents. I have cleaned the bottom of my boat several times with Acid Magic and I didn't have to cover up from head to toe and wear a mask and all that like I did when handling the Muriatic acid.... Still have to worry about the trailer if you leave this on for very long.

To address the trailer issues what I have done in the past is to wet down the trailer, spray on small sections of cleaner and then with the hose trickling water out I have gone over the trailer again with water.... Then repeat until boat is clean.

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Michigan boarder

Here's how I have done it. This is applying it to a dry boat, not wetting anything first, with a heavy duty spray bottle.

1. Spray everything from the rubrail down, from the bow eye to directly below the windshield. While it is setting and doing it's thing, hose off the trailer. Lightly scrub the sprayed area with a long handled scrub brush. Rinse.

2. Spray everything from the rubrail down to the chine, from the windshield back to the stern. Hose trailer while waiting. Scrub acid area with rag. Rinse.

3. Spray transom area under rubrail, rinse trailer, scrub acid, rinse boat.

4. From underneath, spray from stern up to bow (where you left off in step 1) on 1 side. Get out from under, hose trailer, go back under and scrub with rag. Rinse.

5. Repeat step 4 on other side.

6. Rinse everything copiously 1 more time.

Never had a problem with paint, bunks, gelcoat, etc. Have used Muraitic Acid (which is really just a form of hydrocloric), Zing, and Starbrite Hull Cleaner. All pretty much work the same, and all are hydrocloric acid. I never dilute, I use full strength and have to hold my breath occasionally.

Edit: takes about a half hour to 45 min

Edited by Michigan boarder

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Recruiter

Curious, you said you have boat patners. How many and how has the group ownership thing worked out for you?

[/quote

I love having boat partners most of the time. It is a great set-up and we all defined our "roles" before we ever started out on this adventure together. I grew up on the lake and they did not (involved are 3 people - myself and a couple - everything is split in half). I bring to the "relationship" some boat/redneck knowledge and a willingness to fix things rather than tow to a mechanic every time someting is a bit off - I DO use my mechanic when I know I am in something over my head - this waned their worry of owning a boat. They, on the other hand, live in a lake front neighborhood with dock space, a parking area, and close to my house as well. Normally we go out on the boat together because we are great friends. There are times that one or the other of us "schedules" the boat and after 2 seasons this has not been a problem yet. They tube and ski and I wakeboard; our boat seems to work well for both of us considering our skill levels. I would own a boat over and over again with them. There are rare occasions, like this one, that we don't see eye to eye on - they would perfer to negate the hassle of this cleaning and pay someone to do it. I, on the other hand, don't have as much (well, any) wiggle room in my checking account to split the cost of a $200 wash, so my choice is to do it myself. Ironically, they are out of town right now and won't be back for a few weeks so I will just do it and not talk about it - they are concerned with chemicals on the street etc - which I agree with but know the mechanic is just going to do the same thing. They have a bit of a glorified perception as to how someone else will deal with the waste water :-) I change the oil and tow it; they don't have a truck. It really DOES work out, but I am very glad that we had that 2 hour beer meeting in the beginning (of buying THIS boat - our 1st boat was a disaster but one of those things that I always get to say "I told you so" about) to plan out what each of our intentions/roles were.

Thanks for all the help - I am off to the lake for the last time of the season!

Best,

Katie

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Baddog
Curious, you said you have boat patners. How many and how has the group ownership thing worked out for you?

[/quote

I love having boat partners most of the time. It is a great set-up and we all defined our "roles" before we ever started out on this adventure together. I grew up on the lake and they did not (involved are 3 people - myself and a couple - everything is split in half). I bring to the "relationship" some boat/redneck knowledge and a willingness to fix things rather than tow to a mechanic every time someting is a bit off - I DO use my mechanic when I know I am in something over my head - this waned their worry of owning a boat. They, on the other hand, live in a lake front neighborhood with dock space, a parking area, and close to my house as well. Normally we go out on the boat together because we are great friends. There are times that one or the other of us "schedules" the boat and after 2 seasons this has not been a problem yet. They tube and ski and I wakeboard; our boat seems to work well for both of us considering our skill levels. I would own a boat over and over again with them. There are rare occasions, like this one, that we don't see eye to eye on - they would perfer to negate the hassle of this cleaning and pay someone to do it. I, on the other hand, don't have as much (well, any) wiggle room in my checking account to split the cost of a $200 wash, so my choice is to do it myself. Ironically, they are out of town right now and won't be back for a few weeks so I will just do it and not talk about it - they are concerned with chemicals on the street etc - which I agree with but know the mechanic is just going to do the same thing. They have a bit of a glorified perception as to how someone else will deal with the waste water :-) I change the oil and tow it; they don't have a truck. It really DOES work out, but I am very glad that we had that 2 hour beer meeting in the beginning (of buying THIS boat - our 1st boat was a disaster but one of those things that I always get to say "I told you so" about) to plan out what each of our intentions/roles were.

Thanks for all the help - I am off to the lake for the last time of the season!

Best,

Katie

Good for you. Where is the lake you are on? What was the first boat and what made you "tell them so"?

My last boat I bought with my neighbor, and like you it worked out well. We split all costs down the middle. I had the perfect tow vehicle, they had a spare garage spot in which to keep it. I had the knowledge and skill to do all fix-it stuff, he provided the brawn. We originally planned to have use of it on alternate weeks but realized that when one of wanted to go, our wives or kids did not and we usually used it at the same time, just like you. I wish I could have the same deal now. Instead, I bought the boat, pay for the insurance, slip fees, fix-it parts etc. I have two good ski buddies who chip in for gas but don't have the capital for much more. However, if I want to go I need them, so it's all good.

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ibelieve

I would not spray it, I would wipe it on with a rag. You don't want it get on the wrong thing or in the wrong place. I have been using muriatic acid for over 15 years. Just make sure you hose everything down really well. Lots of water on the bunks. Exposed metal will discolor if it is not protected and so will some black plastics.

I use anywhere from a 50/50 water/acid mix to 20/80 for really tough stuff. Wear rubber gloves and rinse your arms often.

/Steve

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Coach Mike

Ditto on not spraying as it can be very dangerous if it gets airborn or in your lungs, on skin, etc. I use a soft sponge/mop type applicator that I attached to an extension stick for reaching without worrying about dripping on me. I too cover the trailer with plastic and rinse thoroughly and often during the procedure. Stuff works great whenever you do it so no real need to rush into it when it comes out. Just be very careful when using it.

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cyoda44

How do you deal with the graphics on the side of the boat?

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Michigan boarder

I should clarify the spray bottle. You guys are right, you don't want a fine mist like a Windex spray. You'll be coughing and blinking a lot. I use a heavy duty sprayer, it has an adjustable pattern. I set it to a stream and it allows me, with the right wrist action, to cover a large area quickly.

Last night I used a rag and some Muraitic on the bottom of the kayaks that were beached part-way in the water for a few weeks at the end of the summer, and the rag method works great too.

On the graphics, it doesn't do anything to them. It won't remove glue, or scuffs, or paint. It won't even remove oil/carbon residue on the transom until you wipe it. But spray it on rust/lime/sea scum and it takes it right off.

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Baddog

I have a soft scrub brush on a long poll so I spot apply with no mist, scrub as needed and I can get under the hull without having to get under the hull. Nice.

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