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I am patiently waiting for the completion of my brand new aluminum boat.  This will be my first boat and I would like to baby it as much as possible.   I have some questions about exterior care for my painted aluminum.   What do you guys use to keep the outside of the hill in tip top shape?   Besides cleaning after the boat right after it comes out of the water, what are the other routine maintenance do I need to do.   Wash with soap?  Occasional waxing?  Thank you for your input.   

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I just wash mine with cleaner and warm water to clean the scum off. You can get wax to restore a clouded image to a shiny image but my aluminum boat is white so I don’t bother.

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Congratulations on getting a new boat. Mine is far from new with a few dings and scratches, but I will often use a car exterior detailer (spray bottle from auto store). It works good for removing scum in between washes. 

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I just hose it off and wipe down the hull every time time I go out out.   Every once in awhile I will wash it using some mild soap.  Other than a few dings still looks like new.   

 

 

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Don't use Simple Green. It can react with aluminum if left on. I use it to scrub my carpets and then rise it right off. They do make an 'aircraft' version that is meant for aluminum. But yeah, best advice is don't be careless. After an 8 hour day in 95 degree summer sun it can be easy to forgo washing the hull, but just take the time and spray it down. Star Brite makes a hull cleaner I get at the Wal*Marts that works pretty well. 

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I use Slick Mist every time I leave the water. wash and wax once per year. vacuum carpet as needed. add Marine Stabil with each fill up.

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Wipe down with 50/50 vinegar and water after each outing

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Wipe down with 50/50 vinegar and water after each outing

Yup

X2 ~ Cheapest & most effective water spot remover  - - 

:smiley:

A-Jay

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Thanks for the responses guys.   Especially the vinegar.   I totally drew a blank on using vinegar to clean the water spots.   I’ll definitely have a spray bottle with the solution handy.  

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I think I might have washed mine once since buying it in 2005.  I can't remember ever waxing it.  People are surprised when I tell them it's 13 years old.

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Slick mist after every outing keeps mine looking brand new

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Kind of a key point of a tin boat is low maintenance isn't it? I just wipe it down with Slick Mist and am done.

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My boat is black, and after only a few trips, it looked awful with the white water spots.  Someone here (A-Jay?) recommended CLR for the first clean-up, then only Slick Mist after every trip to the water, and it is not only easy, but very effective.  My boat now looks like new all the time, and only takes a few minutes.  If you are starting with a new boat with no water spots, no need to use the CLR.  

 

It is a good idea to check our owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations and cautions.

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vinegar and water works great but also strips away the wax. 

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vinegar and water works great but also strips away the wax. 

Not if there's no wax to strip ;)

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The boat is a black and gray color.   So water marks and spots are my concern.  Having a black car I know how difficult it can be to keep that color looking clean.   But when it is sparkling it sure does look nice.   Sounds like I have to get some stick mist, and vinegar solution and try them out.    Thanks again all for the recommendations  

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The boat is a black and gray color.   So water marks and spots are my concern.  Having a black car I know how difficult it can be to keep that color looking clean.   But when it is sparkling it sure does look nice.   Sounds like I have to get some stick mist, and vinegar solution and try them out.    Thanks again all for the recommendations  

Having owned several black trucks in a row and now the boat  - I can relate.

 What I've found with the boat is maintaining a coat of quality wax on the hull, besides looking good (initially) can reduce some water spotting.  However, if one is not eternally vigilant with rinsing & wiping down the entire hull directly after every use - there will be spots; to what extent may vary but if you're in an environment that promotes them - they will come.   Additionally, wax can make spot removal a bit easier -(relative term).  What's a very bad plan is to try to use a cleaner wax to remove water spots - hasn't worked for me.  Only made the eventual spot removal that much more challenging.    

 So the 'system' for me is a coat of wax applied pre-season on a clean hull.  Rinse & wipe down with fresh water only after every use.  Vinegar bath when needed. 

By not adding ANY product to the hull - I'm only removing the spots (and not everything else I've chosen to spray all over it day after day to 'help' because nothing really does) so they come off really easily - just spray & wipe.  Otherwise - It's a  PIA. 

YMMV

:smiley:

A-Jay

26941898_1603454586401065_1686389649_o.jpg?oh=25bc832dc9c6d5f61c18892498d377e0&oe=5A5E4F42

 

 

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I give mine a wipe down when I get home mostly to remove the water line ring. If it is not really bad, I just use water and a sponge. If it is pretty bad I use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. My boat is 21 years old but it looks great for it age. I also wax it twice a year which really helps.

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In my opinion, vinegar and water after every trip is too aggressive.  Once you get a clean boat with vinegar and water, or  dilute CLR, and follow that with slick mist, you only need to go over it with slick mist after every outing.  On my 16.5 foot boat I don't think it takes more than 15 minutes.  Unless you get the boat coated with road dirt by towing on a wet road or dirt roads.  If you try to slick mist that away you will be essentially sanding your boat with road dirt and the finish will be damaged.  In that case I pressure wash and follow with the usual, slick mist.  The motor is treated the same as the hull, both lower unit and cowling.

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