If you're lucky enough to live to 100, the years between 50 & 75 are your third quarter. That segment in life could be the waning of your physically agile years, so it's a good idea to stay active. It's also a good time to challenge your brain to keep things limber up there - by mastering something new. We decided to go sailing, and this is a chronicle of our journey.


Cleaning our Life Lines & Dorade Vents

Z-Cleaner sample (two sponges in a sudsy solution)
 After successfully cleaning our white, vinyl cockpit cushions with Mr Clean Magic Eraser pads a few months ago, I tried the same product on a few of our life lines with pretty good effects. I hadn't even thought about using them on the life lines, and then I got a comment from Pete over at Sailing the Dream asking if the pads might work on brightening the vinyl coating. I planned to finish the job in between other projects when I found a Zcleaner sample given to us at last year's Annapolis boat show.
Mr Clean & Zcleaner at work on the boat

Mister Clean works pretty well with a bit of scrubbing on the vinyl coated life lines.

It doesn't remove rust stains.
While the Mr Clean pad didn't remove the rust from the life lines, that's okay, because the stains are like little red signs hollering that it's time to inspect and likely replace the lifelines. (The ISAF Offshore Racing Congress has banned coated lifelines because the vinyl prohibits inspection for cracks, rust and corrosion. We aren't racers, but it seems pretty common sense to want to see & inspect the lifelines.)

The Zcleaner worked really well on the lifelines.
And made it easier to see all the pits in the vinyl too.
After trying both products, our old lifelines are pretty bright and clean, and I'd say the Zcleaner was a bit faster at removing the stains.  Dane over at Cadence of the Sea left a comment on our post about re-painting the bronze dorade cowl interiors, pondering if old, plastic vents could be painted.   I had a spare Zcleaner sponge in the sample packet, so just for grins, I swiped it over one of our stained, plastic dorade cowls. Huge WOW!  No need to paint if you can make them clean and bright again!  I had previously used Simple Green to clean them, with little to no results (even though that stuff works great for most things on Florian), but the Zcleaner immediately diluted the stains and suspended them in the cleaning solution. They wiped off effortlessly.

A swipe of the Zcleaner pad, and all the dirt and oxidization just fell away.

After wiping the dorade vent with a towel, it's good as new!

Two, formerly yellow-brown, and now bright and white plastic dorade cowls.

The Zcleaner sample pad after cleaning the life lines. Ick.

Florian's whites, looking good.
Cold beer dispenser (Don) while I'm working. I love this boat!

In the last post, Don was using errant screws to open the tip of his cigars.
Now, Florian has her very own V-snipper. (Thanks, MKH!)


Neophyte Cruiser said...

The Zcleaner worked really well on your dorades! I'll have to get some. The other thing that worked well on our life-lines was denatured alcohol. It took the dirt and sun-induced yellowing away with a minimum of effort. Your boat is shining like new.

Dane said...

She's looking more sparkly and purty with every post! I've used denatured alcohol and acetone (much quicker) on my vents in the past but it only seems to keep for a year or two before they get ugly again, thanks to the persistent barrage of the sun. It's really not much work to wipe them down again, so I keep it up every other season, until some shiny bronze jewelry magically finds its way to Cadence's deck for less than the price of 2 month's rent (or I simply dissolve all the rubber away). I figure if it ain't broke...