Mark and Dana LaMair hosted a well attended gathering Saturday April 28th 2018 at their new lake side office of Boat Works at Orleans Trail Park. Mark reviewed a number of products for boat maintenance and dispensed valuable pearls regarding how to best care for your boat. The following are a number of his ideas:

1. Remember that your gel coat is actually nothing more that a very thick coat of specialized paint. Real boat pros don’t use powerwashers as it can add additional wear to the gel coat or force water into unwanted spaces. Also to completely removed mildew stains you need to kill the mildew. A good cleaner will usually do it, but a power-wash will not. Dollar General’s LA’s Totally Awesome All-purpose Cleaner concentrate was recommended, diluted 3:1 as an inexpensive cleaner.

2. Boat lines need love too, but don’t power-wash them as it strips off protective coverings. Soak lines in a bucket of water with mild laundry soap, followed by a soak with fabric softener.

3. You can extend the life of many of your lines by reversing them rather than replacing. Most cases only the initial third of line comes under load, so the rest of the line has had very little wear.

4. Hairline cracks in the Gel Coat are usually around stress points and cosmetic only. The fiberglass layer is what protects your core from water, so don’t worry so much on the small spider cracks.

5. It is wise to carry a small supply of dacron sail tape for immediate repair of any small sail tears. It can be a first line of defense and allows you to act proactively.

6. You can improve your look by keeping fabric sail and pedestal covers clean. Any dirt can promote lichen growth. IOSSO Stain Remover mixed in water can bubble off dirt that attracts the lichen. Follow with Gold Eagle 303 Fabric Guard to keep them clean.

7. Rubber gaskets need care. Clean and recondition with 303 Rubber Seal Protectant to reduce wear from dirt and keep pliable and effective.

8. Hull care can involve one of two strategies. Cleaning and protection with a wax or cleaning, compound buffing and the application of a clear sealer. Glide Coat recently introduced a nano coating originally designed for the aerospace industry. It is an expensive product but provides long term gloss retention. Poly Glo was popular several years ago, however it requires application yearly. If not properly maintained it will harden, peel, crack and discolor, hence becoming unslightly and very difficult to remove. If you choose a more standard wax product, Woody Ultra-PIne Wash-N-Wax Boat Soap allows washing without wax removal. Woody Wax is designed for use on non-skid areas. Follow the manufacturers instructions. For hull sides and non skid surfaces they use Collinite Insulator Wax.

9. Maguire’s Plastx Cleaner and Polish is available at auto parts stores, and will reduce oxidation haze and polish plexiglass ports and hatches.

10. It was mentioned that bleach really has no place on the boat due to environmental issues.

11. However, Clorox Oxi Magic is a non bleach spot cleaner that works well. Make up fresh a small amount in a spray bottle, leave on about five minutes and it will take care of most hull stains.

12. For a good natural teak cleaner, the dual step SEMCO system brightens up gray teak. For an easy to maintain oil based sealer use Semco’s clear or tinted sealers. Another option is Pettit’s low VOC water borne sealer Sea Gold.

13. For any boat caulking work be sure to use marine grade caulk as household caulk will not cut it. 3M 4200 is the prefered product for bedding hardware and stantions.

14. Always use stranded tinned copper wire marine grade and marine grade connectors for any electrical projects. Also you use marine grade hoses designated for specific uses, ie: suction, waste, potable water, exhaust etc..

15. It is wise to replace your engines water pump impeller every two years to prevent failure.

16. Frequency of bottom painting depends on boat location and whether hard or soft ablatives are used. At Stockton, with clean water, bottom paint is usually needed every four or five years.

17. Boat Works keeps a number of these products in stock. Otherwise we can source “most anything nautical” typically with free shipping in a day or two.

Mark and Dana have recently completed ASA Instructor Certifications that allow Boat Works to provide the first three ASA Sailing Certifications. Mark requires a two person minimum and three maximum for courses. In addition, Boat Works plans to offer chartering opportunites at Stockton. For information call Boat Works at 417-276-2535 or