Home Mailport & PS Advisor

Mailport & PS Advisor

Getting Rid of Impossible Bird Poop Stains

I honestly hope you can help. Several weeks ago local seagulls had a sushi feast on my boat. The leftovers were large and small and mostly on non-skid. When I got to the boat I cleaned up whatever I could pick up, but the sun-baked stains remained. Ive tried whatever I possibly could including Barkeepers Friend and Total Boat White Knight. They both have oxalic acid as main ingredient. It stayed there for 30-40 minutes, I didn't touch it. Next I got oxalic acid as powder and made my own very strong mix. Again, no major effect. Next, In desperation, I broke out 3000 PSI power washer, which again didn't remove the stains. My marine biologist friend said to try Draino.

Mailport: July 2001

More on Leaky PortlightsThis letter is in response to the leaky portlights letter in the May 1 PS Advisor. I have 11 Beckson portlights...

A Simple DIY Project for Laptop Navigators

Looking for an alternative to installing an on-deck chartplotter? PS reader Bill Boyeson came up with a creative way to use his laptop for navigation, rather than a multi-function display in the cockpit of his J/42. The Kirkland, Wash., sailor designed an enclosure that protects the setup from the elements and that can be easily removed and stowed belowdecks when not in use. Here are the details that Boyeson shared with Practical Sailor.

Mailport: 04/01/03

Liferaft Follow-UpI purchased a Viking Self-Righting Life Raft a couple of weeks before yourmost recent review and I am still reluctant to bring...

PS Advisor: 12/01

Bottom Paint Out of WaterI have read several of your test comparisons of bottom paints and found them useful. However, there is one point...

Making an Anodized Mast Look Like New

Have you done any research on the best means of cleaning an aluminum mast? Im having other work done to mine and thought it would be a good time for a cleaning.

PS Advisor: 05/01/04

Sailplan Balancing ActYour February 1 editorial on the benefits of small, self-tending headsails is thought-provoking. As I enter my golden years, I like the...

A Wood Finish for the Efficient Sailor

I have a boat with a good amount of teak. As a lazy-er, efficient! thats the word, efficient-owner I have waited out the previous owners Bristol Finish. This product was great when new, but difficult to patch as it aged. It has finally flaked off after 10 years or so. For me, the most important characteristic for a coating is that it be easy to remove without damaging the teak, and be easily and imperceptibly patched, because coatings don't go all at once. Also formulations change. It sounds like a mix of Cetol Natural covered by Cetol Gloss is the way to go?

PS Advisor: Do Alcohol and Antifouling Mix?

Today I went to paint the bottom of my boat with Interlux’s VC-17m, which I have used since it first came on the market. I had always cut/thinned the paint a bit with acetone. Today, the West Marine store manager (who is an experienced boater) told me that Interlux changed the VC-17m formula and that you should thin it with simple rubbing alcohol. When I used the paint with the alcohol, I noticed that it did not dry as quickly as it had with acetone and seemed thicker than usual after mixing the copper powder. Is it correct that you can now use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol to "thin" VC-17m antifouling?

Simple Tips for Maintaining Stainless Steel

When applying a paste cleaner, a toothbrush is useful for buffing tight spots and working into the pores of welds; follow by buffing with a cotton cloth. A green 3M scrubby pad helps for removing more aggressive stains. Continued rusting in welded areas might indicate a developing failure, requiring replacement. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water and mild soap when done buffing.