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Old 09-26-2011, 02:58 PM
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Default Recommendations on cleaning badly stained Aluminum Drift boat

Hi Folks, My name is Paul. Friends call me "Happy". Adopted from my last name I share with the Adam Sandler Character from the movie. People say it fits my personality?

I found the forum looking for folks experienced with drift boats. Glad I found it. I live in Fall City, WA on the Snoqualmie River. I've gotten to know our fish biologist since being out here. Week before he asked the owner of the farm where I live to help recover a sunk Hyde Pro-guide. We got it out and he gave it to us. (me) Anchor mount is broken and glass is cracked. So, needs some work.

After helping get that boat out I asked if there are any others around I'd salvage them to 1.)help clean the river up and 2.) to possibly get a usable boat. He asked me to try and get an Alumaweld 17 out which was partially buried in 10' of water. It was against a submerged cottonwood and posed a danger to rafters/swimmers. Three evenings of diving, digging and rigging, I got it out and it is in really good shape. I was using two block and tackles, an oregon rigged sling and my F-350 to pull on it from 500-600' away. I put a crack in the bottom pulling it to the gravel bar when it was full of water but, everything else is complete and not banged up. The crack will be an easy weld for a friend who works at a fabrication shop that works on airplanes. I had to pull it about 600' to recover it so, I've added a bunch of character marks through that process but, nothing bad.

The report is the boat has been sunk for 16-18 months. It has heavy staining on the aluminum. The inside cleaned up pretty good because of the hammer finish paint coating. Just the outside looks like an aluminum boat that has sat in salt all its' life.

Any suggestions on a real aggressive product to use to get it bright again? I used a gas pressure washer and blew the crud and stickers off. Now I need something for a deep clean. What do folks use to clean up aluminum boats that sit in salt and get stained? I'd assume that would be the easiest, fastest route to follow.

Any suggestions are welcome. I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow. Unfortunately, i wasn't able to get any of the recovery process but, I can say I am amazed at the integrity and toughness of this boat. I used a heavy cable and 2" 25K lb rope to pull it out. I broke every lifting strap and tow strap I tried using before going to the heavy cable and rope.

Looking forward to this forum. I've been poking around and have enjoyed the posts and articles alot.

Happy
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations on cleaning badly stained Aluminum Drift boat

I can recommend two different approachs:
1) #0000 steel wool + any good metal polish
2) P21S Polishing Soap
Afterwards I'd wipe down with Clorox Cleanup to remove any residues since it's going back in the water.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations on cleaning badly stained Aluminum Drift boat

Contact Hyde Boats in Idaho Falls, ID. You may be surprised what they can do for you for little or no $$. Hyde Drift Boats - Built for Fishermen, by Fishermen

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Old 09-26-2011, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations on cleaning badly stained Aluminum Drift boat

Happy: Welcome to the forum and the new boat! Sounds like it was quite the adventure hoisting that boat out of the spot it was in, too bad you didn't get any photos. Sorry I can't help with a recommendation for cleaning but you already have two really good suggestions.

Larry
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations on cleaning badly stained Aluminum Drift boat

Thanks for the advice. Any experience with acid washes? Had some people mention that too- I wish I did get pictures of removal but, I only had help for short periods of time while in the water so, not much to take pictures of except when things started moving and I was occupied driving the pull rig and making sure my younger helper stayed safe.

To clarify, I got a Hyde the week before and pulled out an alumaweld this week. I've talked to Rich at Hyde. He was very helpful in offereing advice. Talked to my local Alumaweld dealer and he's got some stuff left from upgrading other boats he's going to pass along at a low cost. The Hyde needs some substantial glass work. The alumaweld just needs a little patch welded on and a set of oars. (and a bench for passengers which Three Rivers marine said he has in his storage)
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations on cleaning badly stained Aluminum Drift boat

I did our old river boat with muriatic acid and it cleaned it up big time.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations on cleaning badly stained Aluminum Drift boat

Hi Happy.
Even though I've not used them try Vinegar or Lemon Juice on a small section,they are supposed to work.
The only problem will be whatever you use you don't want it attacking the impurities in the Aluminium,as everyone can probably remember what happened to the old Aluminium Saucepans.
Good Luck.
Brian.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations on cleaning badly stained Aluminum Drift boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
I did our old river boat with muriatic acid and it cleaned it up big time.
I've used muriatic acid to clean chainsaw cylinder heads that had aluminum piston residue on the sleave but, not on aluminum. Any mixture or spray it straight on from a garden pressure sprayer?
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations on cleaning badly stained Aluminum Drift boat

This might be out in left field, but years ago when I was in field service for my company, I'd go to Blue Beacon- an over the road truck wash place and have them spray my aluminum(wheels, tool boxes etc.) with their aluminum spray cleaner when I had the truck washed. After a winter on salted roads the aluminum would shine. I'd call a few OTR truck washes in your locale and see if they might be able to do something for you. It's just a thought. Might be just the ticket.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Recommendations on cleaning badly stained Aluminum Drift boat

Happy

Try this company Alumabrite.Aluminum Cleaner,Aluminum Brightiner Pontoon Boats

I use their fiberglass products to restore my old Lavro. The results were awesome and I would expect the same from their aluminum products!!
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