|Our beautiful Trinka dinghy|
|The stained hull. No boat cleaner made a dent.|
We gave up trying to clean her and stowed her away in the garage for the next few seasons. But this year, we decided it wasn’t her fault and we should bring her out for some local fun. We took her out for a spin now and again. She did double duty as a ferry to our mooring. In fact she served us so well we decided to find a way to restore her to her true glory.
|One side done - less than 15 minutes work.|
As I was walking away dejected, he said to me, “You could try very fine sandpaper and see if that helps. If you don’t rub too much away and the gelcoat is a good one, you’ll do fine if you follow up with compounding and then seal it with marine wax.” I decided that would be a last resort.
When I got home, I had a Eureka moment. Inside our kitchen cupboard was my miracle home product, Bar Keeper’s Friend. The name had originally hooked me on picking it up many years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Developed in 1882 by an Indiana chemist who noticed his pot was very shiny after cooking rhubarb, he formulated an ingredient in rhubarb into a talcum powder and sold it to taverns around the town. That’s how it became Bar Keeper’s Friend.
It cleans and removes stains from brass, stainless steel, copper, porcelain and ceramic – all without scratching even though it is seemingly mildly abrasive. I read the label and sure enough it lists fibreglass among the materials it is recommended for. I marched outside with a wet scrunge sponge and my precious Bar Keeper’s Friend powder and wiped a bit in a widening circle. It started to lighten, I rubbed a bit and it got even cleaner. Then I stopped and watched as within minutes the discolouration melted away without further effort. I had made a clean shiny spot that reflected in the sunlight. This was the first ray of hope we’d seen in years.
|The other side 'fading' into cleanliness|
Bolstered by my success, less than an hour of scrubbing and rinsing later, the dinghy was like new. Shiny, clean and happy, Be Calmed got put away in the shed for the winter. A coat of Meguiars Flagship marine wax will go on as soon as we get a chance.