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Old 04-29-2010, 06:48 AM
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Boat Seat Cleaning/protecting Help Needed

Hey All, What is the best cleaner and the best protective product to use on marine vinyl? I had it redone last year, seats got bad mildew over the winter. I'd like to use a conditioning after cleaning to protect them from the elements and prevent mildew and stains. White seats(what was I thinking). What are the preferred or super duper products? olnolan

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Old 04-29-2010, 07:08 AM
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I see boat seats all the time, plus the two boats I own myself. I clean them with a degreaser like Simple Green, Formula 409, or Fantastik to get the dirt off. After that, I clean them with Tilex, which has a bleach solution in it. Use a soft bristled brush to work it into the vinyl and let it sit. You need to let the Tilex sit on the seats for a 1/2 hour to let it work. The only way to get rid of mildew is to kill it with bleach. You can make your own solution if you want. Just mix 10% bleach and 90% water. I like the Tilex because it sticks on the seats better. After that, just wipe it off with a damp towel. The bleach will keep on killing the mildew for quite a while. Don't wear good clothes, 'cuz the bleach will still take the color out of clothes, even at only 10%.

The problems you have in LA are obviously hot sun and high humidity. To protect them, don't leave the seats out in the sun for extended periods of time and cover them up. Don't cover them with plastic, cover them with something that breathes. Ideally, cover the whole boat with a really good cover that is vented with a couple Vent So Ports, also called Boat Vent 2. They vent the cover while providing a place for a pole to hold up the cover.

If you want to put a treatment on them, use Lexol for vinyl, called Vinylex. You can buy it in bigger containers and re-use the spray bottle.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:27 AM
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Boat Seat Cleaning/protecting Help Needed

The best product I have found for protecting marine vinyl is called 303 protectant. It sprays on, let it dry and buff off. It works great for gelcoat as well. The secret is it's superior UV protection. Just type 303 in your browser. You can purchase directly from them.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:27 AM
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Hey Dan

Thanks for the reply Dan. I've always used mild bleach solutions for cleaning boat seats, with good results. But when talking to some folks, they say the bleach is too hard on the vinyl causing degradation. Coming from you, as a professional, now I'm not as scared to use it. Do you recommend any conditioning/protective products after the cleaning, or nothing? I'm trying to protect my investment. As always I appreciate your advise. Nolan
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:38 AM
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Haa Haa

Our post are crossing in cyberspace. Thanks Dan, I knew you could help. Thanks for the tip Cunningham, the UV protection has got to be a plus. Nolan
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLNOLAN
Our post are crossing in cyberspace. Thanks Dan, I knew you could help. Thanks for the tip Cunningham, the UV protection has got to be a plus. Nolan
You're welcome. BTW, the Lexol Vinylex has a UV sunscreen in it. The back of the bottle also says it ".....penetrates below the surface to restore the underlying plasticizers...."

Vinylex also comes in wipe form, like baby wipes or hand sanitizers.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:42 AM
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vinylex

I googled the stuff and saw the mention of UV protection. I'm gonna try some for sure. I've had a love affair with the old Eliminator for 17 yrs now.(Read 17 yr. restoration/repair project) Every time I think its finished for a while something else breaks, blows up or wears out. She's alot of fun when she's right. A Hot Rod on water. I may do a thread on the project sometime. Alot of the older photos I have are not digital so I'll have to scan them to post. Thx Dan, Nolan

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Old 04-29-2010, 10:25 AM
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Nice ride,...... must be a stern drive. What size is it and the engine? Do they make a boat smaller than 21 feet?
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:53 AM
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My dad and I use much the same tecnique as Dan does to clean his boat... works great. and there was year back when my dad was still having the boat wrapped. they really screwed up and the inside was a mess of algea and mold ( not enough silica and the vent wasn't in the correct place ).... have a fitted cover for it now, and it's not that bad

if your using that tarp as a cover. it's not venting, and that's why it went to mildew.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167

if your using that tarp as a cover. it's not venting, and that's why it went to mildew.

Matt is 100% right, the plastic tarp won't let the boat breathe.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes
Nice ride,...... must be a stern drive. What size is it and the engine? Do they make a boat smaller than 21 feet?
Dan, It's a 1981 Eliminator Sport Cruiser, 20.5 ft., 92" beam, 18" free board, 32" transom height. Yep, they made 18ft back then too. I bought it from the original owner in '93. He custom ordered it from Eliminator Boats in California. $17,735 new w/trailer and freight in 1981.

Yep, It's a stern drive, but it was originally an OMC drive, 260HP-350 Chevy. Thats where the major part of the project was concentrated. I pulled the original OMC, rebuilt the transom/stringers to accept a Mercruiser Alpha 1. It was quite a job, by the time I called it finished, the entire hull had been gutted and rebuilt. New floors, built in hatches, re-wired, new steering setup, hotfoot, steering wheel trim controls, and a long list of other upgrades. If we had more folks interested in Hot Boats here, I might make the effort to do a project thread with all the details and photos. Might do it anyway to preserve the record.

Currently the 1.5:1 Alpha 1 is spun by a 406 Small block Chevy, 4 bolt main, stock cast crank, Fluidamper balancer, stock short rods w/arp bolts, TRW forged dish pistons about 9.25:1CR, high pressure and high volume Melling pump and pickup, 7qt. dirt car pan w/crank scraper and 4 way trap doors, remote billet oil filter mount w/Fram HP1 filter. Comp Cam 230ish @.050 w/.489 lift,112 lsa, double roller timing set, MSD dist.,6AL box, Blaster coil. World Products Sportman 2 heads 72cc w/Crane roller rockers, Manley valves and springs. Edelbrock rpm intake w/either a Holley 650 mech sec. or a 750 vac. sec., (haven't decided which I like better yet), Nolan built custom throttle brackets. Exhaust is Kodiac cast aluminum individual runner manifolds, Nolan built custom aluminum S pipes w/4" stainless thru hull exhaust. Cooling system is crossbreed OMC/Merc mostly OMC, custom oil and power steering exchanger/coolers.

Currently runs about 72MPH on light ripple at 4900-5000 RPM. With some more tuning I'm looking for 75MPH. If that gets boring, then I may pull out my arsenal and build this for it. Rectangle port 502. I'm afraid it might grenade the Alpha drive. Later my friend, olnolan
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:17 PM
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Hey Matt

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
My dad and I use much the same tecnique as Dan does to clean his boat... works great. and there was year back when my dad was still having the boat wrapped. they really screwed up and the inside was a mess of algea and mold ( not enough silica and the vent wasn't in the correct place ).... have a fitted cover for it now, and it's not that bad

if your using that tarp as a cover. it's not venting, and that's why it went to mildew.
I'm gonna try one of those vents that Dan is talkin about or better yet, get me a new custom cover built.(Breathable w/built in vents). After cleaning up the mildew I discovered during the winter, I put a lamp w/25w bulb inside and it kept it nice and dry. Thanks, olnolan
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:09 PM
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I noticed the wiring and the Fram filter in the pictures and figured you had done that yourself.

A 20 foot boat should have a minimum of two of the Boat Vents, and ideally three. Each one would be able to accept a pole to hold the cover up and keep the air flowing under the cover. If you can't find them locally, let me know in a P.M. I always have them in stock. I can get them in different colors than black if you need them that way. They're not expensive, about $8 to $9 each, and worth every penny.
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