Monday, November 26, 2007

Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down

Even though the wildfires returned to Malibu this weekend, many boaters are still dealing with the first round of blazes that hit Southern California earlier this month.

From Los Angeles to San Diego, thousands of powerboats along the coast have been coated with a powdery coat of ash. If boaters don't clean their hulls quickly—and properly—they'll have an expensive problem on their hands.

If you live in the area, The Log, a local boating and fishing newspaper, offers a few simple tips to help you clean up your cruiser. White ash from wildfires contains more than just wood particles: There's plastic, fiberglass and other compounds that could damage your hull. And the longer the ash stays on your boat, the more trouble it could cause.

If you clean it yourself, don't use ammonia, heavy-duty soap, or anything that will strip your hull's gelcoat. Your best bet, according to The Log, is a wash-and-wax type soap—and plenty of elbow grease.

You should also consider vacuuming every inch of your boat's interior. Ash is often difficult to detect on carpets and cloth surfaces, but if the toxins are there, they can also cause damage belowdecks.

No comments: