Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stirring The Pot

It looks like I've created a bit of a stir over at the Trent Severn Waterway (TSW) headquarters with my latest video post. My video centers around the fact that Parks Canada (who operate the  Waterway) have come up with a brilliant plan to have a number of locks + some swing bridges operated by roving, or mobile, crews.

 As it turns out, and as a result of this video being viewed by the folks in charge at the TSW, they have instructed their front line staff to not discuss the situation with me.

 ME?!?!? A little old boater?? Too funny.

 Or sad, take your pick.

 Have a look at my video to see my initial report. I will be posting a follow up over the coming days, so stay tuned for that.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

eBay Guides - How To Clean And Wax Your Boat

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the very first posting in the all new eBay Motors Boating Blog. As a life long boating enthusiast, I am excited to have been welcomed on with the team at eBay and look forward to contributing to this new, 'boater specific' endeavor. Having long served the automotive crowd with the eBay Motors Blog, the launch of the Boating Blog is sure to offer the same level of insightful reviews, guides and stories for the entire boating community.

How To Clean And Wax Your Boat

There is nothing like the anticipation of getting your boat ready for the water, be it the spring launch or a mid season scrub and shine. And having it sparkling clean adds more than just pride in your ride, but real value.

Washing

Before you shine, remove the grime! Washing all the dirt off before polishing/waxing is critical to avoid scratching the finish, so grab a garden hose and let's get to work.

 An environmentally friendly  boat soap takes care of removing the dirt deposited from air borne pollutants, bird and insect droppings, as well as plain old dust. We are fortunate enough to keep our boat in a larger marina with the convenience of being able to park our car right behind the boat slip. The only drawback with this arrangement is that the boat is continuously exposed to the associated dust kicked up by incoming vehicles. A good, soft bristle brush will show that dirt who's in charge, while saving your back. Regular washing throughout the season is also a good practice, making this one of the most commonly used tools aboard!

 Deeper stains left behind from bird and spider droppings, tree sap and seeds may need a more concentrated spot cleaner. These areas may require a little more elbow grease and these types of cleaners should help do the trick.

 If you have residue from old stickers or stripes, glue left behind will clean off with basic acetone. Keep in mind that acetone is highly flammable and can cause skin irritation. As well, it will cause dye to run from fabrics and other material, so use extreme caution while handling and always test an inconspicuous are first.

 After everything has been washed and rinsed thoroughly, use a genuine leather chamois to wipe away any standing water. These also come is handy after a rainfall to avoid water spots. It's also a good habit to dry things off on the mornings after a particularly 'dewy' night. This helps to keep the bugs from sticking to the boat! 

Polish & Wax

Restoring the shine on your hull is an easy task when using the appropriate tools and polishes. For dull and chalky finishes, a power polisher with a more aggressive polishing compound may be required.
Care should be taken when using a polisher as, depending on the quality of boat builder, some gel coat finishes may be thinner at sharp edges and subject to 'burn through'. If this happens and the fiberglass matting is exposed, repairs would be required - so go easy in these areas.

For gel coat finishes that are not as faded, a 'one step' type of application could be all you need. These offer cleaner and wax in one bottle and, when dealing with smaller areas, can be easily applied by hand.

If you are waxing a larger hull or superstructure areas, a random orbital waxer/polisher will get the job done quicker - and save your arm muscles.  A random orbital works by both spinning the bonnet in a circular motion, while also moving around in an elliptical fashion. What this does is help to apply the wax more uniformly and effectively so that you don't miss any spots.

 While the wax is drying, this is a good time to thoroughly inspect the entire work area to make sure you haven't overlooked anything. Making sure that the more difficult spots to get at, such as under the rub rail or anchor roller, vent ports or inlets, cleats, etc. have been covered ensures they are protected as well.

 Once the wax has set up and is dry to the touch, it's time to buff off. Wipe off the residue with a circular motion using clean micro fiber cloths. Gently hand buff the entire area to bring up a lustrous shine.

 Now it's time to stand back and enjoy the results of your labor. Knowing that your pride and joy has been protected from the elements will lead to more relaxation on the water. With everything gleaming and shining,  you just might need a 'cool' pair of sun glasses to enjoy that 'hot' looking boat ;-)

Writing For Ebay

I am very pleased to announce that I have been invited by eBay to contribute a number articles to their new boating blog. More specifically, eBay Motors, which focuses on the motorized world, including boats.

 Probably no surprise, but 'Boats' is the part where I come in ;-)



 As part of increasing awareness for all boaters, eBay Motors is expanding their reviews, guides and more to help those of us needing anything from maintenance items to parts, accessories, boats and pretty much everything else you might need - including insightful written articles.

 As part of the newly expanded team, I look forward to adding value with my initial series of  'How To Guides'. Along with posting them directly on the eBay site, I will also be sharing them here, so I hope you will follow along.

 As many of you know, sharing my boating experiences is something that I continually work to expand, all the while working towards making this passion a full time endeavor. Being part of the eBay team will help me realize this dream and I am look forward to your continuing support! And hey, you never know what you might learn ;-)

A Mother Of A Day ;-)

Mother's Day at the boat (and probably everywhere else, too) was an interesting experience. After coming through our never ending winter this year, we had all thought that the newly discovered spring like conditions were here to stay. Well, no such luck. . .



 On Mother's Day, we woke up to cool, cloudy and windy conditions. No problem, as we were snugly tied to the dock at the marina, and snugly warm inside the boat, with the heat keeping is comfy & cozy. The interesting part came around 11:00 in the morning when the first bit of snow hit. By around 2:00, it was a full on snow storm! With the wind howling in from the west, there were times it was difficult to see many of the other boats in the marina!


 The snow was actually starting to accumulate on the side curtains.



 Thankfully, those conditions have passed and we went on to a beauty week, with the long term weather looking a lot more like, well - SPRING!

 Happy voyages!!