Cleaning products

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
Cleaning products

Hi all

We have a very dirty boat and need to buy cleaning products for the following

Canvas cleaner

Hull deep clean

Black band restorer

Bilge cleaner

Canvas cleaner

General cleaner/polish for white above water level

Front hatch inner surface sealer, seems flakey

Anti foul and primer

Any recommendations welcomed, just not sure if we need special marine stuff or will general house hold products work as well


Stephen and Julia

Macgregor 26x (2003)

Hi Francesca,

Hi Julia,

For the deck we used “Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner with PTEF” purchased from Amazon. You just leave the suds to do the work then rinse off. A little elbow grease and a second go will shift the most stubborn algae/dirt.

I read on the forum somewhere to use WD40 for the black strip across the windows, or car polish.

Not able to offer advice on the other queries, yet!



Hi Steven and Julia. The

Hi Steven and Julia. The black strip gets filled by oxidation like any coloured gelcoat. In the past I have tried polishes and back to black products from Halfords and even a bit of ferecla buff and polish stuff but really the only thing that works is to use an oxidation rubbing agent with an electric buffing tool followed by a good polish. Since my boat is blue I have to do the buffing to entire hull every year and I now include the black strip. Buffer costs about 50.00 and has variable speed and a foam head. Can the on a lamb's wool for polish if you like.


For antifoul it depends where

For antifoul it depends where you are. Initially the agent advised cruiser uno but on the hamble that was not sufficient so I now use one of the International 2 year paints..but do each year.


I use the same as Natalie for

I use the same as Natalie for the non-slip decking and a non abrasive cleaner available from any supermarket for the smooth surfaces around the deck and cockpit.

For the black, I use WD40 or car blacking spray.(I bought a couple of aerosols from the pound shop as well as the WD40) Neither lasts all season though.

For canvas, warm soapy water and a scrubbing brush followed by a good rinse. It is worth getting your sails professionally cleaned every now and again.

For the hull, I use a Starbright all in one cleaner with polish.

If this doesn't work you may have to invest in a 'polisher', some abrasive paste and a good polish but take advice from the experts first as you don't want to damage the hull.

I also find it useful to have some Mr Muscle grease and grime remover, a load of old rags and sponges when cleaning the cabin.

A Mac can do 15 - 20 knots so use hard anti fouling and ask the locals. We are not racing in the Americas Cup so if the old anti fouling doesn't come off easily, just apply the new over it.

Bilges: throw in a bucket of water mixed with a disinfectant and give it a good scrub.

Not sure what to suggest about the hatch.

If you are in a yard or marina cleaning your boat is a great way to learn from the experts and make some new friends.


Simon Armitage

Sowenna 26M.

I've just had great results

I've just had great results from 'Grunt' off of the Amazons. Not cheap, but it removed rust and water stains in one go as well as algae and general gunk. Pain on with a 4" brush, wait 15minutes and rinse off. Simples.


Stuart McWilliam, 'Just Add Water', 26X



We polish our blue hull and black coachwork with a an electric polisher using a fine meguires rubbing compound every two years then seal the gelcoat with Feldten Nano gelcoat cleaner and sealer which seems to last quite well in a salt atmosphere.

We had our Mac 26M anti fouled with Coppercoat 2 years ago as it lasts 20 years and only needs an occasional rub down so avoids the annual scrape and paint with Hempel Tiger plus we used to use. The Tiger plus is good as its hard and intended for boats able to go faster than a normal Yacht but its a pain repaint every year whilst lying under the boat on the trailer and the dust is actually quite toxic if you breath it in. The Coppercoat is expensive, only needs to be applied once and can work out cheaper than normal antifouling in the long term and cleans off easily by just giving the boat a quick burst of flat out speed occasionally.

Just a note - it's not a good idea to use WD40 on gelcoat as its mostly solvent with a bit of light oil (a light hydro refined machine oil with no UV protection) and will remove any UV protection and actually increases the rate of surface oxidation of the surface in the long run. A good polish or sealer with UV protection is a much better long term option.

Mike C - Tarka Mac26M

Thanks for the advice on not

Thanks for the advice on not using WD40, Mike. The maintenance manager at my previous marina in London suggested it so have used it for a few years but have stopped now.

Simon Armitage

Sowenna​ 26M

david.claassen's picture
I use a fine rubbing compound

I use a fine rubbing compound with a power polisher every other year. Otherwise, the hull gets a good wax finish, back to black for the stripes, and some sort of "soft scrub" product or "magic eraser" on marks and stains, followed by wax on all but the non-slip bits. Those just get cleaned. Seems to work for me. It's a bit of work, but looks good at the end.

David Claassen

"Logan's Run"

2006 26M