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Do how I clean Aluminum hull?

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  • Do how I clean Aluminum hull?

    Hello,I recently purchased my first aluminum hull boat (14' Vadco) I has a bit of oxidation from being used in salt water and sitting around for a while.Does anyone know a good aluminum hull cleaner that would remove salt stains and oxidation? I read that a product carried by OSH stores called "Duro Aluminum Jelly" is supposed to clean aluminum but I think it is usually used on household appliances... Has anyone ever used this product?Do you recomend any other?Once I get the hull cleaned off, do you recomend any product to keep it clean and perhaps shining?thanks


  • #2
    Re: Do how I clean Aluminum hull?

    You might try using rubbing compound or orange blast.

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    • #3
      Re: Do how I clean Aluminum hull?

      I've always used a mixture (paste) of corn starch and water. Plus, allot of elbow grease.

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      • #4
        Re: Do how I clean Aluminum hull?

        I suspect your boat is corroded.Aluminum is a very active metal and must be protected from electrolisis, especially in salt water. I was once given an aluminum boat that had a lot of time in salt water. The prior owner said it was impossible to protect the boat from electrolisis without an active system. The result was that the boat corroded. And in some places the corrosion went through the hull to create holes!Signposts of corrosion are a white powdery residue with a rough surface under the residue. If that is what you have, the only solution is to sand the surface fair then with finer and finer grits of wet and dry get to an almost polished surface. Then use buffing compounds and buffing wheels on an offset grinder to get it to shine. The shine can be as good as this http://www.sculpturegallery.com/scul...iggy_bank.html How far do you want to go? Unfortunately, it will be really difficult to get an even shine if the boat is rivited together and the shine will not last because the oxygen in the air will react with the aluminum and cover the surface with aluminum oxide (the equivalent of aluminum rust) which will dull the finish. You could constantly polish the boat to keep it shiny (as in motorcycle crank cases), but that is not practical for a boat.Probably a better solution is to paint the boat. Aluminum can be painted and the paint can stick to the aluminum if proper techniques and materials are used. If not, the paint will fall off. You must clean and fair the auminum, then etch it with an acid, then clean it and maybe neutralize the acid, then prime it, then sand it, then paint it with something like Imron all with proper breathing protection. Also, remember that even with a hull coating like Imron you must protect the hull from electrolisis!You see beautifully painted aluminum all the time on airplanes. Check some airplane maintenence sites for the proper procedures and materials to paint aluminum. You might also check the Interlux and Petit sites for instructions and materials.Good luck with it.

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        • #5
          Re: Do how I clean Aluminum hull?

          I feel your pain when it comes to the oxidation of aluminum boats. I own a 17.5 foot modified v-hull that I bought second hand. The guy that owned it before me used it in the ocean and didn’t take the best care of it. Oneoldude gave you very good advice, but if you choose not to paint it here is another produce you can try http://www.griotsgarage.com/catalog....1002&SKU=11155

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          • #6
            Re: Do how I clean Aluminum hull?

            I have a Quintrex 475 Spirit which is a welded aluminium boat with 3mm hull and 2mm topsides. The V part of the hull is not painted or coated and Quintrex recommend that you simply spray the salt off after each use and allow a coat of oxidised aluminium to form. Apparently once there is a layer of oxidation it won't get worse. (Or it could be that Quintrex want to sell more boats... time will tell.) What Quintrex do say is to thoroughly wash out the inside of the boat so it doesn't rot out from within.
            TABS 580 Ocean Series - Sold!
            Yamaha F115 - Sold!
            Holden Rodeo LT crewcab ute - still going strong.

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            • #7
              Re: Do how I clean Aluminum hull?

              I have used aluminum jelly on my 1959 alumacraft when I restored it back to a brite shine.It is classified as a mild 'etch cleaner or one that removes a slight amount of the aluminum to clean. It's ok on small stuff but I found it to be slow and requiring multiple treatments to remove heavy oxidation. If you want to cut your cleaning time considerably, you need to use a 'safe' (meaning safe for the aluminum not you!) acid/alkaline 'inhibited' cleaner for aluminum. Inhibited cleaners have less corrosive action on the metal. There are several suppliers on the net you can find. I believe I paid $50.00 + frt for a 5 gal pail. Used a pressure washer according to directions and it took off most oxidation after a couple of washes. I finished with comet and scotch brite pad and lots of water, then polished with Du pont rubbing compound and wheel polisher. I sealed it off with a coat of car wax. After 2 seasons it still looks good and shiney. You will go thru about 2 large cans of comet and plenty of pads--and LOTS of water. It will still be a fair amount of work but the results will be a totally new look minus deep scratches and dents. Good luck!

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              • #8
                Re: Do how I clean Aluminum hull?

                I don't know how true it is but a guy was selling an old alum. boat out here and it looked new. I asked how he did it and he said he used ezoff oven cleaner on it.
                ASE MASTER AUTOMOTIVE AND MEDIUM/HEAVY TRUCK TECHNICIAN
                MASTER EMERGENCY VEHICLE TECHNICIAN
                AVID TOOL COLLECTOR and USER

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