Monday, June 20, 2011

How to clean inflatable boat? Choosing the right inflatable boat cleaner - part 1.

Cleaning inflatable boats is easy if you have the right tools and equipment and have a basic understanding of what you are doing.

Cleaning Hypalon and cleaning PVC or Polyurethane fabrics requires the same cleaners and techniques to get great results. Using the wrong inflatable boat cleaners or tools can have disastrous results and sometimes result in destroying the boat. Remember that inflatable boats are more delicate than fiberglass or aluminum boats and the same cleaners and protectors can not be used on both.

In my “Ask the Skipper” blog, I research the best methods of resolving maintenance issues and advise boat owners how to clean inflatable boats and RIBs (Rigid bottomed Inflatable Boat). So often the inquiries come from people that have already damaged their boat and are looking for ways to undo the damage.

The problem is that there is so much misinformation out there, borne of ignorance and desperation. Products never to use for cleaning your inflatable are: solvents, MEK, toluene, acetone, bleach, ammonia, highly alkaline cleaners (anything with a pH greater than11.5), abrasive scrub pads, steel wool. They will weaken, damage and discolor the fabric and attack the adhesives. Soaps and detergents leave a sticky residue (soap scum) which attracts and hold dirt. Soap scum is also food for mold and mildew.

Feedback from boat owners has proven invaluable to Aurora Marine Industries, manufacturers of Aurora Boat Care Products. Identifying problems and coming up with solutions has allowed them to invent the best inflatable boat cleaners and inflatable boat protection products and systems in the world. The cleaners are safe and effective and the protectors last longer, reduce maintenance and keep the boat looking like new. Their specialty products are recommended by major boat manufacturers because it eliminates warranty issues from environmental damage.

New boat owners think that because their boat is brand new that they don’t have to do any maintenance but nothing is further from the truth. Once the manufacturer makes the boat, their job is done. They don’t clean off the lubricants used in the manufacturing process or provide any protection for the tube or fiberglass hull. The lubricants can react with the environment and cause damage to the tube. The results are brown, sticky PVC, chalky, faded Hypalon, mildew and waterline stains, osmosis blisters in the fiberglass hull, barnacles and marine growth on the bottom that is almost impossible to remove without destroying the tube, leaky seams, porous tubes, and more. Most manufacturers have little interest in maintaining boats. Their job is making and selling boats not looking after them.

If you maintain your boat properly and regularly from the day you buy it and invest in the best quality products, it should last you 20 to 30 years and look great during its lifetime, whether it’s made from Hypalon or PVC. You’ll get your investment in quality maintenance products back many times over when you go to sell or trade it. If not, you could be junking it in as little as 2 to 3 years and loose your boating investment. Besides, a clean, shiny inflatable boat is not only a beautiful thing, but a reflection of your personality.

Most inflatable boats and RIBs in North America are used as tenders and are subjected to some pretty tough conditions for these boats. It’s difficult to keep them high, dry and covered and still have them at your beck and call. The first step is to remove all the pollutants, surface damage, stains and scuffs and restore the tube and rigid hull to as close to new as possible. The next step is to apply the best protector that you can, to prevent damage from the elements. The amount and type of protector that you use will be dependant on the way that you plan to use your boat. This is much easier if you start with a new boat.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Zodiac Inflatable Boat Restoration - from $1000 to $16000 in 3 hours

Check out our latest video! Our customer restored his Zodiac boat with Aurora products, see awesome results he got!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

59 Days Until Spring!!

Can't wait for Spring? Can't wait to launch your boat?

Free Countdown to Spring Timer

Come & download our free countdown timer & watch the days fly by!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snowblowers Leading Cause of Finger Amputation!

Interestingly, snowblowers are a leading cause of finger amputations among consumer products.

A problem with the design of the snowblower is that the snow can clog the discharge chute & build up around the auger; jamming & stalling the motor. This is complicated by the fact that the auger may twist before applying enough resistance to the motor to stop it. When the jam is cleared with a hand, the auger returns to its natural shape, suddenly & with great force, severing fingers & hands; making snowblowers the leading cause of traumatic finger amputations.

Aurora Off Road's newest invention, Slush Buster, helps prevent the attachment of slush & snow on the chute, auger & housing which reduces clogging & jamming. Slush Buster coats the surfaces with a super slippery hydrophobic polymer, VS721, making it difficult for the wet snow to stick. The snowblower operates with greater efficiency & the problem of clogging & jamming is eliminated. An added benefit is that it improves the performance of the snowblower reducing time & effort to clear the snow as well as reducing fuel consumption & wear & tear on the machine.

Municipalities & professional snow removal companies are now coating their snow plow blades with Slush Buster to stop the annoying & time consuming necessity of dislodging & clearing slush & snow that sticks to the blade. Previously, the operator had to stop the truck, lift the plow & allow it to drop onto the pavement to attempt to dislodge the build-up. This constant banging on the pavement is damaging to the equipment & time consuming. When that fails then it's time to get out of the truck & go at the build up with a shovel or pick. With Slush Buster on the plow, the slush & snow just falls off. No stopping, no banging, no shovel & pick & the driver gets home earlier with his plow in one piece.

Slush Buster has been proven effective on snowmobiles where it is used to prevent the attachment of slush, snow & ice on the rails, skid plates & suspension parts. Build up of snow & ice on these machines can add substantial weight & impact negatively on performance, speed & fuel consumption. In addition, if allowed to freeze, the ice can cause expensive damage to the track, clutch, bearings & suspension parts & in some cases even snapping drive axles. There is also the safety issue of snow & ice building up on the rails where riders are dependant for sure footing. If their foot slips, they could very easily lose control of the snowmobile which can result in injury to the operators & damage to the machine.

Snowblower owners have tried various remedies from cooking oil to hair spray to lubricating oils, silicones & PTFE's with limited success. The problem is that the slush & snow rapidly washes away the spray. Slush Buster is applied by rubbing the polymer into the surface with a sponge or rag & allowing it to cure. It binds to the surface & can be lightly buffed to an even more slippery surface for greater performance. This binding process adds durability & life. Slush Buster lasts for weeks rather than minutes.

More information is available at Aurora Off Road.

The American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) recommends that individuals take the proper precautions to prevent hand related injuries while removing snow this winter. Each year thousands of people suffer maiming or amputations of their fingers or hands due to improper handling of snowblowers.

"Snowblower injuries are usually very serious, often requiring delicate surgery followed by weeks or even months of rehabilitation" said David M. Lichtman, MD of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. "Most snowblower operators aren't aware that the impeller is only 2 inches below the opening of the discharge chute."

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, two-thirds of snowblower injuries involves fingers & among consumer products is a leading cause of finger amputations. In a 1999 study, 3,546 injuries were found to be snowblower related accidents but not necessarily product caused. Of those injuries, approximately 3,000 involved hand & fingers, including 283 finger amputations. With proper safety techniques you can stay away from the emergency room.

To prevent hand injuries the ASSH suggests the following safety tips if your snowblower jams.
  • Turn it OFF!!
  • NEVER put your hand down the chute or around the blades
  • Disengage the clutch
  • Wait 5 seconds after shutting the machine off to allow impeller blades to stop
  • Beware of the brief recoil of motor & blades that occurs after the machine has been turned off
  • ALWAYS use a stick or a broom handle to clear impacted snow. Never use your hand
  • Keep all shields in place. DO NOT REMOVE the safety devices on the machine
  • Keep hands & feet away from all moving parts
  • Keep a clear head, concentrate & DO NOT DRINK before using your snowblower

Injury Profile
Average Age: 44 years
Sex: Male
Dominant Hand: 90% of injuries
Amputations of tips of fingers
Middle finger most commonly injured

Common Weather Conditions
Heavy, wet snow
Large snow accumulation
Temperature: 28 °F or greater (-2°C or greater)

Injury Causes
Snow clogging the exit chute of the machine.
Not noticing that the impeller blades are still rotating even though the machine is off.
Operator attempts to clean the clogged exit chute with hands.
Hands connect with the rotating blades, resulting in severe injury.

Snowblowers are safe if used properly.

National Electronic Injury Surveillance Systems of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data

American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) 2001

Aurora Off Road, division of Aurora Marine Industries Inc

Friday, September 10, 2010

Remove Staining Produced by Spiders & Bird Poo

Lisa asked:
I am looking for a guaranteed product to remove staining produced by "spiders" and bird poo.
We have a 40’ Sundancer, and of course, it looks awful.
Which of your products would you recommend working the best!!!!???
Tired of scrubbing….

The products that you need for the deck of your boat are: Boat Clean Plus, Boat Scrub and Sure Step.

Wash the deck first with a 1:4 solution of Boat Clean Plus and water. Next deep clean and brighten it by scrubbing with Boat Scrub. Use a deck brush on the non-skid areas and a Marine Scrub Mitt on the smooth parts. Inspect the deck for any remaining stains and take them out with a 50/50 solution of Boat Clean Plus and Boat Scrub. Rinse and let dry. Your decks should be so clean that they will fluoresce.

Now you can apply Sure Step on the entire deck, the non-skid plus the shiny parts, with a sponge or sponge roller. When it dries to a haze, wipe off the haze with a terry towel or jewelers buffing wheel on a portable drill. After 24 hours apply a 2nd coat. The Sure Step will seal the pores to prevent dirt and stains from getting in and put a beautiful easy to maintain shine on the deck. This protective coating will resist the attachment of bird poop and spider droppings and make your decks much easier to keep clean. No more scrubbing. Just wash them with a mop and a weak solution of Boat Clean Plus and water (1:15 or 1:20)

Sure Step is pressure sensitive so although it is very slippery to light weights such as dirt, when you step on the deck, your weight creates pressure and the pressure changes the coefficient of friction and gives you grip. When the decks are wet the traction increases.

Sure Step lasts 3 to 6 months and usually re-application consists of washing with a 1:4 solution of Boat Clean Plus and re-application of the Sure Step. Coverage of Sure Step is 200 sq. ft. We suggest that you also apply a coat in the fall when you winterize your boat to prevent winter dirt from penetrating into the gelcoat, making spring preparation a whole lot easier.

This should eliminate the scrubbing and give you more time for boating.

Thanks for your question,

Captain Aurora

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cleaning, Brightening, Protecting Aluminum Horse Trailers

Ranee Richards asked:
Can you tell me if Alumetron would work on a horse trailer that has brushed aluminum?
And which product would I purchase to clean the Aluminum and which product to polish it??

You can use Boat Clean Plus to clean the trailer. It is a water based, water activated, free rinsing, concentrated cleaner degreaser that is tough on dirt and grime yet safe for all surfaces. It will clean bug splatter, bird droppings, road film, grease, oil, grass stains, blood, urine, feces, pollution, dirt, grime and much more, yet it will not damage raw,
anodized or painted aluminum, rubber, vinyl, wood, glass, plastic etc.

If the aluminum on the trailer is stained, use Alumabrite to brighten it. Alumabrite is a highly concentrated, industrial strength, marine grade brightener that works in minutes. Spray on rinse clean. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid streaking or whitening of the aluminum because it works very quickly.

To protect the trailer use Alumetron. When the aluminum is clean and bright simply wipe on several coats with a cloth pad and let dry to a very durable protective clear coat. Alumetron bonds chemically to the aluminum for exceptional durability.In addition to protecting the exterior and interior vertical surfaces, it can also be used under the rubber pad to protect against staining and corrosion from urine. If ever the Alumetron coating is damaged from scratching or abrasion, it can be retouched in the field.

Thanks for your question,

Captain Aurora