June 28, 2006
Tube oxidation is something that can happen over time, especially for high pigmented color tubes like red and blue. The best way to prevent oxidation is always hose your boat down after use and in some cases to apply a non-silicone based protectant like 303 Aerospace Cleaner or Aurora PolyGuard.
Should your tubes already have oxidation it can be a pain to remove, but it is possible. You have a few options that use different products. No matter what method you choose, you should start by thoroughly cleaning the tubes with fresh water and a good boat soap. Once the tubes are clean, let them dry.
As a preventative method and for very mild cases of oxidation, I recommend using the 303 Aerospace Cleaner. This is very simple, just spray on and wipe (elbow grease may be required) with a clean cloth. As always, follow the instructions outlined on the bottle. The best place to purchase 303 is online at www.303products.com. The best part with this is that it’s a cleaner and a protectant all in one.
For heavier cases of oxidation, Aurora Marine makes a product called Speed Clean that works well. This is a good product that won’t cause any damage to the tube or glue – just follow the directions. Speed Clean is an easy product to use, but I would caution that you’ll have to do the entire boat once you start as the difference is noticeable. You can purchase Speed Clean online at www.auroramarine.com or at many marine stores.
As a last resort and for really bad cases of oxidation you can also use MEK, Methyl Ethol Ketone. We use this when building boats in the factory to clean glue from the tube and for really bad cases of oxidation. This is a solvent and should be used carefully and sparingly. Though it won’t damage the tube, you do have to be careful that you don’t use too much and not often. Should you decide to use MEK, please read the warning labels, follow all precautions, and should be used in well ventilated areas. With a dampened cloth, wipe rag on tube in a circular motion. Be sure to evenly wipe the entire tube. You will most likely have to replace rag with a clean one after a while. This is definitely something that once you start you will have to do the entire tube as the change will be drastic. The tubes will look brand new.
Though not necessary, it’s a good idea to follow each cleaning method with a protectant. Aurora PolyGuard is a good product as I mentioned. This will bring a rich deep color to the tube and have a very finished “show quality” look. The only downside to this is that it will require constant attention as it can become chalky over time. It is recommended that you apply the PolyGuard every couple months –just as if you were waxing your car. (You will have to remove the PolyGuard with the Speed Clean if you ever need to repair the tube)
The Aerspace 303 is my preferred simply because it doesn’t require constant maintenance to prevent chalking. You can go for a high luster finish or apply sparingly for a cleaner more subtle look.
Posted by ribcraftusa at June 28, 2006 10:40 AMBack To Index