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Can anyone suggest a cleaner to remove the oxidation and otherwise clean an aluminum boat?
 

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I used CLR and a wire brush. It took three helpings to remove twenty years of Lake Mead alkali deposits.
 

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Mothers works fantastic but who has the arm strength,
time or the endurance to rub out an entire boat hull?! I used some on a small area of my hull and it looks awesome but it would take me a couple of weeks to rub out the whole thing. There has to be a faster way, does anyone have a better suggestion? I heard someone used some kind of acid wash and it turned out great, but thats all I know about it.
 

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I just used the sharkhide products. The cleaner is acid based. You spray it on it will then foam then wash it off. It cleans very well especially with heavilly oxidized aluminum. After you use the acid cleaner the aluminum will be hazy and not shiny. Then you polish the aluminum I used Fitz polish it worked good. You can then wax it to keep it looking good or Apply the sharkhide clearcoat . If you choose the Sharkhide route as I did. You will need to now clean all the aluminum with Laquer thinner. The Sharkhide needs to have a clean surface to adhere to . The laquer thinner will leave the aluminum cloudy again. I then took a soft cloth and hand rubbed the aluminum back to a shine. This process didnt take much to achieve. I then applied sharkhide allowed it to cure about 48 hours then applied the second coat. The sharkhide made the aluminum even more brighter than the polishing. The sharkhide will keep the aluminum from oxidizing for 3 to 5 years without any additional upkeep. It is also protects against salt and other chemicals. I am going to give it a coat of wax for even more protection. Sharkhide is a great product in my opinion. Alot of work but worth the effort. check out their website and call Cliff at the florida number he can answer any ? you have.
 

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The best advice I've ever gotten is to go to my local Kenworth parts and service center and use what the truckers use.

According to a trucker friend of mine you can get your boat "shining like a spinner"

At some truck stops there are folks who shine metal for a living - you just have to find them(a good buffer and material will cost a couple hundred).
 

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I'd just paint it. After doing the polishing thang myself...and although polished aluminum looks really nice, it's not worth the hassle.

Paint it.

Mark
 

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Guitgary,

West Marine (and GI Joes and Fishermans) have variations using Oxalic acid. Usually labeled as H2O Spot Remover.

It will take off just about everything, including polish, so be aware you will be down to bare metal.

That will look good but the bare metal will get waterlines quicker.

I had Bob Graham's Polishing do my boat after I cleaned it...Whoa...super job. I had tried to polish mine twice myself...never looked good...not for lack of effort but I was just not doing it right...Bob did it right.

I saw his Duckworth at Clackamette Park during Springer season and said "I want mine to look like that!!".

Brion
 

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I second the paint job. My last boat was 1/2 paint, pain in the a#@ to keep looking good. Latest boat is full paint and all I have to do is wash it. A good paint job would be worth the investment if you consider your time spent polishing. One more thing, once you polish it, the quicker it will oxidize afterwards.
 

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mothers
 

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Cameo... It is located in the cleaning section of the grocery store. It works to clean the oxy-crud off.. then polish it with a metal polish.. I use a non-orbital buffer to apply then wipe it off with a terry towel... it works great....its not too much work.
 

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You can get Mother's products at most GI Joes. I have used both Medium and Coarse Heavy Metal polish. (They worked about the same.) I have also used 3M marine Aluminum polish. Worked about the same as the Heavy Metal. I also tried a ultra fine metal sand paper (600 grit). It worked great, but was just a little too coarse. It tooks some extra polishing to get out some of the very fine scratches. While this worked, I wouldn't recommend it. You basically still have to polish the aluminum, but it gets the crud off really easy.

I read up on aluminum and polishes on a metal website a while ago. One of the things that they pointed out was that Amonia based polishes will create as many problems as they solve. (3M is an amonia based polish.) Something about the chemical reaction with the Al and the amonia.

I am with Tundra III. My arm was dead after doing one side.
There has to be a better way!
 

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Brionlutz-

what's the number for Bob Grahams Polishing and where are they located? The better way is too have somebody else do it. Thanks in advance.
 
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