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Thread: Brushed look on aluminum boat

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    Default Brushed look on aluminum boat

    I just bought a aluminum boat (Sea Runner) that is in not bad shape but I like to make the boat the best it can be. I have thought about polishing it to a chrome like finish but I don't want to put in the amount of work at this time, its 22' and there are no painted areas, except for decals, so I don't want to kill myself. Maybe sometime down the road, but I like the brushed look which is close to what the boat looked like new.
    I don't know what the procedure would be, but i am guessing Scotchbrite might come into play.
    Please help.
    Thanks

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    You can't get from a brushed finish back to polished "chrome". Once it is brushed, that's what it will be.

    The better and easier option for aluminum cleaning is to just Zep-A-Lume it every year or two. Pressure wash it and scrub it down with a heavy-duty soap and brush to remove all the fish guts. Mix and spray on the acid etch and keep it wet for a few minutes while it does its work. Rinse it off and the aluminum will be bright white instead of dull gray.

    Then go fishing and don't worry about the "looks" of the boat. The fish don't care.
    Winter is Coming...

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    The oxidation is a good thing. If you have that nice gray color let it be. Every time you clean it off with acid you are removing aluminum.

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    Oxidation is such a derogatory term Matt, I prefer to use the term patina to make myself feel less neglectful!


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    This what she looks like, now.
    The railing is pitted and doesn't respond much to Mother's Mag & Alum. cleaner.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcgreen View Post
    This what she looks like, now.
    The railing is pitted and doesn't respond much to Mother's Mag & Alum. cleaner.
    Your kidding right!!

    You expect us to see pitting on the railing in that picture? I can hardly see the railing.

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    Looking at that picture, I wouldn't do a dang thing to that boat, except go fishing. I definately would NOT try to brush finish it. You'll have to take off all the decals to do so and you'll probably never get the finish you're looking for. Brush finish on aluminum is a very complicated and high-skill task to make it look right. You need to be a practiced artist with a wire brush grinder to do it right. It's easier to do the "chrome" polishing you mentioned before.

    If you have oxidation, install new and/or more zincs. It's quite possible that there was a clear coat finish on the railings (if not the whole boat), which will actually caught corrosion and pitting. Aluminum is better in the raw, even though the clear coat looks really cool at the showroom. Once you get little tiny nicks in the clear coat, the exposed aluminum in that one spot will try to carry the oxidation for the entire boat as electrolysis occures. It is a hole. You can't wash it off with some wheel soap. Only way to repair the pits is to replace the piece. Your alternative is to protect the finish on the gunwales below and wire brush the railing to remove any coatings, clean up the existing pits, and expose the whole piece to the elements instead of just a few little pin-points.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    First off, you have a Sea Raider........I've got the same one, great boat and a huge step up from a Sea Runner from Hewes as far as ride etc.

    Your boat came new with Sharkhide, which can be reapplied, about 70 bucks a can and it does a lot of area for that. I reapplied on mine this summer (decals included) and it brings back a lot of shine. You use a quality cotton diaper so it doesn't leave fibers and you do best at lower temperatures (less than 80......55 is ideal from what I saw). Make sure it's clean before you start because anything that's on it will now be sealed in, good instructions on can and internet. I was pleased with the results.

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    I downloaded the pic. from my computer and it is full size when I view it on my computer. How do I get it to display larger in my posting?

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    Thanks for the info. I didn't know that my boat came with Sharkhide. I am assuming you mean that it was prepped by the factory or dealer, with Sharkhide, before going to the original owner
    If I want to just want to clean it now, what can I clean it with and I have some scuff marks and scrapes, that I know will buff out, but if I clean off the scuff marks will there be a difference in the appearance, between the cleaned area and the on touched area?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcgreen View Post
    I downloaded the pic. from my computer and it is full size when I view it on my computer. How do I get it to display larger in my posting?
    I don't know.
    In trying to see that Joat saw, I copy the picture and blew it up several times. The best I could see was what looked like corrosion on the gunwale. It was so blurry I'm guessing.
    What I was hoping for was several close up pictures.
    Is all the corrosion only on the gunwale? If so could they have forgotten to Sharkhide the gunwale and that is reason for your problem.

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    Its not corrosion, its scuff marks from the boat brushing against, what might have been, a tire used as a bumper on a dock. I think I am not going to worry about the brushed look and just how to get the scuff marks out and not have a contrast where I got the marks out and the untouched areas. I haven't touched the sides of the alumin. boat and cause a bigger problem to solve. Like your car where you have scuff marks, a good cleaner/wax will usually take out scuff marks and you won't see any contrast from the area you just worked on and the rest of the car.
    After the boat has been cleaned I will apply a protectant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcgreen View Post
    Thanks for the info. I didn't know that my boat came with Sharkhide. I am assuming you mean that it was prepped by the factory or dealer, with Sharkhide, before going to the original owner
    If I want to just want to clean it now, what can I clean it with and I have some scuff marks and scrapes, that I know will buff out, but if I clean off the scuff marks will there be a difference in the appearance, between the cleaned area and the on touched area?
    Read up on Sharkhide, as I won't do it all justice, but.....it self etches, so any real corrosion or scratches in the metal will stay there.......any scratches or buffs in just the sharkhide will melt away.......it's pretty ridiculous how quickly it works.

    Anyway, nice boat, you wil be pleased. That boat rides better than a Hewes OP and you have many thousands still in your pocket to feed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    Read up on Sharkhide, as I won't do it all justice, but.....it self etches, so any real corrosion or scratches in the metal will stay there.......any scratches or buffs in just the sharkhide will melt away.......it's pretty ridiculous how quickly it works.

    Anyway, nice boat, you wil be pleased. That boat rides better than a Hewes OP and you have many thousands still in your pocket to feed it.
    I will be at the Spokane boat show and perhaps the Shark people will be there. I am wondering about just plain old soap and water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Looking at that picture, I wouldn't do a dang thing to that boat, except go fishing. I definately would NOT try to brush finish it. You'll have to take off all the decals to do so and you'll probably never get the finish you're looking for. Brush finish on aluminum is a very complicated and high-skill task to make it look right. You need to be a practiced artist with a wire brush grinder to do it right. It's easier to do the "chrome" polishing you mentioned before.

    If you have oxidation, install new and/or more zincs. It's quite possible that there was a clear coat finish on the railings (if not the whole boat), which will actually caught corrosion and pitting. Aluminum is better in the raw, even though the clear coat looks really cool at the showroom. Once you get little tiny nicks in the clear coat, the exposed aluminum in that one spot will try to carry the oxidation for the entire boat as electrolysis occures. It is a hole. You can't wash it off with some wheel soap. Only way to repair the pits is to replace the piece. Your alternative is to protect the finish on the gunwales below and wire brush the railing to remove any coatings, clean up the existing pits, and expose the whole piece to the elements instead of just a few little pin-points.
    Joat, not calling you out, just trying to help the OP.
    Oxidation is NOT stopped by adding more sacrificial anodes, Oxidation occurs when the air hits raw aluminum and this is a form of rust. Once the alloy oxidizes [turns dark gray] the process all but stops and this is why it will last for many decades with minimal care.

    Electrolysis is a whole nuther ball game,This is where the anodes come into play as they are the weaker softer metal and the current will eat these before you hull, it's where some form of electrical current is being shot to your hull Via bad wiring or a hot slip [ your neighbors next to you are leaking current into the water] please don't mix Oxidation and Electrolysis they are two different critters.

    Next, if one uses a "Wire Wheel" on your hull or any other alloy part or piece for that matter make sure the wire wheel is made out of STAINLESS STEEL as a Steel wheel WILL leave steel from the wheel in your alloy and bad things will happen [read dissimilar metals] you just made a battery when moisture is added.

    Next one to look at is Mill Scale on New Alloy, it has to be acid washed to get rid of it or you WILL have little white flowers all over your new toy but that's a whole nuther topic.


    Here is a link to preping Alloy by kmorin...
    http://www.aluminumalloyboats.com/vi...=unread#unread

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    Finally, some one that knows the difference!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    Next one to look at is Mill Scale on New Alloy, it has to be acid washed to get rid of it or you WILL have little white flowers all over your new toy but that's a whole nuther topic.


    http://www.aluminumalloyboats.com/vi...=unread#unread
    O' hell!! don't stop now your on a roll. Go for it. LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcgreen View Post
    Its not corrosion, its scuff marks from the boat brushing against, what might have been, a tire used as a bumper on a dock. I think I am not going to worry about the brushed look and just how to get the scuff marks out and not have a contrast where I got the marks out and the untouched areas. I haven't touched the sides of the alumin. boat and cause a bigger problem to solve. Like your car where you have scuff marks, a good cleaner/wax will usually take out scuff marks and you won't see any contrast from the area you just worked on and the rest of the car.
    After the boat has been cleaned I will apply a protectant.
    Try rubbing off rubber scuff marks with Acetone, should work. Honestly I think you are being way too particular about your boat. Your boat hull looks fine, if not great. Nobody is going to be close enough to it to notice any more of the difference you are trying to make. With all due respect; unless you bought your boat to polish up and look pretty in your driveway, stop worrying about it and go take it out in the water and play!

    The last guy here in town who buffed/brushed below waterline on his aluminum boat similar to yours; coated his hull in Nyalic. Supposed to be decent stuff.

    Like I said though, I personally wouldn't touch your hull with the condition it's in.

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    Your boat came new with Sharkhide, which can be reapplied, about 70 bucks a can and it does a lot of area for that. I reapplied on mine this summer (decals included) and it brings back a lot of shine. You use a quality cotton diaper so it doesn't leave fibers and you do best at lower temperatures (less than 80......55 is ideal from what I saw). Make sure it's clean before you start because anything that's on it will now be sealed in, good instructions on can and internet. I was pleased with the results.[/QUOTE]

    From Sharkhide: "This is not correct; if a dealer orders the boat with sharkhide (option) then it is applied. Otherwise sharkhide is not applied"

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    [QUOTE=JOAT;1456157]You can't get from a brushed finish back to polished "chrome". Once it is brushed, that's what it will be.

    NOT TRUE. I had badly scuffed alumin. wheels on my car and I took them apart, stripped them, sanded them down with 300 grade paper to 800. At this point it looked alot like brushed alumin. Polish the wheels with the appropriate buffer and product - end result - chrome like finish.

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