They mention Roll-Off. I got this stuff and use it when the boat is real dirty and it make the tubes look brand new. Just keep it away from the colored striping.
Tender Care Boat Detail
As former yacht crew and now a tender salesman, I have detailed many boats. I do not claim to know all there is to know about cleaning products, however I have impressed many with my results.
Before applying my methods, consult your boat's user manual, which may contain advice for tube care. Here is a quote from Novurania's online manual, available at: http://www.novurania.com/MANUAL2004.pdf
, which describes methods for detailing tubes:
HULL AND TUBES
Periodic cleaning is the only way to keep your boat looking new. Regular washing and waxing will prevent dirt and scum build up which will cause the finish to deteriorate. Regular waxing also helps prevent oxidation due to ultra-violet rays. When washing, use a mild detergent and warm water solution. DO NOT use abrasive cleaners, ammonia or
chlorine as these can damage the tubes or gel coat. An automotive hand cleaner, with lanolin, may be used to remove oil grease stains from the tubes. Consult your dealer for cleaning supplies and follow manufacturer’s instructions for use.
I clean hypalon with products that some may find aggressive, yet are used by many professionals within the rigid inflatable boat industry.
White scotch brite
Formula 88 Degreaser
Roll-Off (a tuolene compound)
Gelcoat finishing polish or FSR (you can use muriatic acid as an alternate to FSR)
Boat Cleaning 101:
Before really applying heavy elbow grease I like to give the boat a washdown with boat soap and a soft brush to get off the loose dirt.
I like to start on the tube as it represents most of the surface area and takes the most attention. I use a lot of degreaser (Formula 88) and let it soak in to work into the hypalon and grease (for PVC tubes, like on Zodiac's, use Tuff Enough). Let the degreaser do the work, not you and your scotch. Spray the degreaser on an area and move onto another area, come back and work it in with the scotch. You shouldn't have to use pressure if you've let the degreaser do it's work.
If the degreaser is not sufficient, use the same technique using Roll-Off.
Conservatively, it is not necessary to use Roll-Off on upholstery. But when you do, rinse it off thoroughly. Do not let it dry on the upholstery. I have found that Roll-Off has a discoloring affect on colored tubes and accent stripes. If your hypalon is colored, try working in an inconsipicuous spot to see if the Roll-Off discolors your hypalon.
Next it's time to move on to the deck.
Upholstery is probably the most difficult to renew. I don’t feel that vinyl cleaner is aggressive enough to restore the upholstery. Again, degreaser does the trick, let it work itself in. Don't work hard with your scotch.
Hypalon Glue Stains
I am not aware of any chemical for removing hypalon glue from Hypalon or gel coat. Try using a razor blade on the gel coat, CAREFULLY!
Believe it or not, muriatic acid does not react with hypalon. You can use it to remove rust from metal, gel coat, and even hypalon. You should wear eye protection when using acid, and gloves. It's best to apply it with an angled brush so that it won't run down the brush onto your hands and arms. If the acid doesn't work to remove a stain on the hypalon, you might try "WInk". FSR works on gel coat, but apply it and give it time to work. I use a toothbrush to work it in. However Muriatic is the fastest and cheapest solution for rust.
Remove loose barnacles with your fingers, gently. Muriatic acid reacts with barnacles, but not hypalon. If your boat was left in the water this long, you can use acid to get rid of the barnacles as well as any discoloration of the hull. Paint it on with a brush. Do not scrub barnacles as you can puncture the tubes with their sharp edges. This procedure is very time consuming. It takes a lot of painting; a lot of acid. Keep going around and around your boat. Don't focus just on one spot. I turn my gloves up at the edges to preven the acid from running onto my arms (or use and angled brush). If you've never worked with acid before, work with small amounts at a time in a small container. The acid is always reacting once it is poured out. You don't want to waste it by pouring too much. Eventually your acid will lose effectiveness. Pay attention as it may be time to freshen-up your acid.
This may be the most valuable information I can provide, because conventional wisdom, even amongst experienced yacht crew, suggests that mold cannot be removed from hypalon. Bright white hypalon is the most susceptible to mold. Allow me to describe what mold I am referring to. There are different kinds of mold. White Nautica tubes may be the most susceptible to mold, because of their lack of pigmentation. This mold appears as blue spots, perhaps 1-4cm in diameter, but can also take the form of streaks and patches. On a Novurania (with off-white tubes), this mold developes as pin-point sized dark grey dots, tightly spaced. Incidentally this type of mold developes later in it's life cycle as compared to bright white hypalon. Many professionals inside the industry have told me that all hypalon is the same, with the exception of the thread count of the mesh sandwiched in the neopreme under the hypalon layer. It is my firm belief that pigmented hypalon is more resistant to UV. I've never seen a blue Nautica tube with mold, yet I've seen several white tubes molded up. Additionally, I find that Novurania hypalon (which is colored relative to a white Nautica tube with a blueing agent making it somewhat grey) takes more years to mold.
I believe there are two causes of mold.
1) Tthe sun. I once sold a 4-year old Nautica that developed mold spots during the 6 months that it was for sale. It was sitting out in the sun, uncovered. The 4" x 12" regisration tag protected a section of the tube under which no spots could be found. This was proof that the spots were caused by UV. Additonally, the concentration of mold increased towards the top of the tubes, where the greater exposure and angle of incidence to intense UV occurs (i.e. the sun is more intense the higher it gets).
2) Moisture. It appears that mold also develops in the spaces trapped between the boat cover and the tubes. This can be seen on Novurania's, shown by the pin-point sized dots I described previously. These dots form on hypalon in the areas inside the boat, between the cover and tube set.
Most believe that you can't remove these spots, and you can't using chemicals most commonly known. I have been using bleach for ridding the mold. If you read an owner's manual, it will state not to use chlorine. It is true that chlorine eats the fabric. It's important that you wash the tubes after a bleach procedure. It is not necessary to bleach your tubes as a part of regular maintence. It should only be necessary after the tube has had time to mold. Please contact me for an explanation of this procedure.