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Old 23 June 2014, 09:44   #1
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HELP... Salt/Water marks on Outboard Lower Leg...

Hi,

I have searched the internet but no real joy, basically I have noticed that my 2 year old Tohatsu paintwork on the lower leg is suffering what looks like salt/water marks on the paintwork. Please see the pictures attached. I donít think itís a problem with the clear coat/lacquer because my previous Yamaha outboard had exactly the same problem, which only got worse over time!

My rib is in Mallorca, the water out there (the Mediterranean) is very salty so I think I always assumed it was due to that, a reaction or something. On average my rib is in the water for about a week at a time and I wash my rib down extremely well when I take it out of the water and polish/wax the engine before going into storage. I try my best to wipe it down with a spray bottle of water and micro fibre cloth after every use whilst it is on the water/my mooring.

What can I do to remove these marks? The best I could find via Google was to use an acidic toilet cleaner sparingly, and lots of water and then polish/wax straight after. Is this a good idea? What about using wet and dry sand paper? Like the highest grade available and sand it down with water and then polish and wax it after? I guess this could affect the clear coat/lacquer though and would be the last option! Though I know this would definitely work as you can in fact scratch the marks off with your finger nail! Surely this is a common problem and there are products out there for this?!

Thanks for your help,

James
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Old 23 June 2014, 10:30   #2
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Been getting the same on my new Merc/ mariner - but mine looks slightly differant and is caused by the salt drying on / being baked on as the heat of the exhaust running down the leg makes it dry on very fast.

A gentle polish for me - but its always going to happen...

Yours looks more like the clear laquer lifting in areas ??? Hard to tell from the pic...
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Old 23 June 2014, 10:36   #3
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Looks like the clear coat lifting to me as well, probably a combination of the exhaust heat and the intense sun includingthe reflection off the water.

I really wouldnt attack it with wet and dry until you have to repaint it, lots of good quality polish and maybe a full cover over the engine and leg when its not in use.
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Old 23 June 2014, 12:18   #4
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Hi guys, thanks for the response. I can assure you it is not the clear coat because I can scratch the marks off with my finger nail, and if it was the clear coat, then surely I would see a mark on the clear coat from where I scratched it!

I must admit from the pictures I took it does look like a clear coat problem, but those pictures were taken just after I had polished it. Before washing and polishing the marks were whiter!

So what do you guys advise I do? Should I simply try a more abrasive polish (I use Auto Glym Super Resin polish at the moment) like T-Cut and elbow grease? Or should I try acidic toilet cleaner (as suggested in a similar thread I found when initially searching the internet) or something else?
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Old 23 June 2014, 19:41   #5
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Try wiping it down with a soft cloth and white vinegar (the stuff your wife has in the kitchen.) If it's salt, that should remove it.

jky
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Old 24 June 2014, 06:13   #6
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That sounds like a good idea! Cheers
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Old 24 June 2014, 13:05   #7
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Originally Posted by jyasaki View Post
Try wiping it down with a soft cloth and white vinegar (the stuff your wife has in the kitchen.) If it's salt, that should remove it.

jky
Actually if it is (what we all commonly mean by) salt, i.e. sodium chloride it will wash off with plenty of hot water. If however it has formed where the engine gets hot it may well be "scale" (i.e. calcium carbonate) which can be removed with vinegar.
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Old 24 June 2014, 13:28   #8
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Actually if it is (what we all commonly mean by) salt, i.e. sodium chloride it will wash off with plenty of hot water. If however it has formed where the engine gets hot it may well be "scale" (i.e. calcium carbonate) which can be removed with vinegar.
Actually, scale is a very good description of it IMHO! Like I said it was whiter than in the pictures I posted (which were taken after I washed and polished the problem area), and you can scratch it off with your finger nail, i.e. similar to scale!

Will normal vinegar be better than white vinegar then? Also, just an idea, I could use de-scaler tablets meant for a kettle, make some solution up and wipe the area with that. Worth a try if vinegar doesn't work?
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Old 24 June 2014, 13:41   #9
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Any old vinegar works. White, wine, whatever its all the same concentration of acid. Over here we can get white vinegar by the gallon pretty cheap ($3 or so) so most people use that for stuff like this.
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Old 24 June 2014, 19:00   #10
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Actually if it is (what we all commonly mean by) salt, i.e. sodium chloride it will wash off with plenty of hot water. If however it has formed where the engine gets hot it may well be "scale" (i.e. calcium carbonate) which can be removed with vinegar.
Salt (NaCl) will also dissolve in vinegar (better than water, anyway.) I suggested white vinegar as it is not too strong and won't screw up stuff it accidentally comes in contact with.

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