Ever buy a ShamWow only to find out that it didn’t have much “wow” factor? What about the Ginsu knife? And let’s not even get into Dump Dinners. Those wacky products and ideas you see advertised on late-night television are often disappointing.
Well, the boating world has its share of products with corny names, too, but some of them actually work amazingly well, and I’ve compiled a list of them that I have personal experience with. No need to dial a 1-800 number or pay shipping and handling. And no need to wonder if they work—I promise you they do. You can find all of them at your local marine supply shop. You’re welcome.
1. Krazy Clean
If you want most any surface on your boat to sparkle, pick up a bottle of Krazy Clean. This cleaner, manufactured by Marine Development & Research (MDR), is perhaps the best all-purpose cleaner I’ve used on a boat, having purchased probably a hundred of gallons of the stuff over the years. It can be used full-strength to spruce up and degrease bilges, brighten teak, or remove tough stains like those made by fish blood, grease, rust, and mildew. For maintenance cleaning and general wash-downs, dilute about one cup of cleaner per two gallons of water. Visit MDR for more information.
2. Creeping Crack Cure
No, this isn’t a product you use when your local plumber “over shares” while working on your garbage disposal. It’s actually a self-leveling, penetrating sealant that dries hard enough to accept paint, yet is flexible enough to expand and contract with the movement of your boat. Surprisingly, it’s water-based in its formulation. I’ve used this product to fix small deck leaks, gelcoat cracks, and a pesky drip from a stanchion base fastener. While it’s more of a temporary fix than a permanent repair, you’ll be surprised how long this wonder goo lasts. Visit Captain Tolley’s for more information.
3. Git Rot
This thin and runny two-part epoxy does exactly what its name implies: It attacks, encapsulates, and strengthens rotting wood. Now let’s be clear: you can’t pour a quart of this over your disintegrating wooden 1930s-era Beetle Cat and expect it to be good as new. This product works best on fiberglass boats with plywood-cored decks or transoms that have fallen victim to water intrusion in isolated areas. I’ve used it to add a few years to my runabout’s spongy outboard well and to stave off major deck repairs under some poorly installed stanchion bases. Its thin viscosity means you can drill holes and inject it into strategic spots, where it will spread out and then cure rock hard. For more information, visit Boat Life.
4. PB B’laster
If you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of a bilge dive with a pair of Vise-Grips and bloody knuckles because a stubborn fastener won’t let go, say hello to your salvation. While I’ve not been able to get the story behind the name, PB B’laster is perhaps the best penetrating lubricant you’ll ever use. Liquid Wrench? Throw that stuff in the trash. You simply squirt PB B’laster the offending nut, machine bolt, or socket screw, let it do it’s work and voila, the alternator bracket that’s been welded to your engine for 20 years comes free. Works great on anything that’s corroded or has rusted itself together. Visit B’laster Corporation for the scoop.
If you’ve been around boats for any length of time, you know that most stainless-steel doesn’t really stay stainless and brass isn’t beautiful for long without proper care. But let me tell you, no one likes the idea of sitting around with wadding polish for hours, rubbing off years of tarnish or corrosion. Flitz not only quickly removes that corrosion from all sorts of metals; it leaves behind a protective coating that keeps it gleaming, and with surprisingly little effort. And you’ll be astonished at the amount of junk this miracle product pulls off your metalwork when you look at your polishing rag. Check out Flitz for more information.