Yesterday, we discovered a much more efficient technique for scrubbing the bottom of the dinghy. Now, I know that someone’s going to say they’ve been doing this for years (why didn’t you tell me??!), but here it is for everyone else.
We live on a small lake in the summer and instead of a pontoon, ski or bass boat like everyone else on the lake has, we have a dinghy. An 11-foot Avon RIB. It stays in the water all summer, and while there aren’t barnacles as there’d be in salt water, it does pick up a lot of soft growth in 5 months.
Before it goes in the water every spring, Dave puts a coat of Star-Brite Marine Polish with PTEF on it — this really makes the cleaning easier (note: the link is to the wax on Amazon — Amazon’s picture is wrong, the 14-ounce is the paste; the 16 and 32-ounce sizes are a liquid, which is what we use as it’s much easier to apply). This wax isn’t the secret — I think a lot of people use wax on the dinghy — but since it’s also a help I thought I’d tell about it for anyone who doesn’t wax theirs.
The first step in cleaning — after we take the motor off and flip the dinghy over — is scraping off as much of the black gunk as we can with 2-1/2″ putty knives. In salt water, we’re scraping barnacles off too. Then we get out the green scrubby sponges and the real work begins as we scrub all that black crud off. My hands ache at the end of it from pressing so hard to scrub.
This year, though, I had a revelation. What if I used the putty knife to give some stiffness to the scrubby sponge? Sort of like using a block of wood and wrapping a piece of sandpaper around it?
Why, oh why didn’t we think of this eleven years ago? It took half the effort to scrub and less than half the time to get the dink all spotless again. Cleaning the dinghy still isn’t my favorite job, but I don’t hate it nearly so much now. And it’s much faster when it’s clean!
I bet this will make any cleaning with the scrubbies a LOT easier . . .