It's a day like any other day, but suddenly you see brown spots, pockmarks, and fading where you never noticed them before.
We're talking about your boat here - not your skin. But oddly enough, the signs of aging are pretty much the same.
Fortunately, you don't need a specialist or a wad of money to turn back the clock It's possible to do a cosmetic makeover using a spray bottle, some common household products, and paper towels.
Boating Magazine suggests starting with the hull.
Even though soap and water will cut through superficial grime and grease, you need a more powerful potion to undo advanced aging, according to Boating's editors. They recommend Westley's concentrated Car Wash to get at deep grime.
But if that doesn't cut it, you can mix up your own recipe for removing trouble spots, using a half cup of baking soda, half cup of white vinegar, one cup ammonia, and one gallon warm water.
Another good all-purpose cleaning solution can be made by mixing one part Fresh Start, a concentrated biodegradable cleaner, with 10-15 parts water. (Use three ounces of Fresh Start in a quart of water for tough jobs.)
To get rid of moldy smudges and scum lines, pour either solution into a spray bottle and spritz, then rub with paper towels or a fiberglass-friendly brush.
For more stubborn stains, such as tar spots from trailering, spray on WD-40, wipe hard and rinse well.
Rust stains that haven't penetrated the gel coat of a fiberglass hull can often be scrubbed away with a mixture of Coca Cola and enough salt to make it gently abrasive. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.
Rusted chrome will look like new if you rub it with a little baking soda on a damp cloth. To make chrome shiny, rinse with clear water and buff with a clean soft cloth.
Bugs leave an ugly calling card - dark stains and pockmarks on a boat's windshields and other surfaces. The best way to erase them depends on whether you're treating glass or plastic.
For instance, the ammonia contained in most commercial glass cleaners will turn plastic surfaces hazy. It's better to use just soap and water or vinegar and water. A plastic polish, such as Meguiar's Mirror Glaze, also will remove surface residue without scratching or clouding.
For glass, commercial cleaners are fine. Or you can make your own using one gallon of warm water, two tablespoons cornstarch, a half cup white vinegar, and a half cup ammonia.
Sometimes, it's birds - not bugs - causing the problem.. An easy way to remove bird droppings from the deck is by covering them with a rag soaked in cooking oil. Allow the rag to sit until the mess softens, then wash and rinse.
Keeping your boat looking good is easier if you can prevent spots and stains from occurring in the first place.
For example, if the head isn't going to be used for a few days, put some plastic wrap over the toilet bowl to prevent an unsightly ring from forming. And applying a defogger solution on windshields and glass will not only stop fogging, but also make them easier to clean.
Despite oscillating winds, sailors competing for the national junior single-handed and double-handed championships at North Cape Yacht Club, Monday-yesterday, were able to complete all 10 races.
Kyle Kovacs, of Brant Beach Yacht Club, in Beach Haven, N.J., took first in the single-handed series for the Smythe Trophy, sailed in Lasers.
Frank Tabor, skipper, with Mandi Markee, of San Diego Yacht Club won the double-handed championship for the Bemis Trophy, sailed in Club 420s
The two championships brought together 60 of the nation's top junior sailors, ages 13-18. Participants qualified by winning designated events at local and regional levels.
“It was a good regatta,” chairwoman Barbara Shaffer said.
“We had to abandon racing the first day because of a huge wind shift and there was fog on Wednesday morning. But we were able to get in the full complement of races.”
John Bradley skippered the top boat in the Interlake Class at Bay Week, but he didn't stick around for the awards ceremony. He and his wife Betsy left after the last race and headed to Detroit Sail Club where their son Eric is competing in the U.S. Sailing Junior Triplehanded Championship for the Sears Cup
Another son, Kevin Bradley, took second in the Thistle Junior Nationals, held at Fort Walton (Fla.) Yacht Club, Aug 2. Nick Turney and Scott Finefrock were his crew.
Anna Tunnicliffe, of North Cape Yacht Club, was runner-up in the U.S. Single-handed Championship for the O'Day Trophy, sailed in Lasers at Oklahoma City Boat Club, Aug. 6-10.
Tunnicliffe, the only female skipper in the 17-boat fleet, was awarded the Peter J. Barrett Sportsmanship Trophy. A member of the Old Dominion University sailing team, she recently was named to the 2003 Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association/Ronstan All-America Sailing Team,
Defending champion Andrew Campbell, of San Diego, won the George O'Day Trophy and John Van Tol, of Bayview Yacht Club was third.
In winning the seven-race series, Campbell qualified to race at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, sailing in the Laser class..
15/16 - 21st Annual Regatta/Rendevous, Huron Boat Basin, Great Lakes Wooden Sailboat Society
15/17 - Homecoming/100th Anniversary Celebration, Bay View Yacht Club
16/18 - Annual MS Regatta and Predicted Log
16/17 - Midwest Masters Regional (Rowing) Regatta, Indianapolis,
22 - Regatta, Point Place Boat Club
22/24 - Trans-Erie Race, Grosse Ile Yacht Club to Erie, Pa.
22/24 - Chrysler Heep Superstores Detroit APBA Gold Cup, on the Detroit River
23/25 - Annual Irene Race, North Cape Yacht Club
24 - East vs. West Race, Jolly Roger Sailing Club.