Saturday, March 25, 2023

Hilton Head Island: past and present; spirits and mold


On this Saturday night that image came by chance.  I used the mirror function on my iPhone to see if I had dinged my head today and saw the above.

That I wondered if I had dinged my head is because today I installed the replacement stern solar panels and found blood on the starboard port berth from what ding I do not know.  

The installation took a couple of hours, more than one of which was spent lying on my back in the dead space in GANNET’s stern connecting wires and filling holes in awkward and uncomfortable positions, as my aged back is reminding me.  A partially medicinal glass of Laphroaig is at hand to my left where I can see it, but regular readers will know the Laphroaig is only partially medicinal.

The installation went as I expected.  Some parts were easier; some more difficult.  But it got done.

This coming week I will be returning to that uncomfortable space at least twice to install the Pelagic tiller pilot.  I have most of what is necessary to make that installation, but need to built a support for what I call the tiller arm and Pelagic calls the actuator so that it and the tiller are level.  Custom cut StarBoard and 6” bolts should arrive next week.

My efforts to remove mold from the foredeck solar panels have met with total failure.  Thus far I have used soap and water, vinegar, Dawn dishwashing liquid recommended by a sailor, even Tilex carefully on a corner.  All with no result.  I ordered and this afternoon received from Amazon two more liquids:  Spray Nine and Bartenders Friend.  This last Carol used to remove hard water stains from the shower before we sold the Evanston condo.  I will give them a try in days to come.  

Ocean Planet Energy, from whom I bought the old and new panels, included with the new a liquid to seal the surface.  I took it down to the boat and don’t recall its name.  I will use it on the new panels, but not the foredeck panels unless I can get them clean. 

I have thus far been careful not to damage the surface of the panels, but that is becoming less of a concern as I face having eventually to replace them too if I can’t kill the mold.

A reader suggested I resort to radioactivity.  The image of GANNET glowing in the dark is appealing.  No need for nav lights.

I just took a sip of medicine.



Anonymous said...

I had black mold on much of the vertical surfaces of my cockpit and around the area of the port lights. I also tried and had no luck with Barkeeper's Friend and Tilex. I then tried a high concentration of household bleach with water (50% / 50% mix) and that did the trick. I used a spray bottle and let the mixture sit for several minutes before wiping it off. Amazingly, the appearance of the fiberglass continued to improve over the next day or so. Looks like new! And the surfaces have remained mold free for past two months even during the very wet winter we have had here in California. My assessment is that household bleach is very effective at killing stubborn mold spores that attach to almost any surface. Be careful not to inhale the fumes of the bleach.

Webb said...

Thank you for your suggestion. I am just back from GANNET where I tried Bartenders Friend and Spray Nine. Bartenders Friend was ineffective. Spray Nine did some good, but not enough. Bleach tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Please let us know if the bleach works! Thanks, Scott

Webb said...

I am back from bleaching.

I sprayed a solution of half bleach, half water on the solar panels. I let it sit for several minutes. I then scrubbed with a soft brush. Sprayed more solution. Let it sit. Scrubbed. Rinsed. Repeated.

Did it work? I do not know.

The panels are far from pristine. Stains remain, but I think, or at least hope, that is all they are. I don’t believe any mold could have survived. So I will wait and see if the panels remain as they are or if they become worse.,