Re: Cleaning the worst parts of an Amel

Joerg Esdorn

Thanks, Arno, for this post.  I, too, have been using a wet vac and Kaercher to get the bad stuff out of the bilge.  But I found that the Kaercher makes a bit of a mess with dirty water mist everywhere (including my face) and totally shreds the insulation if you accidentally direct it on that.  So this year, I tried something different.  When I went through the Amel training, they showed me a wooden scrubber on a long stick which came with the boat and explained that I needed to cut the scrubber down to no more than 6 inches wide to have the ideal tool to clean the bilge.  I finally did just that this fall and found scrubbing to be easy and less messy than Kaerchering!  I used some degreaser and a normal hose with a nozzle to wash everything down and used the manual bilge pump to pump it out.  I flushed everything three or four times until all the water remaining at the bottom was clear.  I could have used the wet vac to clean that out but I didn't see a need since I could see the bottom and the keel bolt in good shape and no foreign objects were in sight!

I also have a tip for treating the bilge during the season which has worked very well for me.  Once a week, I add 2 espresso cups of Citric acid power to the bilge dissolved in warm water (via the galley sink).  The Citric acid neutralizes the soap residues in the bilge and it results in flakes of soap residue coming off the hoses in the bilge.  I leave the acid for 15 minutes to soak the bilge and then pump out the bilge with the manual bilge pump.  I have reduced the frequency of my bilge cleaning from every two months to once a season this way.  Much less smell, too.  Note, however, that we also clean all dishes and pots with paper towels before washing them.  So no crumbs, olive oil and sauces in the bilge!  Thanks to Bill Rouse for that tip!

Cheers Joerg

Joerg Esdorn
A55 Kincsem #53

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