Tag Archives: liveaboard

Mildew and the Frog

Ah, spring boat chores. Putting up sails, changing fluids in the diesel engine, airing out the boat and getting rid of green slime everywhere. Over the years that we have owned our boat, I can’t tell you how many hours of our lives we have spent removing mildew and mould from the boat’s  surfaces and finery. One of the more difficult places to get rid of mildew is the Sunbrella canvas.

Sunbrella fabric has a protective coating on it so if you use harsh chemicals and scouring pads you also remove the protective coating. We are conscious of the cleaning products that we use on the boat and use environmentally friendly products whenever possible.  The problem is that many environmentally friendly products do not have the ‘umph’ to get rid of mildew.

A fellow boater told me that he soaks his sail covers overnight  in the tub with bleach to remove mildew. I really try to stay away from bleach because it is so harsh on the environment. I’ve tried vinegar, vinegar + baking soda, baking soda + Blue Dawn with poor results. Out of desperation, I tried a mold and mildew product but the results were mediocre at best.

Enter on the stage – FrogWash. I bought this cleaner for our condo because it was environmentally friendly and could be used for multiple cleaning jobs. Take a look at the label!

Multiple uses for FrogWash | www.holisticsailor.com
Check out all the great uses for FrogWash

Not only could I use one product, I would also have more room in my cupboard and can refill the bottle with a concentrate so less garbage.

After experiencing great results at home, I decide to try it on the boat. Oh my gosh. It is terrific on stainless steel and gives a nice shine to the teak floors. But more importantly it works on mildew. Take a look at the before and after photos of my motor cover.

Before and after using FrogWash | www.holisticsailor.com
I used FrogWash to clean the Sunbrella cover for our outboard motor.

The trick is to follow the instructions. Imagine that! The product works best if you let it sit for a few minutes. You do have to scrub with a soft cloth but it is worth it.

Ah, spring boat chores. Putting up sails, changing fluids in the diesel engine, airing out the boat and getting rid of green slime everywhere. Over the years that we have owned our boat, I can't tell you how many hours of our lives we have spent removing mildew and mould from the boat's surfaces and finery. One of the more difficult places to get rid of mildew is the Sunbrella canvas. Sunbrella fabric has a protective coating on it so if you use harsh chemicals and scouring pads you also remove the protective coating. We are conscious of the cleaning products that we use on the boat and use environmentally friendly products whenever possible. The problem is that many environmentally friendly products do not have the 'umph' to get rid of mildew. A fellow boater told me that he soaks his sail covers overnight in the tub with bleach to remove mildew. I really try to stay away from bleach because it is so harsh on the environment. I've tried vinegar, vinegar + baking soda, baking soda + Blue Dawn with poor results. Out of desperation, I tried a mold and mildew product but the results were mediocre at best. Enter on the stage - Frog. I bought this cleaner for our condo because it was environmentally friendly and could be used for multiple cleaning jobs. Take a look at the label! Not only could I use one product, I would also have more room in my cupboard and can refill the bottle with a concentrate so less garbage. After experiencing great results at home, I decide to try it on the boat. Oh my gosh. It is terrific on stainless steel and gives a nice shine to the teak floors. But more importantly it works on mildew. Take a look at the before and after photos of my motor cover. The trick is to follow the instructions. Imagine that! The product works best if you let it sit for a few minutes. You do have to scrub with a soft cloth but it is worth it. In Victoria, I buy Frog at Capitol Iron on 1900 Store Street. Note to self: don't Google "frog cleaning". Gross! Instead, Google "frog cleaning product" or check out their website here: http://www.frogwash.ca/. Frog Wash is made by Zen FarmZ Environmental Solutions Inc. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
FrogWash – a great cleaner to get rid of mildew

In Victoria, I buy Frog at Capitol Iron on 1900 Store Street. Note to self: don’t Google “frog cleaning”. Gross! Instead, Google “frog cleaning product” or check out their website.  Frog Wash is made by Zen FarmZ Environmental Solutions Inc. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

Spring Ahead

For liveaboard boaters, the spring equinox means longer days and the end of winter hibernation.  It is a busy time to begin boat chores in order to get the boat ready for summer cruising. During our time living aboard, winter would find us hunkered down in our boat watching movies, reading books and enjoying long sleeps as long as the marina wasn’t being battered by a winter storm. During storms, the cacophony of rigging clanging in the roaring wind would keep even the deepest of sleepers awake and would draw us out of our warm bunks to check on lines and fellow sailors.

But the change of seasons does not come without resistance often in the form of strong wind storms. We had one of these wind storms last week in which the wind peaked at 109 kms/hour. In fact, the worst storms that we have experienced on the boat came at the change of seasons in November (fall to winter) and March (winter to spring). Two separate March storms broke the finger that our boat was tied to and made for some scary moments on the dock.

The long, winter rest allows you to store energy that will be needed to complete spring chores.  The beautiful Cherry Blossom trees in my city, Victoria, BC bend with the winter storms during their deep slumber only to awaken in early February with beautiful blossoms. So too, should we rest during the winter so that our bodies have enough stored reserves to meet the energy of the spring equinox. If you overwork yourself during the winter, your immune system will  be depleted and you will be more susceptible to getting sick. This combined with too much sugar from  Easter which unfortunately has become more about sugar than rebirth, will deplete your health further.

Cherry Blossoms, Victoria, BC | www.holisticsailor.com
Cherry Blossom trees start blooming by mid February in Victoria, BC.

Some people find the strong, pre-spring winds disturbing on their bodies.  You might feel the need to wear a scarf to protect your neck from the winds even though others are wearing lighter clothes. Your neck houses the throat chakra and if you feel yourself craving protection from the wind, than listen to this message from your body and wear a scarf. I also find that my body still needs the warm, comfort foods of winter; if I switch to lighter, cooler  foods like salads too early, I will be very tired.

The change of seasons inspires me to think ahead of summer cruising plans, boat chores and walks in nature with friends.  I am filled with the energy of the season and everything seems possible. Now that we are no longer living aboard, the inside of our boat needs a good cleaning from accumulated dust and mildew growth during the winter. The exterior canvas and decks also need to be cleaned of mildew growth. The boat smells of vinegar for the first few weeks of spring cleaning but it is a small inconvenience for an effective yet environmentally friendly cleaner.

The signs of spring are everywhere from spawning herring to baby Pigeons who have already fledged from their nests.  May the energy of spring fill you with light.

10 Things My Sailboat Taught Me

  1. Patience

Sailboats move slowly. Slow down your life and enjoy the sail.

  1. Communication

Be honest and respectful with your communication. A small boat becomes smaller with disharmony.

  1. Embrace fear

Resistance turns the fear in on itself and gives it strength. Let it move through you like a passing storm.

  1. Community

Help others and they will help you when you need it. There will come a day when you will need help.

  1. Be a sponge

There is always something more to learn. The sailor who thinks he/she knows everything is destined to experience a difficult lesson.

  1. Attachment

There is only so much room on a boat so don’t get attached to things. Take care of the stuff you do have so that it doesn’t have to be replaced.

  1. Repurpose

A small space means using things for more than the intended purpose. Do you really need it? Can it be used for more than one thing?

  1. Rhythm of Nature

Be in awe of the natural rhythm of the earth; this rhythm is delicate. Do not contribute to its imbalance.

  1. Gratitude

Be grateful for a safe passage, a beautiful sunset, a peaceful anchorage – anything that reminds you of your shared connection to source.

  1. Simplify

Life really is simple if you strip away all the crap we get attached to. Live simply. Love completely.

Live simply - Love completely | www.holisticsailor.com

Ropes and Socks

A story from our first year on the boat 

“What’ya doing?”

“I’m splicing a line.”

“Kinda looks like macrame without the beads”, I say laughing.  My husband is not laughing.  It’s not that he doesn’t have a sense of humour, it’s that I am lacking in appreciation for the fine art of tying knots.

“I made a plant hanger once.”  I said.

For a moment I consider how a plant hanger would look in our boat and decide I don’t need something else to bump my head on. My husband is concentrating on his knot and I leave him to his work.

I loose patience when I don’t grasp a new concept quickly.  So when we were practising tying two half hitches around the table legs during Power Squadron’s Safe Boating course, I decided that ropes were not going to be my thing, but it inspired my husband.

A few days later, cozy inside the diesel-warmed boat while it poured rain outside, my husband pulled out some rope and a book called, The Marlinspike Sailor.  “What’ya doing?”  “I’m making a leash for the dog.”

That’s pretty cool I think.  I take the book and thumb through the pages. Who knew you could make cool things out of rope? A few more moments of silence – always a dangerous situation for my husband because he knows my wheels are spinning on some crazy tangent.

“I could make that!” pointing to the mat on page 43.

“What are you going to do with a mat?”

It’s really not the point, but I take his comment into consideration and think of something else that might be more useful.

“I know, I can make some beaded curtains.”

Now I’ve caught his attention and he puts down his rope and studies me with curiosity.  It’s funny how you can be married for so long and still not be aware of each other’s tastes in interior decorating.

If I had been born 10 years earlier I would have been one of those girls, arms outstretched twirling in the mud at Woodstock.  My  enthusiasm for knots and ropes is increasing as I imagine beaded curtains dividing the state room from the galley.

The reverie is broken when the he says, “I don’t think beaded curtains would be very practical.”

He knows how to get me to compromise.  Play the “practical” card – appeal to my sense of reason as it is stronger than my sense of fancy.  “I suppose you’re right.” More silence.

I imagine I hear a slight sigh coming from the corner of the boat when I pull out my knitting needles.  “What ‘ya making?”

“Socks.”

“Socks?”

“Socks.”