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Old 10-25-2005, 09:38 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
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hi all

any tips on what to use to remove a brownish oxide that accumulates on the standing rigging?

any ideas on how best to remove similar oxide from the backstay and forestay without un-stepping the mast?


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Old 10-25-2005, 11:59 PM   #2
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Oxalic Acid is the base for most such cleaning products.

But you can buy OA in crystal form cheaply as it is used for pool cleaning. A slurry of OA crystals, any neutral paste (flour even), and water will give you a paste which will stick for the minutes it takes to work on the oxide. It is an acid - so do wear gloves plus eye protection if you choose to mix your own - or even if you buy the branded OA gels.

I've used this on my own rig but had to be hoisted (I hate it) and lowered five times to wipe the mixture over side and fore / aft stays plus mast. Actually - it only takes a wipe - no pressure needed - but I am no good with heights and ours is 66 feet up.

I gave it 15 minutes to work - then went back and cleaned it all off with a lighweight hose and cloth - to wash all traces away.

Take care to have another below to clean up on your decks / topsides etc - and remember OA will help bleach teak also. I usually do my teak deck after I've done the rigging - and it all ends up looking like new.

Finally - you'll find OA also works on chromed bronze fittings like turnbuckles. Often sailors believe the pitted corrosion on such fittings is impossible to remove. Try a wipe with OA based products and you'll be stunned to see such items come back all shiny - almost like new!



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Old 10-26-2005, 03:38 PM   #3
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thanks, john.... useful advice indeed. and its heartening to know that i'm not the only one who feels uneasy at the top of the mast, although mine's a whole foot shorter at 65 feet. excellent to know that OA works on turnbuckles and SS as well.
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Old 11-08-2005, 12:28 AM   #4
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Just a quick check, are the stays stainless or galvanised?

We used to have galvanised stays, and they looked ugly (corroded) but the corrosion provided a protective layer, like aluminium, and they lasted for ages. However, if you took off the layer, they went really fast...

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Old 11-08-2005, 07:04 PM   #5
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Hi Ben

the running backstays are SS wire rope

Likewise with the backstay

the shrouds are SS rod rigging led to blocks and then to a winch


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