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Discolored Fiberglass Swim Platform

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Discolored Fiberglass Swim Platform

Old 01-10-2019, 03:25 PM
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Default Discolored Fiberglass Swim Platform

So, I came across this boat and at first glance it looks to be in decent shape. But then I saw the swim platform. It's horribly discolored. The boat is a Sea Ray and I'm told this is the original swim platform and that it simply discolored from being in brackish water. Now, I know several people with this exact model boat and we boat in brackish water exclusively. Their swim platforms don't look like this. And none of the rest of this boat looks like this. So my question to the THT masses is this:

What would cause this? Acid? An oil spill? Someone barfing over the transom? I've got no idea. Thoughts?

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Old 01-10-2019, 03:31 PM
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It would be interesting to see what would happen with some muriatic acid, CLR, or bleach brushed on it.
It looks like whatever discolored it, did the same thing to the hull!
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:33 PM
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Looks to be discolored from the water. Just like the hull. Muriatic acid hopefully can help. Gotta keep it waxed.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:33 PM
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Looks like my boat sides after 2 months, quick wipe with muriatic acid and re wax and itís good. Tannin creep
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Jus Teasin View Post
It would be interesting to see what would happen with some muriatic acid, CLR, or bleach brushed on it.
It looks like whatever discolored it, did the same thing to the hull!
You know, you're right. I didn't notice that on the hull at the water line. Maybe it IS the water this boat lives in! But what the heck is in that water then?
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:46 PM
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That is some nasty ass water.
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:54 PM
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Probably from vegetation. We have tea colored water in Florida fro the tannin in mangrove roots - I suspect you have something similar going on.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ukadrianj View Post
Probably from vegetation. We have tea colored water in Florida fro the tannin in mangrove roots - I suspect you have something similar going on.
This isnít my boat, so this isnít my problem. Ironic, however. My boat lives at the edge of the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. Thatís some non plant-based nastiness there. But at least it doesnít stick to your boat, visibly.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:36 PM
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Brown water is usually due to tannins in the water. Tannins are from decaying vegetation. St John's river in Florida...and just about any river in Florida will have a high level of tannin in the water creating a brown stain. If that boat is anywhere near a river, that is most likely the issue-or maybe where the boat is docked is close to a major polluter.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:01 AM
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Thanks for the input. I learned something (tannins) as a result of this discussion. This pic is from a boat I am looking at to potentially purchase. However, my First Mate would never agree to buy a boat that looks like that. Nor, probably, would I. Even if this is a relatively easy thing to remedy, it says something about the care this boat receives. If you're trying to sell a boat and THAT'S what it looks like, what did it look like when you used it? And if your swim platform (arguably the easiest thing on the boat to clean) receives so little care, what can a potential owner conclude about the impellers, after coolers, filters and pumps? It's OK if you disagree with this mindset of mine. Its' just how I'm wired.

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by scooper321 View Post
Even if this is a relatively easy thing to remedy, it says something about the care this boat receives.
You are absolutely right there: If they can't even be bothered to keep the hull clean there's no telling what other issues and maintenance items have been overlooked. A boat offered for sale in that state just screams of an indifferent or negligent owner, and we all know how hand on you have to be with a boat to stave off the evils of entropy.

There's a flip side though: many a gem has been coerced out from under a layer of grime. It's worth having a look over it in a bit more detail to see if this level of neglect is pervasive, or just someone who hasn't figured out how to keep a hull clean on a boat stored on a wet slip. I think the biggest question I would have is: how did the swim platform spend so long under water that it got so stained?
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:56 AM
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Mary Kate on and off will make that look like new.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ukadrianj View Post
There's a flip side though: many a gem has been coerced out from under a layer of grime. It's worth having a look over it in a bit more detail to see if this level of neglect is pervasive, or just someone who hasn't figured out how to keep a hull clean on a boat stored on a wet slip. I think the biggest question I would have is: how did the swim platform spend so long under water that it got so stained?
And there's the counterpoint! LOL You're right and isn't that what we all hope for? The good news is, while this boat isn't super close by, it is near a couple others I want to go see. So I wouldn't risk wasting an entire day/weekend on a potentially crappy boat. The bad news is that the are asking at the higher end of the price spectrum. So: high price for a dirty boat. Interesting combo! And yeah, I wondered how the platform could look that back but not the transom or some of the hull? These boats run a little low in the stern when loaded. But not submerged!
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by scooper321 View Post
And there's the counterpoint! LOL You're right and isn't that what we all hope for? The good news is, while this boat isn't super close by, it is near a couple others I want to go see. So I wouldn't risk wasting an entire day/weekend on a potentially crappy boat. The bad news is that the are asking at the higher end of the price spectrum. So: high price for a dirty boat. Interesting combo! And yeah, I wondered how the platform could look that back but not the transom or some of the hull? These boats run a little low in the stern when loaded. But not submerged!
It does look like the hull is discolored at the same level as the transom in the picture, so I suspect the reason the staining is not all along the hull is that they cleaned up the easy parts. So that's the good news: the stain comes off.

However, I doubt it got that stained while running, which means the platform spent some time submerged at the dock. I think the big question is: why? Did it take on water and sit stern-low for a while? If so, has that been fixed? Are there collateral issues? It's all speculation for now, but something weighed the back of that boat down for a decent period of time to keep the swim platform under and let it get that stained.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:13 AM
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Try on-off, found in most boat/marine stores. If using it on painted surface try a spot first and cover trailer if on one.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ukadrianj View Post
However, I doubt it got that stained while running, which means the platform spent some time submerged at the dock. I think the big question is: why? Did it take on water and sit stern-low for a while? If so, has that been fixed? Are there collateral issues? It's all speculation for now, but something weighed the back of that boat down for a decent period of time to keep the swim platform under and let it get that stained.
This is my concern, too. I'm not nearly as worried (anymore) about getting it bright white again as I am what it might mean happened to the boat! I bet a good surveyor could answer some of those questions, but I don't think I want to go through the time and expense of figuring that out. If the boat wasn't 3 hours away, perhaps I would take on that challenge (also assuming the current owner was realistic about his price desires). But not when it's 3 hours away.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:43 PM
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Run Forest Run
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:38 AM
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What? Are you all serious? Walk away from a boat purchase because the swim platform and water line have tannic stains because it lives in the water where tannins are higher then elsewhere?
Someone above mentioned the st. johns river in Jacksonville, Florida. I live on the river here. I keep my boats either trailered or on lifts. However, I did keep a Parker 2830 ( loa of 36') in a wet slip at Saddler Point Marina.
That tannic acid line is unavoidable. However, at haul out, some murionic acid wiped on that fiberglass, then washed and waxed, problem solved. It'll be clean as a whistle again.

So, you would walk away from a boat purchase because the water it sits in has higher tannin concentrations because of vegetative degradation process? It's not corrosive, it's not an indication of neglect.
Go look at the boat. You may find you love it.

Your choice about traveling 3 hours to buy a boat. I have traveled 40 hours round trip to buy a boat before. If you want to buy a boat within a 35 minute circumference from your home, you are significantly handicapping your options for purchase. 3 hours away is nothing... You don't sound like your seriously buying a boat..but rather just tire kicking the idea around. A serious buyer would KNOW what boat they are buying and go find that boat...3 hours, 6 hours, 9 hours... big deal? !
Lastly, your comment about the swim platform being submerged is just ignorant ( not name calling, not attempting to offend you...using the word ignorant in the literal sense of the word).
That platform is not submerged. But, when a boat is wet slipped, there are conditions that allow river water to wash over the platform. Waterline looks fine to me. Are you looking to replace the Sea Ray in your signature?

Last edited by sydngoose; 01-12-2019 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sydngoose View Post
What? Are you all serious? Walk away from a boat purchase because the swim platform and water line have tannic stains? ... At haul out, some murionic acid wiped on that fiberglass, then washed and waxed, problem solved. It'll be clean as a whistle again.
But it wasn’t, was it? Even if you don’t think an owner should keep his own boat clean, for a boat that is being listed to be sold, this is careless. Or apathetic. Neither is a quality I want in the previous owner of my boat.

Originally Posted by sydngoose View Post
So, you would walk away from a boat purchase because the water it sits in has higher tannin concentrations because of vegetative degradation process?
No I’d walk away because I was concerned about the care and maintenance this boat had received until now. And because I was concerned that perhaps the platform MAY HAVE BEEN submerged at some point in the past, possibly causing additional, unseen damage. Likely? Maybe not. Possible? Absolutely. And this is too expensive of a boat to bother with a significant visible warning sign like this when there are others of equal or better condition on the market. At least not without a significant discount being offered. And it’s not.

Originally Posted by sydngoose View Post
I have traveled 40 hours round trip to buy a boat before.
Congrats. Are you aware you can fly around the Earth in about 41 hours? If you’d have asked me, I would have recommended you go in the opposite direction you did. The trip would’ve been only an hour!

And where'd you get 35 minutes from? I said 3 hours. All of the Atlantic Coast, most of the Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes are within 3-4 hours of me. So no, I don’t think I’m “handicapping” my options at all.

Originally Posted by sydngoose View Post
You don't sound like your seriously buying a boat..but rather just tire kicking the idea around.
*YOU’RE* wrong again. I offered a contract on a boat today. But not this one. Yes, I know what boat I want. But I dont fixate on a specific one and chase it across the globe. That’s a great recipe for overspending. And it’s not necessary to do for relatively common models like this.

Originally Posted by sydngoose View Post
That platform is not submerged. But, when a boat is wet slipped, there are conditions that allow river water to wash over the platform.
Agreed. But an attentive owner won’t let the staining stay there. Especially when trying selling the boat.

Originally Posted by sydngoose View Post
Are you looking to replace the Sea Ray in your signature?
Yes, with a larger one.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:59 PM
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Sea lion does that in SoCal.
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