How do I polish and protect bronze portholes
Hank Giffin asked:
I have a 1983 Crealock 37ft sailboat with bronze ports in Norfolk, VA. I have been unable to find a product to take off the years of aging on the bronze, and also find something to keep the ports looking good after polishing. Is there a polish or method you can recommend to help return these ports to their original beauty?
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The products and methods depend a lot on the age and condition of the corrosion and tarnish. A good product to start with is Algex. Spray it on and let it work for ½ hour at a time, making sure to keep the surface from evaporating by constant spraying or covering it with plastic. This will usually remove light to medium tarnish and all that’s required to bring the metal back is rinsing with water.
If this is not satisfactory then you will need to resort to fine mechanical abrasion for removal of the tarnish. This involves rubbing or use of a jewelers buffing wheel on a portable drill and a product like Boat Scrub or various grades of jewelers rouge. Another product that works well with a buffing wheel is Kwik Shine. It is slower to work but will give you a finer finish.
When you have the portholes restored to your satisfaction, wash them well with Boat Clean Plus to remove any residue and then wipe on 4 coats of Alumetron to protect them. The Alumetron should last a good 5 years, even in salt air.
Thanks for you question,