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Should I strip my deck before re-applying Sure Step


Mark Hoesman asked:

I’m beginning to use your products, and have a few questions. I have used the boat clean, scrub, and sure step. The deck has previously been cleaned with boat clean and boat scrub, and sure step has been applied. At this point, the deck needs to be re-cleaned (or at least spot cleaned), what should the sequence be? Mild soap only? Does that remove the sure step? What if stains remain, and I use the boat clean? Did that just remove the sure step off? Now what? Can you go from the boat clean directly to sure step without using the boat scrub?

Right now we are in heated winter storage, so I have used boat clean, and wiped off the remainder/dirt etc. Will the residual boat clean cause any problems? And, can I apply the sure step directly over that?

The deck looks great!

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When you re-apply Sure Step, it’s necessary to remove any dirt, stains and oxidized Sure Step. Everything on the planet oxidizes or breaks down over time. It’s important to remove any residue before re-applying Sure Step so it can bond to the gelcoat and not the residue.

Do not use boat soap or any corrosive cleaner as they will leave a residue, even after rinsing. For guaranteed results, use Boat Clean Plus at a 1 to 4 solution with water and rinse clean and if necessary, use Boat Scrub to remove any scuffs or stains that still remain. Make sure that you rinse clean with water after. Boat Clean Plus and Boat Scrub are both free rinsing, but the residue must be rinsed off with water for best results. When the decks are perfectly clean, then you can re-apply the Sure Step.

Two coats of Sure Step are recommended for the season. They can be applied, a minimum of 24 hours apart at the beginning of the season, or as many boat owners are doing, one coat in the fall and another in the spring. The UV inhibitors help protect the decks from chalking over the winter and there is still enough of the integral Sure Step, after washing any deteriorated polish off in the spring so only one coat is necessary in the spring. In the spring, wash the decks with a mild solution of Boat Clean Plus. About 1 to 10 with water and spot clean as mentioned above.

Boat Clean Plus is a water activated cleaner and works best on a wet surface or it can be pre-mixed with water. At a concentration of 1 to 4 or greater it will strip the Sure Step as well as waxes or other polishes. At a concentration of 1 to 15 it can be used as a boat wash and it will not strip the polish, but will remove dirt, grease and any deteriorated Sure Step. This is a biodegradable and free rinsing cleaner, but the surface still needs to be rinsed clean with water if fresh polish is to be applied.

If in doubt, it’s better to strip the surface with both Boat Clean Plus and Boat Scrub. Just like applying Premium Boat Shine or VS721 Bottom Coat, it adheres and protects your boat better if it’s applied to a clean surface.

We make Sure Step and our other polishes and protectants as durable as possible to last, but they are intended to be sacrificial. In other words they will absorb the damage from sun, ozone, abrasion and other pollutants, rather than your boat. They can be re-applied as they deteriorate, usually once a season. This protects your boat from deterioration and keeps it looking new.

Glad to hear that your decks look great.

Thanks for your question,
Captain Aurora

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