Maintenance update: cleaning behind the wooden strips!

Earlier in autumn, we got a good practical tip from a fellow HR 29 sailor to remove the mahogany strips on the sides of the saloon berth and fore peak to clean the top coated fiberglass wall from dust and dirt.

We started to tackle this issue a few weeks ago and found out, that it is surprisingly time-consuming job to unscrew the strips, clean the stubborn dirt and screw the strips back again. However, it is a job that needs to be done from time to time: immidiately when we took out the first strip, we noticed that the white top coat was almost black from all the dust and dirt, that had been collecting there over the years. I guess that during the 22 years of service, this was the first time that the strips were actually removed. Furthermore, the solid fiberglass hull tends to condensate a lot especially at spring and early summer. And although the wooden strips are very practical in keeping the condensation away from the living quarters, all the dust and dirt gets dampen from time to time, which is not particularly a good thing, if you want to keep your boat smelling fresh!

We actually ended up removing every other mahogany strip to save some time and effort. However, I do not know if this was a good idea after all, since cleaning the area under the remaining strips was more difficult and took some additional time.

Now that the job is complete, I can say that it was definitely worth doing. So if you own a boat with a similar kind of structure, I think that it may be a good idea to remove first just a couple of strips to check, how the hidden surface looks behind the strips!

Before screwing back the strips, the top coat and wooden surfaces were wiped with some vinegar.


  1. Nice job! I have been admiring your wooden strips ever since I started following your blog. Makes the insides of the boat look very attractive and cosier than just plain white walls.

    It is absolutely great that you guys have the boat inside for the winter. It gives you a great opportunity to do this stuff now. We would absolutely be freezing at our boat and all the maintenance is waiting for warmer weathers.

  2. Thanks Vellamo! I agree with you: this kind of jobs are easily postponed during the busy spring maintenance period, because there are plenty of other, perhaps 'more important' tasks at hand. And during the summer season, I have often lack of motivation to work inside the boat, when one could be sailing. So in this sense, this is perhaps the best time of the year to work with this kind of jobs...

  3. Why dont you put some insulation under the wooden strips. Try to find something that doesnt absorb water and gives an air free connecktion to the hull (for example thick vinyl isolating wall cover).

    Great blog otherwise. I do sail a 0E33 ( and look forward to doing those trips you done the last years.



  4. Hi Martin, and thanks! Adding some insulation is a good advice especially, as we are sailing mostly in the cold waters. However, I also like the fact that the structure is now 'breathing' so that moisture has a change to dry. But maybe the condensation would not form there in the first place if there would be insulation... I have to think about this a little bit further. Maybe a project for the next year?

  5. Did you use mildew remower (e.g. Starbrite) for cleaning? I wonder how steam cleaner would work?

    1. Hi, and yes, I guess that steam cleaner could be very handy. We have not try it though...

      Yes, I applied first some Starbrite's mildew remover, but then I found out about this coming european-wide ban for some mildew treatment products due to the health threats. I could not find the ingredients of this Starbrite's product, so I decided to opt for safer method: i.e. normal household cleaner and vinegar. The Starbrite's product might be safe, but on the other hand, they should have the ingredients listed on the bottle or their website...I have to investigate this a bit further, before continuing using it...

  6. That is something I will do even in our boat when it´s getting warmer =)Looks good now ;-)


Post a Comment

It would be very great to hear your opinion or comments. Thank you in advance for commenting! -Antti & Minna