Acetone deck?


New Member
Thread starter #1
I wanted to get my Laser really clean and purchased some Trade Secret cleaner that, given the marketing, I wasn't particularly impressed with. Yes, the boat was cleaner, but I wanted to really get out some old stains in the non-slip. Used the above solution neat in the end as well as a dilute wash.

So; do I give the non-slip a go with acetone. Acetone cloth/wet cloth and then rinse? Not touching the gelcoat on the hull as I don't need to and the debate seems to be raging online on that subject.

I realise discolouring cannot be got rid off but there is still dirt to remove. A friend of mine is threatening to brew up some of his "special mix" boat cleaner with access to indstrial chemicals at his place of work; I would like to look at other alternatives first.

Has anyone used acetone successfully or actually seen a Laser melt like a candle?

Also- different project, and thread police please forgive, but: good books for small yacht renovations (25ft) including cabin? Lots of picture, simple words.

Once polyester resin cures(fibreglass resin & gelcoat) it is impervious to most chemicals. Acetone is really not as aggressive in terms of solvents as you describe. Many people use it to wash areas before new resin application. That is because it is super fast at evaporating and leaves behind no residue. Methylated spirits(denatured alcohol) can be used in place of it.Maybe you are confused because acetone is used for cleaning up epoxy & polyester resins before they cure.

Acetone has a reputation for easily removing many paints. That is true for most solvents past mineral spirits in terms of aggression. You could pour acetone onto the deck of your Laser and it will evaporate before it does any damage to the gelcoat. It is good at removing really minor marking from the gunnels.

I've had some good success using very strong concentrations of tri sodium phosphate(sugar soap) for removing those rusty nasty deck stains. Use a stiff scrub brush on the nonskid. Depending on the stain, a strong bleach solution will often remove some stains.

It is not well known that polyester resin is actually porous. It can be defined as more water/solvent resistant not proof. The problem is some of these stains have actually been absorbed into the gelcoat. Not just a surface problem. This lack of waterproofing has caused massive gelcoat blistering problems on FRP boats of all sizes.
If it isn't that bad you can lightly hand sand with 800 or higher sandpaper, it depends on the stain but it usually works quite well

Acetone will work for some stains, it evaporates quickly so that's why it works well as a cleaner before painting and repairs ect.

Same with most alcohols, I would be cautious about using a special mix of industrial chemicals, be sure to find out what's in the mix before you use it for your sake and your lasers'
I suggest using Soft Scrub with Bleach and a stiff nylon bristle brush. It did a good job of getting the stains off my deck after some mice made my Laser their winter home.


Active Member
when I cleaned my deck prior to selling my old boat I used 'Cif' cream cleaner and a stiff scrubbing brush. It is mildly abrasive but does get in to all the nook and crannies on the deck. Made the boat look a thousand times better.
+1 For the cif cream cleaner, if you need to go a little heaver go for the vim type powder abrasive kitchen/floor cleaner & a bucket of mildish bleach,
I found scrubbing it into the textured surface leave for five minutes scrub again then wash off with clean water.
What must be avoided is mixing any bleach & ammonia products this may cause breathing problems & a trip to hospital
with mustard gas poisoning.