View Full Version : Sun or chemical damage to cowl vents? (pics)

04-27-2007, 06:57 PM
So what do you think caused this?



These are maybe a little more than a year old, and I am religious about only using a mild detergent (Joy or Dawn) and some boat soap in my scrub bucket. To my knowledge (and I'm the only one cleaning the boat) they've never been wiped down with solvents.

It's possible I might have waxed them to give them some UV protection, but that wouldn't explain the definite pattern to the damage. Also, this started with some yellow spots that looked like drops or water spots (just enough to make me think, "Oh brother, what now..."), then just in the last couple of months it turned to this. :(

The other odd thing - and what makes me wonder of just soap and water hurts them is this right at the base of one:


:confused: :confused: :(

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?

capt jake
04-27-2007, 07:02 PM
Margo, I know how you love varnish....maybe a little spillage? ;) ;)

Just kidding, no ideas

Bill R
04-27-2007, 07:02 PM

Yes- send the boat to Maine where the sun rarely shines...:D

What is the material the vents are made with and what is the white coating? Paint, powdercoat, etc?

04-27-2007, 07:28 PM
Bill - this says flexible PVC


Dale Genther
04-27-2007, 07:52 PM
I've had the same thing happen to PVC vents I've had. The UV seems to degrade the finish. This seems to take a long time when they are new, but happens quickly after you have coated them after it has happened already. The only cure I've found is a paint called NicroCoat (by Nicro) that as formulated for flexible PVC vents. It can make them look almost new by does not last that long before recoating is needed.

John B
04-27-2007, 08:03 PM
I think they saw your orange crocs ,and are going out in sympathy.

04-27-2007, 08:19 PM
Isn't there a paper mill near you? I wonder if it might be due to chemical pollution exposure.

S/V Laura Ellen
04-27-2007, 08:27 PM
Abrasion from wind, Your sailing too fast.:D

04-27-2007, 08:57 PM
Well, while John and Allan were busy being comedians, I've been busy fixing the problem.

It isn't a Bob Smalsher grade tutorial, but might help someone trying to tape tight and/ or difficult spots...

First - for small or curvy areas, I prefer Ziplock bags over paper. Ziplock (or any clear plastic bag) bends around curves so much easier. I haven't tried it, but I bet Saran Wrap would wrap beautifully around a bow pulpit (something I absolute detest papering)....

Because I'm cheap, I always split the bags open and use one thickness. This really worked good because the plastic wasn't stiff enough to get behind the ring, but the blue side of the zipper was perfect.


By working it up and then cutting off just enough to wrap around the base ring, three times up and through and 1/2 of one bag covered the ring. :D


For my next trick, I traced the bottom of the vent on a handy piece of cardboard and taped it from the inside to prevent any spray paint from coming up through the bottom of the vent.



After that I taped bags to the inside by putting the tape just over the edge of the bag and letting the curve of the bag work right into the curve of the inside of the vent.


A little newspaper for added security




P.S. - Dale, I used regular Krylon paint (says on the can for plastic and PVC) on Drift Away's last year. They didn't see much use, but so far so good. And since I had a can sitting around....

capt jake
04-27-2007, 09:13 PM
See! White varnish! ;) I told ya. ;)

Great repair and ingenuity! :)

S.V. Airlie
04-28-2007, 06:54 AM
Margo.. I am assuming these cowels are flexible.. not hard. Uncas had flexible ones.. had the same problem.
I did not paint them though as I figured being flexible, the paint would just crack.
There is a product on the market for redoing the outer side of cowels such as these provided my assumption on flexible is correct.. It is a vinyl.. comes in a can.. I know you can get it at West Marine.. sprays on, when it dries.. looks like new.
Only lasts a year or two but can be redone without removing the old stuff.

Ken Hutchins
04-28-2007, 07:46 AM
Oh dear, should have got bronze vents. ;) ;)