Top 10 Deck Products for Superyacht Crew

3 January 2009 By Matt Brown

Working with the wrong products can make your life on deck a real nightmare.

A seasoned deckhand will know which products actually work – as opposed to those that can remain on the shelves of your local chandlery forever and ever.

This knowledge can only be acquired through trial and error and cannot be found in the curriculum of any official training course. While every deckhand may have a different opinion about which products work best for a particular purpose, there seem to be some favorites that can be found in the bosun's locker of nearly all yachts.

So what are the top 10 products for deckhands on today’s superyachts? Here’s my take on it:

10. Awlgrip AwlWash Concentrate
The Awlgrip Paint System is used on most of today’s superyachts and has been for the past 30 years. AwlGrip AwlWash cleaning soap is the perfect solution to a dirty hull or superstructure and is usually the weapon of choice when it comes to a megayacht washdown. One bottle can last for a surprisingly long time if used correctly. Here’s a tip: Try it with warm water instead of cold as it cleans twice as well.

9. Simple Green
Simple Green all-purpose cleaner is great for cleaning dirty marks out of any teak deck. It’s also non-toxic, biodegradable and environmentally friendly, which makes it ideal for any “go green” effort you may be undertaking on board.

8. Collinite Liquid Fleetwax (No. 870)
Unlike other marine waxes, this product requires no hard buffing at all. Buffing tends to damage the paintwork, so this is a great alternative for removing marks on a yacht with Awlgrip paint. I’ve found Fleetwax works better than Finesse, as the latter tends to scratch the paintwork.

7. Star Clean Metal Polish
Polishing is one of those time-consuming occupational hazards that most deckhands would rather delegate or avoid entirely—enter Star Clean. This is another one of those obscure products that seems to have gotten a thumbs-up from most deck crew who have used it. It usually comes in a yellow tube and drastically reduces the time needed for stainless steel detailing. Best of all, it can be applied on wet stainless steel so it’s a superb resource when used during a yacht washdown.

6. Flitz Polish
I have never worked on a yacht that didn’t have this product on board. It’s great for the removal of surface rust, oxidation, corrosion and tarnish. It’s also easier to remove than other polishes like 3M’s Chrome and Metal Polish, which can save you a lot of time when carrying out major stainless steel maintenance jobs.

5. Teak Minus Part 1 and Part 2
This is the best two-part deck cleaner I’ve used. It’s seemingly better than another product called Teak Wonder, as after a hard day of scrubbing your butt off, the finish you get is just that little bit better. The proof after all is in the pudding, or on deck.

4. Semco Teak Sealer
Teak maintenance can be a laborious and tiring task at the best of times and it’s not uncommon for deckhands to two-part their decks three or four times during a season. Semco Teak Sealer is superb at protecting your teak and lasts throughout the season. After applying two coats to the deck, you can forget about your doodlebugs for at least three months. It also repels water without making the decks slippery and keeps the teak’s golden color for months at a time—like it’s straight out of a new build magazine.

3. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Whoever invented this product is an absolute legend. I don’t know how it works or why it works but it’s truly remarkable. It can be used on fenders, tenders, vinyl, fiberglass and pretty much any surface you can think of. Just add water and consider that dirt and grime history.

2. Amazing Roll-Off Cleaner
Does what it says on the tin – you spray and it rolls off. Great for removing grease and oil marks from the waterline and for any other scum-destroying task you may be carrying out. It is also biodegradable and environmentally safe.

And the Number 1 indispensable product for deckhands is...

1. Chamois
Perhaps a little unsurprising, this one, but it deserves its spot on the list for one simple reason: It’s the product you use the most!