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Where There’s Fire There’s Smoke

It’s been ugly on the docks. We realize many people live far from their Bay Area boat and may not have been able to get to it since the fires have calmed down and the smoke has started clearing out. If, for whatever reason, you haven’t been able to get to your boat, we’d like to remind you that the smoke that’s been in the air and settled onto everything in Northern California has also settled on your boat. We’ve been able to get to our boat a couple of times to wash it down, and it’s been a mess. Check it out:

We’ve talked to dock neighbors who have scrubbed hard and not been able to get the soot completely off their boat. Boat cleaners who have been busy washing and polishing their clients’ boats tell us the smoke has stained some (though not all) decks.

There’s a lot of nasty stuff in that smoky air, and it’s advised that you don’t let it sit for long. We’re fortunate to live reasonably close to our boat, so we can regularly give it a scrub. If you haven’t been able to get to yours yet, you could connect to some Bay Area marine detailers to help you out.

Our boat cleaned up OK, but others haven’t been so lucky. How about you? What have you found in trying to clean and protect your boat from the hazardous Northern California air this summer? Email us here.


  1. Catherine Callahan 3 years ago

    If you have removed the soot early lucky you. If not it will leave a yellow stain on your fiberglass. Also will eat your strata glass and cause future expenses. get the boat washed ASAPP.

  2. Skip Dubrin 3 years ago

    Bar Keepers Friend Spray And Foam Cleaner worked great on cleaning off the yellow smoke stain from my non- skid fiberglass cabin top. It works very quickly. You dont have to scrub it. Just let it sit for a couple of minutes and rinse off. It has oxalic and citric acid in it but not super strong like Mary Kate On Off. You can get it at Home Depot.

  3. John Arndt 3 years ago

    Don Strong, who sails his Catalina 38, ‘Discreet Charm’ out of Emeryville, wrote in to say, “I tried several products: Dove, Marine boat soap, etc. Simple Green sprayed on then scrubbed with a brush worked well on my 40 year old gel coat.”

  4. John Arndt 3 years ago

    Michael Coleman, of Ocean Edge Yacht Detailing in Monterey, wrote in to say, “Hi you guys. After you get that spot off, there might be orange/yellow stains left behind. The only solution is FSR. I’ve tried everything. “

    • Steve Berl 3 years ago


  5. Greg Frame 3 years ago

    Confirmed on the FSR. My transom was a deep yellow even after scrubbing. Some slightly diluted FSR brightened it up.

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