Preparing For Some Sun

When Bandit was built in 1991, the original owner had paid for Sealine to make two cushions that fastened to the deck of the boat. The cushion covers are made from exactly the same grey material and red piping as was used for the cockpit upholstery. These sun pads simply fasten to the deck of the boat using poppers and are shaped to leave a cutout for the hatch at the bow of the boat so light can still shine through it onto the saloon. Another feature included with this optional extra were two additional stainless steel grab handles mounted to the deck so you can hold on while laying there doing 30+ knots at sea.
Bandit's previous 'for sale' photos with the sun pads
During the summer, we'd love to have these when we go on a long distance cruise so we can use them to sit in the sun when moored up. We used to spend a lot of time sat on the deck of our previous boat so it's nice to think we've got something comfier to sit on. The problem is that over the last three years or so, previous owners had left these sun pads fastened to the deck of Bandit 24/7. As you can imagine, we removed them the same day we took ownership of Bandit and took them home to store them. The non-slip texture underneath them was yellow where the sun had not been on it so that took some cleaning. Another issue is where these sun pads had been sat there through rain, wind, snow and the lot, the vinyl upholstery needed a huge clean to remove the dirt, mould and stains that have accumulated over the last few years.

Yesterday, I got the two pads down from the garage roof and took everything apart. Amazingly, the foam was still wet after six months of being in the garage, away from any rain. I took the two bits of foam out and hung them in the garden to dry and air in the sun. Next, it was time to clean the vinyl. This would not be easy. The loose muck came off but the stains and pink ink (no, I don't know either) would simply not come out. When we head to the boat tomorrow, I'll bring back some rubbing alcohol and see if I can remove it with that. Another issue is the zips were corroded closed where they've been exposed to salt water so we need to replace the zips too. UPDATE: I managed to find two zips on something laying around the house. A couple of years ago, we went first class on a flight and got a couple of fabric cases containing things such as a blindfold ect... On those cases were two little zips which I cut off and they fit perfectly on our sun pads!! Success!

The foam was quite dirty so I decided to chuck one in the bath with some hot soapy water. BAD IDEA. The foam literally absorbed a bath's worth of water and then weighed what felt like one tonne.  "Damnit"....... So I made the most of it and cleaned the foam in the bath water and then heaved it out, wrapped it in a town and lugged it down the stairs into the garden. After reading online, it is nearly impossible to remove water from foam without cutting it up so therefore, I had to remove as much water as I could using my hands. The foam is now hanging up in our spare room with our dehumidifier blasting away as fast as it can. It appears like it is slowly drying out the foam which is good. The foam no longer smells of mould but washing up liquid. I'm debating whether to do this with the other one or leave it as this was quite the process.


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