Here is a product that has saved me a couple of times. The first incident was when I was running a racing sailboat for a friend of Jimmy Buffet’s. We were in a series of races off of Fort Lauderdale, and I really wanted to make a good impression. The owner said he wouldn’t be on board for the next two races, so I figured I could relax a little bit that night.
There was a boat party aboard ”Ondean” with fancy drinks called rusty nails which were flowing like water. I got stuck in a corner talking to some of the crew and the only hors d’oeurves I could reach were the Doritos and bean dip. I hadn’t had any supper, so what with telling stories and drinking and eating that dip – the next thing I knew I was blitzed. I barely made it back to the boat.
The next day I woke up late with the worst hangover I ever had. On top of that the owner had changed his mind and was back on board for the next two races.
It was blowing 30 knots. Wouldn’t you know that’s just the weather this boat was made for? We had a chance to take an easy first or second in the race. Going around the third mark I had to go for-ward and help my crew with the heavy spinnaker and man, did I feel sick. If I threw up then, the sight of his captain getting seasick wouldn’t have made a good impression on the owner. So, I let it go in a full sailbag on deck. In all the confusion, nobody even noticed. We took a second in the race, and with all the excitement when we got back to the dock I forgot to take the sail out of the bag and wash it off.
The next race we set the big starcut chute and it had a brown stain on it which looked like a Rorschach print. The owner said there must be something rusty in that sail locker staining our sails. “Yeah, a rusty nail,” says I under my breath. I told him I would take care of it as soon as we got back. The next day I took a spray bottle of Magica, put it on the sail and it cleaned it perfectly. (We went on to take first in class and fourth overall.)
The next time Magica came to my rescue was when I bought a little 24-foot wooden sloop, a real classic, for only $2,000. I figured I could clean her up and turn her around for an easy $5,000, but I hadn’t checked the sails closely enough. They were in good shape, but they had terrible rust stains on them. I used Magica again and the stains came out like a dream. I also soaked the sails for about four hours then spread them out on the lawn to dry. They appeared to be good as new.
I later found out that I knew the holder of the patent of the Magica formula, Captain Russ Williams of Fox River Marina, Oshkosh. He acquired it from a Danish man the captain and his wife met and befriended back in the 70s. Captain Williams’ son-in-law, Bob Everhard, has refined the product into different sized tubes, bottles, and sprayers. It has no harsh chemicals, yet it will clean stainless steel, fiberglass, plastic, and it even got a stain off one of my wife’s best blouses. Call them up and order some of this stuff. I guarantee there is a spot somewhere on your boat right this minute on which you can use it.
Frank Papy is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain and author of The Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys