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Salt Free Oliver


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Wintering up down on the Gulf of Mexico and wondering about the possible effects of salt air on your aluminum framed Oliver? Not a problem!

Back in the winter months of 2009/2010, Betty and I spent eleven weeks down on the Padre Island National seashore. Our senior pass, read that as “geezer pass”, got us into the park for free and the associated half off senior discount let us stay right on the beach in the paved but primitive campground for $4. per day! The stay limit was fourteen days, so we left for two days, giving us a chance to do laundry, restock groceries and so forth. Then move right back to the beach.

The campground we stayed in was just up the beach and was ran by the County, located right by the Bob Hall fishing pier, and again, was right on the beach.

The Jeep that we towed our Oliver, hull #3, was driven on the beach for many miles almost daily and our Ollie was exposed to the salt air environment constantly. Our salt abatement strategy was to drive the Jeep and the Oliver through one of the local salt free car baths upon arrival and when departing the area. These are easy to locate and are operated by coin or credit card.

At first when you enter the car wash you can feel the powerful surge of the high volume of the rinse. And that high volume rinse is a good thing, for it removes little pockets of very fine salt laden sand that will be in every niche.

Because our winter stay was longer than our plan, we actually rinsed at a car wash three times. I am not convinced that three times was necessary.

Most of the salt away car washes are plainly marked and simple to use. We probably did over worry the issue, since we rinsed in clear water then followed up with a separate rinse that included the salt away solution in the rinse. Here is a look at one such car wash, as you can see the undercarriage gets a high volume of water.

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