ArticleBoatingService Repair

Deck Brushes

Have you ever wondered what goes into producing the tackle, gear and accessories we use today? Anglers and boaters often take for granted the tremendous effort it requires to engineer, design and manufacturer the countless components that combine to enhance our on-the-water experiences. You name it, and somewhere in Florida a team of skilled craftsmen are dedicated to producing the finest equipment for our use. We wanted to learn more about these professionals and about the products they specialize in, and we’re confident that you, too, will be fascinated with what we discover in our ongoing investigation.


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Photo: Steve Dougherty

It’s an undeniable fact that the fishing and boating lifestyle can’t be beat. Spend a day on the water under ideal conditions and you’ll be hooked for life. While enjoyable it is, operating in the harsh saltwater environment can take a toll on your vessel’s shiny luster and appealing attributes. If you think a day on the water ends when you attach your spring, stern and bow lines, then you are sadly mistaken. Keeping the vessel from which we ply our craft neat and clean is an essential aspect of boat ownership, and an extremely important part in our overall angling success.

This top-of-the-line deck brush is available in four different textures for various cleaning attributes on numerous surfaces.

Shurhold Industries, located in Palm City, FL, has been helping boaters streamline the cleaning process since 1973. Manufacturers of high quality specialty care and accessory products for use in the harsh marine environment, they’ve taken the industry by storm. While their expansive line of waxes, washes and polishers can be found in use around the nation, it’s their innovative SHUR-LOCK system that’s delighted outdoorsmen for years.

With innovative designs, high-quality craftsmanship, dedicated employees, and streamlined manufacturing and inventory techniques, we were privileged to get a behind the scenes look at the industry’s leading authority. Shurhold’s premium deck brushes are available in 10-inch and 6-inch variations. For this edition of Made In Florida we witnessed the 6-inch model come to fruition from start to finish. This top-of-the-line deck brush is available in four different textures for various cleaning attributes on numerous surfaces. The stiffest brush is manufactured with white polypropylene bristles, which is ideal for cleaning teak, below the water line, and other tough surfaces. The medium brush features yellow polystyrene bristles for textured and non-skid surfaces. A soft brush head—which we saw manufactured—also utilizes yellow polystyrene bristles, although it features split-end fibers that are safe for use on gelcoat, clear coat, fiberglass, and painted surfaces. An extra soft brush utilizes blue nylon bristles and is ideal for delicate surfaces like isinglass and Plexiglass.

No matter what brush is being manufactured premium hardwoods are selected, with the timber sporting a density similar to maple or beach wood. The entire process is extremely streamlined and no time, extra effort, or material is wasted. A worker starts by stacking both wooden brush heads and the selected filament fiber cassettes for the desired finished product into their dedicated auto loaders (Images 1 & 2). Shurhold’s top-of-the-line deck brushes are staple set brushes, which means the selected filaments are held in place by a staple. Utilizing nickel silver, which is a generic name for any alloy that has a silver tone and a somewhat shiny appearance, this advanced alloy is commonly composed of copper and nickel and is selected for its corrosion resistant properties (Image 3). This state-of-the-art manufacturing technique starts with a spool of straight wire and is formed into a teardrop U configuration and stapled to the bottom of the hole, with the staple penetrating below the pre-drilled hole. A driver pushes a staple through the holes and a machine picker closes the staple while compressing the fibers. The machine simultaneously punches holes for the filament on brush #1, while inserting the filament on brush #2 (Image 4). Depending on the particular brush model, it takes between 45-seconds to 75-seconds to complete a brush, with approximately 28,000 individual filaments used in every deck brush.

Once punched and stapled, the heads are taken to the trimming and flagging station. Here the brushes are run through a series of trimming blades (Image 5). With one pass over the trimming blades the fibers are cut to exacting specifications. The next set of blades spin in counter-rotating directions on a hooked shaped disc. This process is called flagging and allows the brush to soak up more soap and water. Because of the unique angle and flare of Shurhold’s premium deck brushes it enables users to target a greater surface area with considerably less elbow grease. In addition, the filaments face different directions and enable the brush to pick up more dirt. Shurhold’s trimming and flagging process creates a unique blossoming of fibers, which affords greater contact on a large surface area. Next, the heads are taken to another station for final installation. A soft rubber bumper is installed around the edges to protect from incidental damage (Image 6). A skilled craftsman then installs the aluminum adapter, stainless steel screw and stainless steel locking pin (Image 7). Once the brush has been inspected for quality care, it is packaged for distribution (Image 8).

The next step in the company’s Clean-N-Simple equation is the SHUR-LOCK handles. Handles are made of triple anodized heat-treated aluminum. Aluminum is selected for its inherent weight and corrosion resistant attributes. Once the handles have been cut to size, the ends are beveled with a drill press outfitted with custom bits to create a super smooth bullnose finish (Image 9). To create a product of unrivaled quality and craftsmanship, every edge is beveled—even the edges that will be hidden within the handle. From here the handles are taken to a punch press (Image 10). The aluminum rods are inserted into a machine and a pattern of holes are drilled. This step will vary greatly if a fixed length or telescoping handle is desired. Each hole from the punch press must then be beveled and de-burred to make sure the finish is smooth. The inner and outer sections are mated together and a locking spring pin and guide system is put in place (Images 11 & 12). All that’s left is to apply the labeling and install the grips (Image 13).

The handles are now ready for packaging and shipping (Image 14). One thing that stood out was the efficiency and organization within the entire Shurhold warehouse. Workers are outfitted with Motorola hand-held terminals, which enable them to capture a comprehensive range of data including but not limited to live inventory control. This simple device translates into efficient and cost-effective mobility architecture.

Shurhold’s SHUR-LOCK system works with over 40 different product attachments including boat hooks, mops, gaffs, squeegees, fishing nets, and of course, deck brushes. With Shurhold it’s Clean-N-Simple, as one handle does, in fact, do it all. Keeping your boat looking clean and new won’t be a chore if you’ve got Shurhold on your side. This ingenious system will, no doubt, save you time, money, and valuable storage space. Check out their entire line of innovative boat care and accessory products at your local boating accessory retailer.