Some boat owners go overboard when it comes to cleaning their boats. They seem to spend more time scrubbing and polishing their vessels than actually cruising or fishing in them. The following pointers will help preserve your boat’s good looks and protect your valuable recreational asset from the unforgiving marine environment.
Choose the Right Cleaning Equipment
Before selecting your cleaning equipment and products, consider the type of boat you have and its composition. This will ensure that you have the right tools and materials in hand for the job. Choose cleaning brushes that are sturdy and will get rid of stubborn dirt, grime and salt, without damaging the finish or gel coat on your boat.
Select a Good, Environmentally-Friendly Soap
For marine use, you’ll want to select a soap that will be tough on dirt, grime, salt and fish blood, yet easy on the environment. Don’t use the same soap you would for cleaning dishes at home. Instead, select an effective, biodegradable cleaning agent with a neutral pH factor. If you use your craft in salt water, it’s especially important to use soap and fresh water to completely remove the corrosive salt build-up that can eat away at your boat.
Get Ready for Some Good Clean Fun
Once you have the right cleaning tools and soap at your fingertips, it’s time to start cleaning. While you’ll still have to supply some “muscle,” using the proper equipment and soap will make giving your boat a bath an easier, quicker process. Before you think about applying any cleaning agents or touching the hull with a scrub brush, make sure you rinse the entire boat off completely.
Soak Things Up
Use soft drying cloths that are highly absorbent and will soak up water without stripping or scratching. Chamois cloths or drying mops made of chamois material are good choices. To avoid “spotting,” be sure to dry off your boat immediately after washing and rinsing.
Wax On, Wax Off
Once you have dried off your boat completely, you may want to apply a quality wax and buff to shine and protect the fiberglass. It’s not really necessary to wax your boat after every use, but this should be done at least once or twice during the season to preserve the luster of the hull and protect against the elements and impurities. Use a quality carnauba wax and apply several coats.
Glass and Perspex Windows
A simple water and vinegar solution works well as a glass cleanser, and it’s easy on the environment. If glass and Perspex is heavily scratched, not much can be done in the way of repairs. The best course of action is to guard against damage in the first place by applying a clear silicon spray or polish to the windows and cleaning them with a soft, non-abrasive cloth.
Making Your Metal Shine
There are many quality cleaners and sealants available for keeping the chrome and stainless steel on your boat protected, shiny and bright. After applying a light film on your brightwork, let sit for about 15 to 30 minutes. Then, wipe off with a clean cloth.
Taking Care of Teak
If you have teak on your boat, regular care will be required to maintain the original rich color and protect the wood. For various reasons, it’s best to varnish your teak. Instead, wash it off with the mild detergent used for the hull, rinse, dry, and apply teak oil.
These are some tips that will help you clean your boat.