Keeping it simple - Boat cleaning
A gleaming boat or yacht is the pride and joy of many a skipper. Caring for and cleaning your boat protects your investment, as well giving you a great sense of satisfaction, and in my experience makes time spent on the water even more enjoyable.
Regularly cleaning your boat from top to bottom will help keep your craft in top shape and if you keep it simple it won’t turn into a chore.
1. GIVE IT A RINSE
Everyone feels better after a shower, your boat is no exception. Scrubbing a dry boat could scratch the finish, so start with a hose or sponge down to remove loose dirt and grime.
SEE ALL DECK BRUSHES & CLEANING TOOLS
2. Wash the hull and deck
Using water, boat wash and a soft sponge give your boat a thorough wash. Make sure you get into all the corners and underneath the seats. Use a non-slip cleaner on the deck. Rinse again, removing all the soapy water. If you have a RIB, use a dedicated RIB cleaner such as Ribshine.
3.Dry your boat
For a nice, streak-free finish and to prepare your boat for waxing, use a soft cloth to dry your boat.
4. Remove any stains
Look for any yellowing around the waterline, and stains caused by exhausts and rust streaks. These respond well to stain removing gels, which remove stains from fibreglass and gelcoat without harming them. They are easy to use and stick well to vertical surfaces. Stainless steel fittings benefit from the same kind of treatment - keeping them free of rust and corrosion stains will lengthen their lifespan. Choose dedicated Stainless Steel products that will also give protection from further attack from the elements.
5. A coat of wax
A coat of wax will keep your boat looking shiny for years to come. Apply wax to the hull of your boat in a circular motion. When it has dried, remove excess wax with a soft cloth.
6. Keep your bilge clean
A little goes a long way - and it doesn't take much bilge cleaner to get rid of the bad smells below. Simply add it to the bilge water - and it removes grease, scum and floating oil with the normal movement of the boat.
7. Clean the canvas
Mold and mildew can quickly form on any boat canvas left unchecked. Wash with a canvas cleaner and lukewarm water, finish with a rinse of clear water. Allow the canvas to air dry completely.
Your canvas or Dacron sails won’t need too much maintenance if you hose them down after using them, and give them time to dry before stowing. When you do need to wash them, in most cases a mild cleaner and water, applied with a soft brush will be enough.
8. Look after your teak
Teak’s natural non-slip surface can be cleaned by scrubbing across the grain with water, with a mild cleanser, and a soft plastic bristle brush. Using a teak oil or sealer maintains the fresh appearance of the teak. There are also treatments for synthetic teak.
9. Clean your outboard engine
Start with a mild cleaner to clean your outboard engine. For tough spots use a degreaser with a soft bristled brush or coarse sponge. Give it all a rinse at the end and dry the engine with a clean cloth. Give vulnerable areas a quick spray with a corrosion guard.
10. Clean your vinyl boat seats
Boat seats are designed for use around water, but they will last longer if you clean them regularly. Again, a thorough wash with a mild cleaner, followed by a clean water rinse, and a soft cloth for drying. Adding a UV protectant will prolong the life of your seats and marine upholstery.