There’s nothing like a good cleaning to make your boat look like new again. So, why don’t you give your boat a much deserved scrubbing and polishing after keeping it under wraps during the long winter months? You should also give your boat a good cleaning from time to time to preserve its good looks.
If you think that this entails a lot of work, then you are clearly mistaken. You can keep your boat looking great without doing a lot of hard work. How do you do this? Here are some boat cleaning tips that can help you maintain your boat’s appearance despite the harsh marine environment.
Give it a good rinse. Rinse the boat with plenty of water to remove any loose debris or grime from the surface. Start rinsing at the highest point and work your way down to the bottom.
Use the right cleaning products. While household detergents can effectively remove stubborn dirt, they can also leave unsightly streaks, strip the wax layers, and ruin the gelcoat if allowed to dry. For best results, use a specially formulated boat soap to remove salt, dirt and grime off your deck and everything around it. Work on a small area at a time and completely rinse off the soap before moving on to the next spot. Use a long handle scrub brush with medium-soft bristles to clean hard to reach areas, and always keep a bucket, a mop, several washing pads, sponges, chamois cloth and towels handy.
Always dry your surfaces. You should always dry your boat with a PVA cloth or squeegee to make your boat look cleaner and ensure a spot-free and streak-free finish. This is very important since there is always a possibility that the water you used for rinsing contains a mixture of chlorine, lime and iron that may leave ugly residues on your surfaces.
Buff it out. While your boat will definitely start looking better after removing all the surface dirt, it still needs a little more TLC to get its shine back so give it a good buffing. This step also prepares the exterior surface for the waxing stage.
Take time to wax. Applying wax on your boat’s surface can bring back the shine and help protect it against damaging UV rays, acid rain, salt water, environmental pollutants, and bird droppings. To achieve that attractive glossy finish, use an applicator pad and work on small areas at a time (preferably within an arm’s length) using a small circular motion. Remove the haze with a clean micro fiber cloth and use a good quality sealer to achieve a mirror smooth protective finish. For best results, apply wax at least once or twice during the season.
Clean the interiors. Don’t forget to clean the interiors as well. Use a specially formulated multi-surface cleaner to remove stubborn stains and marks without damaging the surfaces, and apply polish to all painted and varnished finishes to give it a glossy, easy-to-clean protective layer.
Now that you have restored your boat to its former glory, don’t forget to use a good quality boat cover to protect it against the damaging effects of the sun and acid rain, keep it free from dirt and debris, and ensure a longer boat life. A boat cover can protect your boat in more ways than one so do yourself and your boat a favor by getting one.