A boat is a huge investment, and it takes extra care to extend its lifespan and keep it looking shiny and new. When getting your boat ready for warm weather use, it's important to ... read more clean it inside and out, even beyond what meets the eye. To help you through the process, the following are some nitty-gritty tips to ensure your boat is in tip-top shape throughout the summer:
Supply Check List Preserve the exterior of your boat by cleaning and protecting its every surface susceptible to damage from the sun and everyday use, by using not only the best products but tools that will help protect it's every nook and cranny.
Tools for Cleaning Your Boat
Before you start, assemble a kit that includes an assortment of cleaning materials, including wet and dry cloths, a scrub brush (not too rough) for stubborn dirt and build up, a bucket or two for cleaning solution and water, a mop and sponges. You may also want to add a couple items for your comfort, such as a kneeling pad and even a small stool to reach higher areas.
Cleaners and Treatments for Boat Surfaces
The various materials that make up your boat require different cleaning and treatment agents. Before you start scrubbing away, make sure you have proper supplies on hand, and since boat surfaces vary, the following is an assortment to consider:
- Exterior Cleaners: The exterior of your boat can be cleaned with a variety of all-purpose and special purpose cleaners. Be sure to use a cleaner appropriate for the surface being cleaned. Following, apply a UV protectant like 303 Aerospace Protectant to fiberglass, plexiglass or rubber boats and wipe completely dry to maintain and restore a like-new appearance.
- Surface and Carpet Cleaners and Treatments: In addition to basic soap and water, make sure you have a specialty cleaner like 303 Fabric & Vinyl Cleaner to remove dirt or build up on boat upholstery and vinyl elements. Should you encounter any stubborn spots or stains, try a cleaner that targets the specific issue, such as 303 Cleaner & Spot Remover. To help retain a fabric's water and stain repellency, use a product like 303 High Tech Fabric Guard to make future spills much easier to clean.
- Rubber Cleaners and Treatments: Cleaning and treating rubber materials on your boat or trailer is often over looked, but it is an important part of boat care. Make sure to clean off tires, hoses and seals that could crack if not treated properly. Use a protectant like 303 Aerospace Protectant to keep the rubber material in good shape.
- Boat Top Cleaners: Hard tops, vinyl seating and vinyl engine covers can be cleaned with a mild soap solution or 303 Fabric and Vinly Cleaner, followed by application of a UV protectant to shield it from the sun. If you have a soft top, you need to be extra cautious, as it's even more susceptible to staining and UV damage, which can lead to rotting and tearing, along the seams. Clean the soft canvas top frequently with a mild, non-detergent soap, rinse thoroughly and apply a water-repellant formula like 303 Fabric Guard. Seams can be preserved with a UV Protectant like 303 Aerospace Protectant.