Preserving the life and cosmetic appeal of your boat is much easier than you may think! When developing a successful boat cleaning routine, you want to remember that it is best to implement a system that is both simple and safe for your boat.
While putting off cleaning for too long can be harmful to your vessel as dirt and grime will quickly collect, you also don't need to put in long hours of tough elbow grease in order to retain your boat's greatest features, luster and shine.
Here are some Quick Cleaning Tips and Techniques to help you enjoy more time on the water and less time cleaning at the dock!
Technique is Key
It is always best to begin cleaning at the highest point of your boat and work your way to the floor; this also means starting from the tip of the bow to the stern when cleaning your hull. Be mindful of the weather conditions as you clean -- A strong wind can make your job less-efficient if you are cleaning at the same direction as the wind. Consider cleaning upwind so that you do not need to re-do areas that have already been cleaned. It is also best to begin this process very early or late in the day so the sun does not dry out your supplies before you complete this project.
Using the Right Tools & Supplies
Being that each boat is constructed a little differently, you will want to choose tools and cleaning supplies that compliment your boat's overall structure materials.
Selecting the correct cleaning brush means less work for you, prevents damage to your boat and has the ability to withstand frequent use. In most cases, a medium soft-bristle brush should be sufficient as long as it is also durable against sun exposure and various soaping agents. Keep an eye out as you clean that the brush material isn't too harsh for the surface you are contacting. In some cases, you may not be able to view scratches or punctures until the area is fully dry. Take your fingers over the zone as you clean to ensure there is no damage from the brush. Having an adjustable, telescopic handlewith your brush is a very effective attribute. This will allow you to lock your handle quickly into place and adjust the length depending on the area you are cleaning.
Other tools to add to your cleaning collection would be: a utility bucket, squeegee, mop, and a synthetic leather or chamois cloth. Check out the complete boat cleaning kits on iboats.com that provide everything you need for the job! .
Boat Cleaners and Application
Although there are many boat wash products on the market today that will take that boat sparkle to the next level, you want to be sure these products are both environmentally safe and biodegradable. .
When applying soap to your boat hull, it is best to do one section at a time. This will prevent the agents from drying out and damaging your fiberglass or gel coat before you have the chance to scrub and rinse off the area.
To help avoid the grime and grease build-up that can easily accumulate on and around your engine, use a protectant cleaner such as Engine Cleaner with a soft cleaning cloth that will provide a quick and easy way to rid the the engine or grease and grime.
Create a Cleaning Schedule Make a quick checklist of items/areas of your boat that need to be cleaned after each use and be diligent about making this happen. Here are some important areas to include: Vinyl Upholstery, Teak, Windows, Carpet (Vacuuming), and Deck Floor.
While not all areas of your boat require as strict a schedule, here are a few to add to your Annual Checklist: Carpet Cleaning, Chrome/Stainless Steel polishing, and Engine Degreasing and Winterization.