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​How to Clean a Sailboat

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A sailboat might not need an engine like most boats, but like any boat, it needs a good cleaning every so often if it’s going to look its best. Too many boat owners put off cleaning their sailboat because they think it will be a long, labor-intensive process. But if you gather the right materials and follow the right steps, cleaning your sailboat shouldn’t be more complicated than cleaning anything else. To help you get started, here’s a simple guide on how to clean a sailboat.

Clear Out the Interior First

Cleaning the outside of your sailboat is going to be a lot easier if you don’t have to worry about items cluttering up the interior. Take a large garbage bag and clear out any old or dirty items you won’t need. Treat it like cleaning a room at home: vacuum the carpet, dust surfaces, wash away debris, and get rid of any old garbage that doesn’t need to be there.

Boat Cleaner is great here: you can mix it with some water for cleaning wood and fiberglass surfaces. As a general cleaner, it will give you plenty of versatility in handling the boat interior first, helping you to make quick work of the first step.

Mopping (or “Swabbing”) the Sailboat Deck

Sailboats generally have prominent decks—and their prominence means they need to get cleaned as well. You’ll want to know the type of material you’re working with here, as it will help determine your cleaning strategy. As a rule, it’s good to have a mop with some soapy water, using Boat Cleaner once again.

You should use this mop as much as possible while you’re cleaning—that way, you won’t have to return to it later. That’s where a powerful general boat cleaner comes in handy, helping clean multiple surfaces from wood to metal.

Cleaning the Hull of Your Sailboat

The real trick to cleaning a sailboat? Cleaning the hull. There are expensive ways to do this, such as having a professional handle it for you. Other sailboat owners take it on themselves, using a process called “free diving” to scrape off any growths and clean out the hull while it’s still in the water.

If you’re going to do this, you need to take several safety precautions. The first is to ensure that the boat is securely tied to a dock and that the engine, if any, is locked. Most sailboat owners will recommend that you use a plastic scraper for cleaning off the boat, as it’s less likely to damage the paint and the hull itself. A stiff brush for cleaning out debris on the hull is also vital, since it works equally well under water.

If the process of using a snorkel to dive and clean your hull is too much, you might consider hiring a diver to handle it for you. This is more expensive, but they’ll make quicker work of the boat and will have experience in dealing with sailboats like yours.

Stock Up On Quality Boat Cleaning Products

When learning how to clean a sailboat, one of the best ways to get started is to ensure you have the products that will make your life easy. To make efficient work of all of your boat cleaning chores, browse our site and find the boat cleaning products that are right for you. The sooner your sailboat is fresh and clean, the sooner you can get back on the water to enjoy it.



Life Industries Corporation
4060 Bridge View Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29405
United States of America

toll free: (800) 382-9706
local: (843) 566-1225
fax: (843) 566-1275
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