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Boat Hull Cleaning and Waxing Tips

When it comes to your boat, you have no problem finding excuses to get out on the water and escape from the stress of daily life on land: you get out as often as possible. But even adventurous possessions like boats aren’t all fun and games: they require good, consistent care if they’re going to keep providing you with the fun weekend sojourns you so enjoy.

But how often will you need to work on your boat to keep it clean, fresh, and well maintained? If you do everything right, the answers might surprise you.

Waxing Your Boat

Keeping your boat freshly waxed isn’t just about keeping it looking clean. It’s about protecting your graphics, sealing out scum and mildew, and keeping your hull’s finish fresh. So it only makes sense that you should wax your boat as often as possible, right?

Not necessarily. In fact, if you keep your boat well protected, then waxing it over and over again can simply become redundant.

How often you wax your boat will likely depend on a few variables. For example, you may only need to wax your boat once a year if you keep it above water or in the garage. If you keep your boat in the water year-round, though, you may want to think about waxing your boat every three or four months, amounting to about three times per year. Exposure to the sun is another variable too—and keeping your boat freshly waxed with the proper wax can protect from UV rays.

Washing Your Boat

Every boat isn’t just one uniform object—it’s a collection of objects, materials, and systems. Your live well and bait well are different than your hull, for example. But when it comes to washing your boat hull, most people recommend washing it as often as you can, especially if the boat is held in water.

It’s not necessary to wash your hull this often, of course, but you’ll get the best results if you do. What’s important is that if you keep your boat in the water, you should have it lifted out every so often so that you can wash it down with environmental-friendly washing material and fresh, clean water. This will help reduce the damage caused by salt and scum, depending on where you keep your boat most of the time.

Some people recommend washing your boat every time you bring it out of the water. If you house your boat in a garage, this can become a little tedious. Every boat owner is different, however, so if you enjoy washing and cleaning—go ahead and enjoy!

Clean as You Go

When it comes to your live well, your bait well, and other parts of your boat, how frequently you clean and maintain each part will depend on its usage. Some people who boat frequently will have to go through quite a bit of cleaning material, while others can get away with cleaning only so often. Try to “clean as you go” when it comes to materials like carpets and
upholstery, and use an effective bilge cleaner when you do decide the interior of the boat is due for a clean.

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