When the leaves start to change colors and a faint crispness lingers in the air, you know that fall is just around the corner. Prepare your boat with these handy fall care and maintenance ideas in advance of winterization. You’ll be one step ahead on your to-do list!
Fall Care and Maintenance
With all the fun in the sun boating you did this season, thinking of winterization is probably not top of mind. There are steps that you can take in the fall before the weather starts to turn that will prepare you for the colder months ahead. Here are a few tips for fall boat maintenance to get you started.
Remove all personal effects from your boat
Be sure to remove all items that will not be stored in your boat through the winter, including any towels, blankets, life preservers, anchors, ores, fire extinguishers, radios, and other electronics. Clean each item individually and prepare it for winter storage.
Vacuum and clean the interior
Once you have removed all the personal effects, then you can begin to thoroughly clean the interior. Take a damp cloth and lightly wipe down all of the vinyl seating and any fixtures. Use a product specifically designed to clean vinyl, such as BoatLIFE’s VinyLIFE boat vinyl cleaner for a deeper clean. Be sure to allow the area to air dry after wiping. Then, vacuum the carpet all over ensuring that no crumbs or debris remain.
Prevent mildew from forming
Try these tips for preventing mildew during the off-season. Also be sure to use our Mildew Remover. The acid-free and chlorine-free formula of our boat mildew remover is safe to use on fabrics, including vinyl and carpet. For the removal of mildew stains, try our Bilge Cleaner water-based degreaser that works on carpets, upholstery, and fabrics as well.
Clean the exterior and wax
Once you’ve pulled your boat out of the water for good, give it a solid cleaning with a high-quality boat cleaner. Our Boat Cleaner is a great all-purpose cleaner and does the job for most common dirt and grime. If you need a stronger cleaner, use our Fiberglass Powder Cleaner & Stain Remover. For teak cleaning, use our Teak Care system, starting with Teak Brite® Powder Cleaner. Now that your hull is clean, it is time for waxing. Many boat waxes and polishes exist, but it’s best to start by polishing your clean gel coat surface with PolyShine® Premium Boat Polish. Then you can begin the tedious job of waxing. Use a wax that has UV protection, like our LifeWax, a pure Carnauba wax with UV protectants built in. Paired with PolyShine, the application will last for up to three years.
Schedule a service appointment in advance
Be sure to schedule a service appointment early to ensure that you’ll get in before the weather starts to change. Prepare your boat for this maintenance session by first following the steps above. Expect the mechanics to work on the engine and do a thorough overhaul of your boat.
We hope these fall boat maintenance tips come in handy and get you a leg up on winterization! For more care and maintenance tips, check out our blog on our website. Got an RV? Check out our product line for our sister brand, RVbyLIFE as well! Happy cleaning!