About 98% of boats feature custom graphics of some kind.
That means that knowing how to maintain your graphics, keep them clean, and
protect them for the long haul isn’t only a good idea but is essential for
keeping as much of your investment as possible. Proper maintenance will keep
your boat looking fresh and will also ensure that the cost of your custom
graphics was not spent in vain.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that we’ve already
written a few recommendations for maintaining your
graphics in specific situations. But let’s assume you’re a beginner to the
world of boating and simply want to know how to keep your graphics fresh,
bright, and undamaged through regular use.
The steps are simple:
Step 1: Regular
cleaning– It’s not the most fun step, of course, but it’s
essential because it paves the way for the other steps to have the highest
possible impact. And since you should already be establishing a good habit of
washing your boat and keeping it in pristine condition, it’s not exactly a bad
way to start off your relationship with your boat and your new graphics.
So, what does regular cleaning entail? Generally, it
refers to using fresh water to clean off your hull on a regular basis,
supplementing your efforts with a boat-specific soap solution that is
biodegradable so it does not harm the environment. This will prevent salt
damage to the graphics, which has the tendency to fade even the highest-quality
custom graphics over time.
Step Two: Regular
waxing with a proper wax- Anyone who’s ever cared closely for
a car knows how important regular waxing can be to “seal” an effective cleaning
and protect the car for the future. It’s the same with boats. Custom graphics,
however, throw a new wrench into the mix: they require a little extra “oomf” to
ensure that issues like sun damage and exposure aren’t getting through.
That’s why we’ve created GraphixWax. Graphix Wax is a UV protectant wax that helps protect
your graphics from sun damage, thus resisting the usual wear and tear that
repeated sun exposure has on your boat. And if you don’t think the sun can do
any damage, ask yourself how you feel on a bright afternoon after a few hours
without wearing any sunblock.
Is there a “trick” to protecting your custom graphics? It
depends on your definition of trick. If following through on steps one and two
on a regular basis doesn’t sound very tricky, then no. But consistency is
really the key here. Not only will consistent washing and waxing keep your
graphics protected from salt and sun damage, but they’re vital to the overall
health of your hull.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure. If you need more specific cures, check out our How to Protect Your Boat Graphics”
post for diagnosing and treating more specific issues.