You know the old phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a
pound of cure?” Whoever first came up with the idiom was probably a boat owner.
In other words, regularly cleaning and maintaining your boat
is as important—if not more important—than doing a major cleaning and
maintenance all at once. If you take proper care of your boat and stick to a
regular cleaning schedule, you’ll be able to avoid many of the pitfalls that
plague the less proactive boat owners.
What’s more, you’ll make life a heck of a lot easier on
But knowing how to maintain your boat requires the right
knowledge—and just a few good tips:
Tip #1: Get your boat
out of the water. Whether battling river scum, salt water, or plain old lake water, you have to face the fact that
your boat isn’t always going to react perfectly to its environment. Yes, it was
designed to go in the water—but if you want to keep your boat looking brand
new, you have to take steps to maintain the fresh sheen of your hull.
Many people have rigs that allow them to either lift their
boat out of the water routinely or keep it out of the water on a regular basis,
so this isn’t always a problem for them. But if your own dock doesn’t work that
way, you’ll need to habitually give your boat a freshwater cleaning and wipe
the scum away while it’s still wet and easy to manipulate.
Tip #2: Spot-remove
mildew when you see it. Rather than waiting until entire colonies of mildew
become so prominent that they require a life jacket, try to spot-remove any
mildew-inflicted areas as soon as you spot them. This will help ensure that
your boat is never overrun thanks to procrastination on your part. The more
your procrastinate, the worse the problem gets, and the worst the problem gets,
the more tempting it is to procrastinate. Break the cycle. We have a spray bottle for mildew
that will work perfectly for spot removal.
Tip #3: Remove stains
once they happen. In the same spirit as the above tip, it’s important to
remember that any stain on your boat should be treated immediately if you want
as much cleaning power as possible. It helps to have certain tools on hand for
this, such as a fiberglass
powder cleaner and stain remover. In order to remove stains at a moment’s
notice, take a tally of the different materials present on your boat—the hull,
any aluminum, any fiberglass, etc.—and make sure you have a cleaner that’s
ready to tackle the material that’s been stained.
This is perhaps the most effective way to ensure your boat
maintains that “newly-launched” look. Make a habit of it and your boat will
Tip #4: Use
environment-safe cleaning products. It’s not just because of the local
ordinances and state regulations—everyone
wants to contribute to a healthy environment. If you’re going to embrace the
“ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” maxim, then that means avoiding
any fines or problems you could run into if you’re seen cleaning a boat with
improper cleaning equipment. Many simple, environmentally-safe products are
available that clean safely and effectively—there’s no need to damage local