Your boat spends the entire boating season in the water, so you might think it wouldn’t get that dirty. However, even freshwater lakes and rivers have plenty of algae, silt and grime in them that can accumulate on the sides of your boat and harden over time. Saltwater lakes and oceans will obviously leave plenty of salt behind when you pull your boat out of the water, and that can be corrosive if allowed to sit too long.
All of this is why it’s important to clean your boat regularly, at least once a season, so that it looks good and performs well. You’ll help to preserve its finish by preventing build-up and corrosion. Your local boat dealer is Bretz RV & Marine in Missoula, MT, and we’ve outlined the step-by-step process of cleaning your boat below to get you started.
Gather Up Your Supplies
Before you begin, it’s helpful to get everything you’ll need in one place. This means all the brushes you’ll want to use, sponges, a bucket, chamois cloths, a mop, polish or wax and marine soap. Don’t use highly concentrated cleaners that might wreck your gel coat or finish. The gentler the cleaner you can use, the better.
Prepare Your Boat
Next, you should take some time to clean out your boat thoroughly. Remove all fishing and watersports equipment, personal possessions, food or drinks, towels and trash from your boat. Sort your belongings and figure out what you’ll want to put back on your boat when it’s done, versus what can go back in your house or in the trash.
This is a great time to check on all your safety and emergency supplies and restock as necessary. Check expiration dates on first aid items and fire extinguishers, make sure your life jackets are in good condition and that you have everything you might need if something goes awry on the water.
Rinse It Down
It’s good practice to get in the habit of rinsing off your boat with fresh water after every trip, particularly if you’re regularly boating in saltwater. Make sure before you do that your boat is on gravel or asphalt that has good drainage and not your lawn, as the salt will kill the grass.
Cleaning The Hull
Get your marine boat wash and soft-bristle brush ready to tackle the grime on your hull. You should clean the hull in small sections so that you can thoroughly rinse away soap before it leaves a residue. Start at the top and work down to the keel. A very good cleaning means that your boat will be better protected by wax. If you don’t want to air dry your boat, you can use a squeegee or chamois cloth to sop up water.
Finally, you’ll want to wax your boat at least twice a season — ideally at the start and the end of the season — to keep it protected both in the water and in storage. Use a wax made for boats that’s of a high enough quality to provide adequate protection from algae, salt, barnacles and any other build-up that will accrue during the season. You can step back once you’re done to admire the fruits of your hard labor!
The process of cleaning your boat takes some time, but it’s well worth the trouble to have a gleaming hull free of damage when you’re finished. Want to trade in your current model? Drop into our Missoula dealership today to see our selection of new and used boats for sale. Bretz RV & Marine proudly serves the cities of Kalispell and Helena, Montana.