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5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Boat Cleaner

If you are a new boat owner, you’ll learn that even though everyone loves spending a day on the boat, not everyone loves to clean the boat afterwards. However, keeping your prized vessel clean doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you might think. If you take a few extra minutes for preventative care along the way, you’ll save yourself a considerable amount of swabbing and scrubbing time later on.

Of course, you’ll need to keep in mind that the frequency of these tasks will depend on where and how often you use your beloved ship of dreams. If you use your boat in saltwater, you’ll want to be sure to remove any corrosive salt build-up on a regular basis. In addition, you should always check your owner’s manual for any specific cleaning instructions from the manufacturer.

Consider these easy ways to keep your boat cleaner, so you can spend more time fishing or just cruising along on the waves.

  1. Wax Your Hull. If you keep your boat tied up at the dock for more than a few days, it’s a good idea to haul your boat out, then wash and wax the hull before dry storing it or embarking on another voyage. Use a non-toxic, environmentally safe boat cleaner while the boat is still wet and apply it with a sponge or soft scrub brush. After washing and drying the hull, use a non-toxic brand of fiberglass or gel coat wax in order to prevent surface dirt and grime from becoming ingrained. As an added bonus, waxing your hull will reduce the need for detergents or heavy scrubbing when you need to wash it the next time. Just keep the wax away from your boat deck though; you don’t want to use anything on the deck that might make it slippery. 
  1. Use Water Repellent on Your Windshield. Want to stop cleaning all of those annoying water spots off of your boat windshield? Use a marine water repellent. There are a few on the market that you can choose from, just make sure that the product is safe for plexiglass or glass, depending on the type of windshield you have.
  1. Protect Your Upholstery. You can avoid having to replace your vinyl boat upholstery by taking a few easy steps to protect it from the elements. First, use a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt, grime or salt residue. Second, after wiping the upholstery with a damp cloth, apply a vinyl protectant. Third, use a boat cover to guard against stains and weathering while preserving the life of your upholstery.
  1. Flush Your Livewell. If you own a fishing boat with a livewell system, you should scrub and flush it on a weekly basis using a mixture of baking soda and hot water. Avoid using bleach or any strong detergents because they may produce toxic residue, which will cause issues with any bait or fish that you put inside your livewell. To clean your livewell safely, just add a few tablespoons of baking soda to a small bucket of hot water, and then use a scrub brush to clean the bottom, sides and top. Once the dirt and grime have been removed, rinse the system out several times before heading back out on the water.
  1. Rinse Your Deck. For starters, you can save yourself a considerable amount of time scrubbing the deck of your boat if you rinse off any dirt or spills when they happen. If you use your boat for fishing, rinse off any bait or debris before it dries and takes twice the effort to remove. When it does come time to scrub the deck, consider the type of boat deck you have. For a non-skid deck, use a medium-stiff deck brush and boat soap that has been specifically formulated for the marine environment.

Now that you know about these easy ways to keep your boat cleaner, you can use the extra hours that you would have otherwise had to spend scrubbing and washing to enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise with your family instead. All aboard!