7 Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Your Boat

As you know, boats are expensive to maintain. And with the proper care and attention, your boat can be looking brand new in no time! There are a few tips for cleaning and maintaining a boat that will have it sparkling again in no time.

Since boating season is arriving soon, it’s the perfect time to take notice of your boat and make sure that it will continue performing well and looking its best.

1. Keep Your Boat Covered

Boats are expensive to maintain, and boats aren’t cheap to buy. There’s a lot of clean-up involved with a vessel, but you can cut down on a lot of it by keeping it under a good, sturdy cover.

Covers keep the rain off so that there’s no need for a quick wash after a storm. Also, if you have ever smelled mud on the bottom of your boat after coming back from the lake—you know why this is important!

If rain isn’t a problem and you’re in the salt, then a cover can also help keep off any residual salt spray from crashing on your boat. Salt spray reduces the boat’s lifespan, so covering it can help maintain your vessel’s value.

2. Organize

One of the worst things about cleaning up after boating season is when you open up your storage units to find an absolute mess inside.

If there were anything worse than this (which is hard to imagine), it would be finding that same messy unit right before going on a bachelorette party cruise with friends.

No matter what kind of boat you have, keeping an organization system in place will always help out later down the road.

You don’t have to go crazy, but grouping similar things together so that you don’t have to dump all of your items out to find something specific is the best way to keep a boat organized.

3. Use a Mild Detergent

Although most people think bleach for boats, it actually isn’t recommended because solid chemicals can damage your boat really easily.

Instead, use a mild soap or detergent and add it to some warm water. You can add some vinegar to the mix if you like as well. Just make sure not to get any on decks, paint, woodwork, or upholstery—this could cause severe damage.

4. Keep Your Engine Clean, Too

While keeping up with your exterior is important, don’t forget that there’s a lot of work you need to do inside the engine compartment too.

Inside your engine compartment is where oil and grease build up and release fumes into the air. This is very dangerous for both you and the surrounding environment while boating.

By using a degreaser wash regularly, you can eliminate this problem and keep your engine clean at the same time.

5. Don’t Forget About Vinyl Seats

Even though vinyl seats can be easy to ignore when it comes to maintenance, they still need some attention now and then.

Make sure to wipe down any dirt or debris after each use with a mild soap solution and a wet rag.

If you have any stains that won’t come out, try scrubbing them out with an old toothbrush while applying warm soapy water. Make sure to let them dry completely before using them again.

6. Wash Down the Hull After Every Use

a yacht

Washing away any saltwater residue is really important after boating in fresh or saltwater. This will keep barnacles from forming and avoid rusting of the boat hull.

The best way to do this is by using a freshwater hose with a high-pressure nozzle on it after each use. It might take some time, but doing this every day for a week or two will ensure that your boat stays clean during boating season.

7. Keep Those Engines Warm

We all know how frigid cold temperatures are when out on the open waters. While you can enjoy boating in cooler climates, engine problems become more likely if they constantly turn ice over below decks.

Keeping an engine warm ensures it works correctly throughout the entire year so that there aren’t any unnecessary breakdowns. Using a couple of heaters inside the engine compartment is easy and cost-efficient.

There is no doubt that keeping your boat clean can be a lot of work, but it won’t take long before you’re cruising around on the water feeling good about its appearance. Even if you don’t have a boat, these tips are good to know so you can keep your own personal watercraft looking its best.


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