First off, congrats on the new boat! Owning a boat is an exciting new direction in life. Having your very own boat means exploring new sites and getting to feel that ocean breeze on your skin. You’re going to have amazing fun on your new boat adventures, but, as with any large purchase, you’re going to want to protect your investment and keep it clean. If this is your first time owning a boat, this can seem confusing.
Why do I have to clean my boat, isn’t it already in water? Well, only the bottom of it is in water. The top of it – also known as the deck and the cabin – is actually above the water, so it can get dirty just like car can. Check out this simple and easy guide to cleaning your boat.
Step 1: Rinse!
Before you get to scrubbing, start by rinsing down your boat with a high-pressure hose attachment. Dirt and mineral deposits should start to loosen up with a good hosing. Just be sure that you close all the cabin windows and doors to avoid drenching your below-deck furniture by accident! Wouldn’t that be a mess.
Step 2: Lather it up!
Get yourself a solid bottle of boat soap that’s tough on dirt but gentle on the surface. Get yourself a bucket and sponge and soap up the surface of the boat, paying special attention to those stubborn spots. You can scrub with a wash rag or course sponge, but stay away from more aggressive materials like steel wool, as these can seriously scratch up the finish. This part should remind you of washing a car – a really big car that floats in water!
Step 3: Rinse again.
Yep, you’ve got to get all that soap off. Make sure that you rinse it down thoroughly so that no soap remains and dries on the surface. If you notice any problem areas that still aren’t clean, give it another rinse, soap, and rinse again. The next step involves applying protective wax to your boat, so to make sure it adheres as well as possible, you need to get any dirt on the surface out. Rinse and buff out any dirt or mineral deposits you encounter.
Step 4: Wax it up.
Wax adds a shine to your boat that will make it look brand-spanking-new. Plus, adding a layer of wax protects the finish of your boat from dirt, minerals, and if your boat is on the ocean, the salty spray of the sea. This means that you won’t have to get your boat refinished (at least as often) to keep it looking sleek and new. Get yourself a bottle of marine polish and make sure that you give your boat a solid once-over with the stuff.
Step 5: Minor repairs.
Boats lead a rugged life. They are out on the water, exposed to the elements, frequently encountering rock and drift wood. Parts on your boat may require replacement or repair. Inspect the surface of your boat for holes, and if you find any, try a liquid foam to fill the holes. If you notice cracked windows or broken external features, try to get these replaced as soon as possible. You want your boat to be in ship-shape before hitting the water.
Step 6: Remember the interior!
Boats have an inside too! You wouldn’t want to have a beautiful, glowing boat exterior with a filthy and messy interior. That doesn’t make any sense. Once you’re done buffing out and waxing up the surface, head below deck to tidy up. Vacuum, sweep, and organize your space so that it’s as nice on the inside as it is on the outside. Replacing upholstery inside a boat can be a serious hassle, so be sure to pay special attention to cleaning the built-in furniture inside your boat.
Once your boat is all clean, you’re ready to get to the good part: get out there and have fun!