Did you know that being around water can make you feel happy? Go boating this year and create special memories with friends and family. If you own a boat but need to learn about boat care, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over some boat maintenance tips to keep your cruiser in top shape. Enjoy the open waters with friends and family.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
Clean the Exterior of Your Boat
Make it a priority to keep the exterior of your boat clean. This will maintain the finish. Salt from the sea can end up eroding the boat finish, and scratches or abrasions can cost a lot to remove.
A cleaner boat will perform better. Clean your boat on land when possible. You don’t want to pollute the water. If you need to clean the boat while in the water, choose to use non-toxic cleaners.
Cleaning Fiberglass Boats
A fiberglass boat has a glossy gel coat finish, and this finish will protect the boat from sun, salt, and other weather elements. A gel coat finish needs more attention when it starts to appear chalky.
Use wax to protect the gel coat. Try to apply wax on your fiberglass boat at least twice a season. Also, before you store your boat away for the winter, you should wax it.
Wash away the salt and dirt after each outing. Try using soap created for boats, and apply with a sponge.
Don’t Forget to Clean the Wood
Wood tends to be less common in modern boats. Yet if you own an older boat, you might notice woodwork in the steps, decks, or handrails. These wooden parts tend to be teak, which is a tropical hardwood.
It would help if you cleaned the woodwork with mild cleaners created for teak. Use a soft bristle brush, and scrub the teak across the grain.
To keep the canvas’s waterproofing properties, you’ll need to clean it.
Clean the material, and make it last by using a soft brush, freshwater, and mild soap. Does your canvas have polyvinyl chloride (PVC) windows? Don’t clean it with ammonia-based products.
Ammonia can damage the material. Clean the clear PVC with a specialty cleaner.
What About Upholstery?
Most boats will have vinyl-covered seating. Vinyl’s durable and easy to clean; that’s why it’s a popular choice. Wipe down and clean the seats so you can prevent any dirt or mildew buildup.
You should use mild soap and apply it with a sponge. Get rid of residue with a clean and damp cloth, and then dry the seats with a cloth.
Keep the vinyl seats covered or stored someplace between different boating trips.
Where Should You Store Your Boat?
Storage will help protect your boat from weather damage throughout the winter. You want to keep snow, rain, and ice out of your boat. Yet, you don’t want mildew to grow, so you need to improve the airflow.
There are a few different storage options to consider. You could store your boat outside, and it tends to be the most popular method. Boat owners can keep sailboats with the mast up.
Outdoors requires a proper cover to protect the boat from the elements.
Hire a professional to shrink-wrap your boat. This will make sure it remains ventilated and covered.
Cover the vessel with a tarp. Fit the tarp over your wooden frame and put it over the boat.
Indoor storage is another option, and it will protect your boat from the sun and weather.
If you don’t have enough room to store it at home in your garage, you could rent a storage unit. Some people will use dry-stack storage as another option.
A dry stack storage facility allows you to put your boat on a rack in a covered building. Make sure you choose a reputable and secure building.
Other people will store their boats on the water. Some harbors provide boat storage throughout the year.
De-icers will bring warmer water from the bottom to the surface and protect your boat from ice.
Storing your boat on the water might be the most practical option if you own a massive vessel.
After you determine where you will store your boat, begin preparing it for storage.
Preparing to Store Your Boat
You should clean your boat, both the interior and exterior. Next, you’ll want to lubricate the spark plug holes and replace any cracked hoses.
You should disconnect your boat battery and keep it stored in a ventilated and cool area. Get rid of carpets, electronics, and food.
Make sure you clean the shaft and propeller and inspect them for potential damage. Put grease on the shaft and open drain plugs to let the precipitation drain out.
It would help if you left the valves and water faucets open. Flush the engine, water lines, and water tanks with fresh water to get rid of salt and top it off with antifreeze.
You should replace the inline fuel filters and fill your tank to 90 percent full. Add anti-bacterial stabilizing agents to the fuel.
Pack away your boating accessories. You could store your lifejackets and other items at home.
Do you use a marine battery? RB Marine batteries provide a maintenance-free option.
Use These Boat Maintenance Tips
We hope this guide on boat maintenance tips was helpful. Consider how you can keep your boat in top shape and prevent it from wearing out.
Make sure to clean the exterior of your boat and store it for the winter. Decide where you will store it.
Are you looking for more outdoor tips? Check out our resources on the blog.