Keeping your boat clean is more than purely a matter of vanity. Though every boat owner admittedly loves when their boat shines, proper boat detailing is all about extending the boat’s lifespan and improving functionality. Plus, you’re sure to boost its value if the time ever comes to sell! Before grabbing a brush and some elbow grease, read through our boat detailing hacks to ensure your boat gets the best possible clean.
A boat’s interior has many different components, each with their own unique needs. We’ll break them down one by one:
- Marine carpet is often found in many boat cabins and cockpits. First, remove all loose dirt and debris with a strong vacuum, then scrub with a stiff-bristle brush and soapy water.
- Non-slip fiberglass cannot be treated with wax like other fiberglass parts because it would make the surface too dangerous. Instead, start with a hard scrub with soapy water, then treat it with non-skid products that clean the fiberglass without making it slippery.
- Vinyl is often treated with anti-microbials to fight mold and mildew so avoid chemical cleaners. Each time you use your boat, wash the vinyls with a soft rag and soapy water.
- Cushions can become musty over time. First, remove the cushion covers and wash them in cold water. For the cushion itself, sprinkle baking soda on both sides then shake it off after a few hours. Then, mix equal parts vinegar and water and mist the cushion with this solution. Let the cushions sit out for a few days or until the smell of vinegar subsides before returning the covers.
- Marine heads can accumulate scale and calcium deposits. Once a month, run a few cups of white vinegar through the lines to keep them clear.
Now that the inside is all taken care of, let’s move outside:
- Gel-coated hull surfaces require serious maintenance to keep their glossy shine. Every spring, make sure you apply two coats of paste wax, then apply a wax every month afterwards.
- For the bottom of your hull, treat it exactly as you do other gel-coated surfaces.
- Boat canvas requires monthly cleaning to prevent unsightly staining. Hose down all canvas and give it a gentle scrub with a soft-bristle brush and mild soap, then rinse that all off. For clear canvas, use a non-abrasive sponge each time you return to shore.
- Engines are what keep your boat running and require perhaps the most delicate attention to detail. For outboard engines, wax the cowl and exterior, then wash it down with soapy water after each use. Avoid abrasive brushes at all costs. For inboard engines, regularly wipe away dirt and grime with a gentle towel.
There you have it – some easy tips to keep your boat in tip-top shape all throughout boating season! Of course, some cleaning and boat detailing is best left to the pros, especially services pertaining to delicate parts like the engine. For all your boat detailing and boat repairs, bring your beloved vessel to Great Lakes Yacht Sales! Each of our service departments are dedicated to top-notch work and customer satisfaction – give us a call today to learn more.