Learning How to Clean a Boat Hull

If you can’t afford to hire a pro to clean your boat hull, you can do it yourself by following these simple steps:

Basic Cleaning

1. Use a low power hose or bucket of fresh water to rinse the hull as thoroughly as possible. You want to get rid of the salt build-up and loosen any algae or mold that may be attached to your boat hull.

2. Choose a cleaner specialized for the use of boat hulls and mix it with water as directed on the product’s label.

3. Use a large, soft sponge and dip it into the cleaning solution. Wring out the sponge slightly, then wash each section of the boat hull from the dinghy. Take care not to damage the hull’s paint job. Use gentle strokes in a circular pattern. You can also employ a bow-to-stern motion if you are using a heavy-duty cleaner.

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How to Clean a Yacht Hull

Learning how to clean a boat hull will help you preserve the value of your vessel and enhance its performance.

Boat hulls are constantly exposed to the elements. Consequently, they sustain heavy abuse. This is especially true if you travel in polluted water, though regular trips in salt or fresh water can also lead to hull corrosion and barnacle growth. By maintaining a clean boat hull you will help preserve the integrity of your entire vessel. In addition, keeping your hull shiny and smooth will help you move through water at a faster rate.

Experts recommend cleaning your hull several times a year depending on how often you use your boat. One option is to hire a professional boat hull cleaner. Pros use special scuba gear to dive under the water and thoroughly clean parts of the hull that are difficult to reach. Professional hull cleaners can get your boat looking shipshape again, but they don’t come cheap.

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Basic Boat Maintenance: How to Maintain a Boat

If you want to keep your boat looking like new, nothing is more important than keeping up with basic boat maintenance. Here’s how to keep your gel coat, canvas, upholstery, and brightwork in tip-top shape.

There’s little more satisfying to the eye than a well-maintained boat that shines and sparkles under the sun. Hey, there’s a reason certain aspects of boat maintenance are called “brightwork.” But getting your boat uber-clean and keeping it that way can be a challenge, especially if you’re a first-time boat owner. There’s no need to worry, though, because we’re here to clear up all the myths and mysteries about the best way to keep your pride and joy looking great. Whether you’ve got chalky gelcoat that’s in need of some TLC, grimy canvas, or your teak is dingy and gray, read on for some great tips.

We’ll show you how to maintain your boat for:

Fiberglass and gelcoat, which needs to be regularly cleaned, waxed, and polished for both protective and cosmetic purposes. Not only will keeping your gel coat shiny make your boat look good, it will also prevent oxidation, which makes fiberglass dull and chalky.

Marine canvas and Eisinglass or Strataglass, which deteriorate quickly without proper treatment. You’ll need to regularly use the correct polishes and protectants, or canvas will grow leaky and clear canvas will become cloudy.

Upholstery and vinyls found on boats. These need to be cleaned several times a season—but if you use the wrong type of cleaner, you can accidentally destroy the materials in a single season.

Brightwork, which includes all wood surfaces and trims that are exposed to UV rays. They require quite a bit of upkeep, to keep them in good shape. We’ll show you how to refinish dull-looking wood, and describe the seasonal maintenance you’ll need to do every spring.

Ready to dig in and learn the ins and outs of basic boat maintenance? Let’s get started.

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Tricks and Tips on Boating

yacht maintenance1. Invert a can of ­anti-fouling paint the night before painting to help get the solids in solution prior to mixing.

2. For a crisp waterline, “burnish” masking tape by rubbing its edges down with a dowel or paintbrush handle.

3. To fix a clogged ­aerosol paint can nozzle, remove it and soak in mineral spirits for an hour. Then install on a can of lubricant and spray to finish the cleaning.

4. To prevent clogging of aerosol anti-fouling nozzles, shake the can per the directions and, when done spraying, invert the can and spray until the stream is clear.

5. A safety pin makes a good tool for removing a bad hydraulic steering seal — which is usually a “quad ring.”

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Essential Boating Tips

1. Oven-cleaner spray will remove paint and adhesive residue from gelcoat without damaging it.

2. Make a splash guard from cardboard when using a drill-operated paint mixer.

3. Scraping paint or caulking? Use a file to round the ­corners of a putty knife “scraper” so it won’t gouge; you can sharpen its edge too!

4. Punching holes at “N-S-E-W” around a paint can’s rim allows paint to drain back into the can and ensures a better seal for the lid.

5. You can make a drill-operated paint mixer by installing long screws through the end of a stick and then ­whittling the other end down till it fits the drill’s chuck.

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5 Top Boating Tips & Tricks

Use these 50 top boating tips to improve your skills and become a better boater.

yacht maintenance1. Morning dew is distilled water: Wipe off your boat with it and it will be ­spot-free.

2. For a mirrorlike shine, remove last season’s wax with a dewaxing solvent before applying wax this spring.

3. Want a green alternative to bleach? White vinegar kills mold. Apply with a spray bottle.

4. Need to clean a RIB or shore-power cord? Citrus pumice-style hand cleaners work well.

5. Have a scratched windshield, clear-vinyl curtains or sunglasses? A fine polish like 3M Finesse-It works well (so do counter-top polishes).

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Smart Boat Solutions – Make Your Fiberglass Boat Look Great Again

If the Gelcoat on your boat is well-maintained it makes your vessel look like a smart boat. You can keep your vessel looking great for a long time with proper maintenance and cleaning. It is also important to use the right kind of cleaning tools, techniques and solutions.

Sometimes the Gelcoat finish on your fiberglass boat will look dull. This means your vessel just needs some cleaning and waxing. Use marine products like marine detergent, compounds and marine grade wax for fiberglass boats. Cleaning your boat after every use will wash out contaminants like salt water.

Waxing it after you clean it will protect your Gelcoat from being penetrated with grime, soot and lime scale. You should clean your boat after using it, especially if you took your vessel out into the ocean. Sea water leaves oxidization stains on your hull.

You should also clean your boat at the beginning of boating season. Leaving your vessel at the dock will let it accumulate dust, dirt and soot (pollution) from the air. This is so, even if you left your boat covered for months. It would be best to protect your boat’s surface with wax before leaving it docked for a long time.

Professional boat valeting companies apply a compound to condition the Gelcoat on fiberglass boats. This compound will form a barrier between the water and the microscopic pores of the Gelcoat. The compound will also let the wax do a better job at making your vessel’s surface shinny and look like a smart boat.

After rubbing in the compound on your fiberglass surface, rinse it off if the instructions on the label say so. So compounds don’t have to be rinsed off. Dry the surface completely before applying a layer of marine grade wax.

Once the wax turns white, you can proceed to buff it manually or with an electric power buffer. You can get a wider area covered in a short time with an electric buffer. You also won’t tire yourself too much. Electric buffers can produce a shinier appearance to your fiberglass surface.

If you plan to leave your boat for sometime at the dock, you should cover it till you need to take the boat out. The cover will protect exposed areas of your boat. The cover will also keep your interiors cleaner. Sunlight also makes your furnishings inside the boat fade. A cover can also keep your leather or vinyl seats from fading from the effects of UV rays.

If you don’t want to manually apply the compound and wax, or clean your entire boat, you should consider hiring a professional boat valeting service. Professionals can make your vessel look like a smart boat in no time.

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Simple Tips to Clean Your Boat

In order to keep your boat well maintained you will need to regularly clean it. You must ensure that you clean it in the right way so that you don’t damage the decking or the boat’s superstructure. When it comes to cleaning a boat there are so many different things to take into consideration that it can be hard to know where to start. This article provides simple simple tips and tricks that will help you to clean your boat and have it looking spotless again in no time.

Hose Down

The first thing that you will need to do is to water down the surfaces of your boat with a fresh supply of water. You should do this regularly and after every single boat trip that you take, as if the saltwater is left on your boat it can slowly eat away at it and destroy its finish. The best way to do this is to use a long hose to spray the water over the decking, outboard motor and all other surfaces on the boat.

Washing the Superstructure

The next step is to wash the superstructure You will need to use a special marine soap which is designed for use on the type of boat that you have. You should work in small sections, washing parts of the boat until they are clean and then dry them with a soft marine cloth. You should also wash all vinyl seats and deck boxes using the right type of products on each of these features.

Cleaning the Deck

Now it is time to scrub the deck. You should only even use a biodegradable PH balanced marine soap, along with a deck brush. Never use harsh chemicals or a normal brush as these can pollute the seawater and also scratch the surface of the decking. Scrub the decking in small areas, and then ensure that you rinse it properly. As well as the decking you should also clean the fittings, the hull and the outboard motor.

Window Cleaning

Finally you can clean all of the windows on your boat. You can use a special product which is designed for use on boat windows, or you can use a homemade solution of water and vinegar. Ensure that you thoroughly dry the solution off of the windows to prevent streaking.

Treatments and Regular Cleaning

You may also want to apply a treatment to your boat’s upholstery. This will help to protect it from damage and fading in the sunlight. You should also make sure that your decking is regularly serviced and treated to also keep it protected. Regular maintenance checks on your boat will help to keep it functioning correctly, and it will also spot any problems with the boat early on so that it will save you time and money in the long run.

Boat Cleaners

If cleaning your boat sounds too much like hard work then you can always hire a cleaning team to do the work for you. When you hire a team you should ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to be able to effectively clean a boat.

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Boat Spring Maintenance Checklist

Spring is officially here & it’s time to think about dusting that boat off and getting it in top running shape. The warm weather will be here soon & you want to be ready so you don’t miss a minute out on the water. Here are some tips on things to check before taking your boat out for the first time this season. Please be aware, this list does not represent everything you should check on your boat but merely give suggestions of where you should start. Please consult a certified marine repair mechanic prior to working on your boat motor also be sure to consult your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions specific to your boat model.

CHECKLIST:

Belts, Cables & Hoses

Always check for cracking that occurred during winter storage.

Belts should fit tightly around the pulleys to prevent slipping. A worn belt may have a black substance near the pulley & also may fit loosely.

Control cables with cracks or swelling on the outer layer may indicate need to replace. Contact your boat repair center or order cables online to replace yourself.

Electrical Connections

Review electrical connections for cleanliness and tightness. Check for corrosion which is often a sign that the connection may not be safe. Remove terminals and use a wire brush to clean connections and cable ends.

Charge your battery and test it so you can be sure it will hold a charge. Electrical systems should be routinely inspected by a qualified technician.

Fluid Levels

Check all fluid levels including

Engine oil- Change the oil if this was not done during winterizing. Include a new oil filter & change drive lubricants

Coolant

Power trim reservoir

Power Steering Fluid

Propellers & Hulls

Inspect propellers for damage. Verify the propeller is properly secured.

If you experience unwanted vibration, poor performance and damage to the propulsion system, your prop may be damaged & need to be replaced.

Inspect the Hull – look for cracks & distortions. Clean the outside of your boat using an environmentally-safe cleaner.

Fuel

Check your fuel lines for damage. Signs of damaged hoses can be either cracking, hard hoses or very soft hoses. Remember to check fuel hoses, connections and tank surfaces.

Insure clamps and fitting are secured.

Ensure the engine, exhaust and ventilation systems are also all functioning properly.

Safety Gear

Lifejackets need to be in good condition It’s important for passengers to have access to the correct size lifejacket for their body weight.

Onboard fire extinguishers must be the correct class for your boat, fully charged.

Trailer

Inspect trailer wheels, verify that tires are inflated to proper level.

Check that trailer straps are not worn and are holding properly.

Verify that your trailer is the proper size for your boat.

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How to Deal with Hydrolysis on Fiberglass Boats

fiberglass boat repairThe great thing about fiberglass boats is that they are durable and need less maintenance compared to wooden boats. However, this doesn’t mean that they are free from issues. In fact, they suffer from damage due to collisions, moisture, exhaustion and damages caused by the elements. By availing reliable yachting services, you will be able to prolong the lifespan of your prized possession.

Hydrolysis is one of the most common problems in fiberglass yachts. The polyester resin laminate in the boat comes with water soluble materials and they blend with moisture, thus resulting in the creation of acidic fluid. This fluid promotes the formation of cavities under the gel coat layer, ultimately forming gelcoat blisters. These blisters are the main symptom of hydrolysis, which greatly reduces the strength of the polyester hull. Before beginning any fiberglass boat repair work, it is critical to evaluate the boat’s condition thoroughly so that you can grasp how far hydrolysis has damaged the yacht.

This issue can be fixed by using a repair material that can bond glass fiber, polyester resin and other materials. For years, epoxy adhesives have been proven effective in gelcoat blisters and hydrolysis in fiberglass boats. They are more durable than polyester, so they can provide the fiberglass with a stronger structure.

Though epoxy can somehow address hydrolysis, nothing beats the job carried out by professionals offering boat repair services.