5 Boat Cleaning Tips to Keep Your Vessel Looking Good as New

Americans purchased an unprecedented number of boats in 2020. Accessible, social distancing-friendly, and fun, boats are an ideal escape from pandemic-induced boredom and stress and a great replacement for canceled travel plans of every kind.

But getting the most out of your boat means keeping it clean and in good condition all season long. Keep reading for experts’ top five boat cleaning tips that can help you keep your vessel looking as good as new. 

  1. Invest in Good Boat Cleaning Supplies

When it’s time to maintain your boat, it can be tempting to grab your standard household cleaners. What too many boat owners don’t know is that household standbys like bleach and ammonia can ruin the finishes on a boat. They cause vinyl cushions, wood trim, and other areas to deteriorate years faster than they otherwise would by stripping off protective coats of wax or Gelcoat. 

Protect your investment by stocking up on boat-specific must haves and using only approved cleaning products on your vessel. 

  1. Wash Your Boat Regularly

While you may only need to do a deep clean once or twice a season, giving your boat a quick wash at regular intervals helps keep your boat looking its best. Use the best boat cleaner you can find and afford and, if possible, give your boat a quick wash after each use. Don’t underestimate the value of a good spot-cleaning, either!

  1. Don’t Neglect Your Canvas

Canvas is a naturally durable material which makes it a great choice for cockpit covers, sun shades, sail covers, and more. But to keep your canvas in good condition, you need to clean it often using only the best boat cleaning products. 

Do not use standard washing machines or dryers to launder your canvas. This will ruin the material.

Instead, hand wash your boat’s canvas using a soft brush, gentle detergent, and plenty of fresh water. This will protect your canvas’s:

  • UV resistance
  • Mold and mildew resistance
  • Waterproofing

Where appropriate, treat the canvas after it has dried with a fabric guard to give it further protection against water and mold. 

  1. Gloss up Your Gelcoat

Gelcoats keep the hardest-worked parts of your boat protected from wear and tear. Keep your Gelcoat in top-notch condition by using only approved polishes and waxes and the best boat deck cleaner available. 

Remember that waxes protect your Gelcoat by keeping harmful and abrasive substances off your boat’s surfaces. Polishes eat through the oxidation that causes your Gelcoat to look hazy and restore your boat’s shine.

Choosing the right product for your needs is essential to achieving the results you want. Need both? Try a combination product to save both time and money!

  1. Get Help From the Pros When You Need It

The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” definitely applies to boating. Properly maintaining your boat will save you scores of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your vessel.

Consider hiring professional boat cleaning services once or twice a year to give your boat a deep clean. It’s a small investment that can make a huge impact on your ability to enjoy your boat for years to come. 

Learn More

Now that you’ve got boat cleaning best practices down, check out our blog for more great tips and tricks to getting the most out of all your vehicles and vacations.