Taking care of your boat both in and out of the water is key to enjoying every journey.
To help keep your boat in top-notch condition at all times, owners need to implement a combination of preventative measures and consistent upkeep. This proactive approach not only increases your enjoyment of the vessel but also preserves its value for a potential sale in the future.
Let’s get into some of the most effective ways you can keep your boat in pristine condition all of the time.
Wash and Rinse
Keeping your boat in excellent condition starts with washing the hull and deck on a regular basis.
Algae and salt water can not only destroy paint but buildup can also impede your speed on the water because your hull is not cutting a clean line through the water. Your boat should always get a rinse after it is exposed to saltwater, but for a more thorough cleaning, all you need is soap, water, and a soft washcloth. Don’t use abrasive cleaners like bleach, which can cause damage. Make sure to dry well before buffing and waxing.
Wax to Prevent Damage
While waxing is labor intensive, it is a necessary process to prevent corrosion as well as keep your paint job, graphics, striping, hull decals, and decking intact. Waxing also helps reduce the impact of damage caused by UV rays.
Polish Your Boat Metal
Railings and other metal fixtures can corrode if not protected and polished, especially if your boat is exposed to salt water frequently. Chipping and rusting on any part of your boat can reduce its overall beauty and value, so investing time in preventative care is well worth the effort.
Keep Windows Clean
Glass windows require much less upkeep, but taking care of your acrylic or plastic windows can add years to their life. Windows made with acrylic or vinyl are especially challenging because vinyl will start to become yellow and brittle if not cleaned properly. Plus, acrylic windows are easily scratched when salt and dirt build up. For vinyl and acrylic windows, just use mild soap and water for cleaning and stay away from chemicals that could damage the surface or lead to discoloration.
Clean and Protect Interiors
UV rays, mildew, and dirt can also cause damage to your upholstery and canvas components. Wipe down and clean with appropriate cleaners regularly and use protectants for fabrics to prevent staining and further damage from UV rays.
Try to store your boat in a dry, covered area to ensure the best conditions for reducing potential damage like mildew or mold growth.
If your boat is stored somewhere tropical, mildew can develop, which can be challenging to get rid of. To prevent mildew growth, you’ll need to ensure proper ventilation and ideally have someone go in and run the AC weekly if possible. Additionally, use a boat cover whenever you’re not using your vessel to protect it from the elements.
Mechanical and Electric Maintenance
Your engine, battery, and associated mechanical systems are the heart and soul of your boat and require dedicated care.
To ensure your boat is always in peak condition, make sure to have regularly scheduled mechanical and electric inspections so you can catch issues before they become full-blown problems. This is especially important when wintering a boat and bringing it back online for the summer boating season.
A Worry-Free Boating Experience
Staying vigilant with all of the above will ensure that you keep your boat in pristine condition for its lifetime, so you can enjoy your adventures to the maximum. Plus, if you’re ever ready to sell, those same practices will ensure your boat holds its value and make it much more appealing to potential buyers.