Boats are investments. To protect your investment, it’s important to maintain and clean it regularly. While you don’t need to go fully overboard (pun intended) to clean your boat, you should make this a regular part of boating. It’s an important part of ownership that will help preserve your boat inside and out. As with most cleaning tasks, the key for proper boat cleaning is not just the elbow grease, it’s more about cleaning smarter. In today’s blog post, we would like to share with you some tips to keep in mind when cleaning your marine craft.

If you are in the Farmington, New Mexico area and are in need of professional boat repair, vinyl repair, marine surveying, and much more (check out our full list of marine services here), contact us today at 844-881-3605 or fill out this online form, and we’ll tell you more about our services and how we can help.

Choose The Right Equipment

The key to choosing the best equipment is to consider the type of boat or marine craft you have, specifically its composition and layout. For example, choose brushes that will be hard on dirt, grime, and salt, yet not hard on the gel coat on your boat. Most brushes with medium-soft bristles will do the trick. Additionally, be sure to get all the equipment you need to reach those hard-to-reach areas. Look for brushes that will allow you to clean without having to strain your back and arms. And lastly, be sure to have all the necessities like a large bucket, washing pads, sponges, a mop, towels, and whatever else you need to work smarter, not harder.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

For marine use, you want to use cleaning solutions that are tough enough to remove all the dirt, grime, fish blood, salt, and whatever else is covering your boat, but also gentle enough that it won’t hurt the boat’s interior or the environment. As a general rule, it’s best to choose a reputable biodegradable cleaning agent that has a neutral pH factor. If you use your craft in salt water, remember that it is paramount to use soap and fresh water to thoroughly remove the salt build-up, which can eat away at your boat. Be cautious of using cleaners that are super concentrated and not made for boat interiors and exteriors, since these cleaners can strip away finishes. While some boat owners choose to clean their decks with bleach, this is not recommended. 

Soak, Scrub, And Clean

After you have all the necessary tools, it’s time to dig in. First, rinse your boat. Don’t attempt to scrub or add cleaning agents before you have rinsed down the boat completely. Then, like you’re cleaning a car work from the top down, lathering up a soft sponge, scrubbing, and rinsing. For those with outboard-powered boats, don’t forget to rinse off the motor and the lower drive unit and mounts. This is where all that corrosive salt and dirt tend to hang out.

Clean The Vinyl Upholstery

Your boat interior receives a lot of wear and tear from people standing on the seats to the harsh UV rays that pound it all day to people rubbing lotions into the seats. While you may be tempted to spray some bleach onto your interior seats, wipe it down, and call it a day, we highly recommend that you don’t. Your interior deserves better. The first step you should take is to clean your vinyl upholstery with a damp cloth. This will help remove any crud, grime, dirt, and salt that may be caked on. If there are mildew stains that have formed on your seats, use a medium-soft bristled brush and some water to remove the stains. Follow this with an application of a high-quality vinyl cleaner or protectant. Some people then choose to spray down their upholstery with a furniture polish to help guard against stains and preserve upholstery life. Finish your cleaning with a freshwater rinse and dry.

If you have carpet in your cabin or elsewhere, don’t forget to show this some attention. Accomplishing this can be as easy as vacuuming and spot cleaning regularly. Start at the front of the cabin and work your way back to the stern to avoid stepping on previously cleaned areas. If your carpet is stained, you can essentially treat it like you would the carpets in your home or vehicle. Remove the stain using your choice of carpet cleaner.

Need Vinyl Repair, Boat Repair, or Marine Electrical Repair?

We provide these services and much, much more! The team at Maui Worx has the expertise and experience to handle a wide array of upholstery, leather, and vinyl repairs, ranging from leather seats, vinyl, dashboards, cracked door panels, and more. We work on boats, cars, trucks, houseboats, jet skis, and motorhomes. To learn more or to see how we can help you, stop by our Farmington boat shop or give us a call today at 844-881-3605.