Proper Boat Cleaning

Here at Shurhold we have seen all manner of products used in washing and cleaning. While most techniques will get the grime off, some methods are better than others. Harsh or improper cleaners , like household cleaners, will harm your wax or stain your fiberglass over time. Check out our “7 Deadly Sins of Boat Maintenance” article to understand why cleaning with these chemicals will lead to problems. Additionally, if you put off your wash stains will accumulate making your next scrub down that much harder. To keep your boat in top shape, a good wash should happen after every outing and preferably once a week. Here at Shurhold we strive to make cleaning your boat quick, easy and effective.

What you will need:

How you will do it:

  • First, remove all the trash from the day off the boat. Cans, wrappers, plastic bags, etc. You want a clean slate to work with.
    If anything needs to be rinsed off before being stowed, such as life jackets or fishing rods, do so now and set them off to the side. This will give the items a chance to dry before you put them away
  • Focus on sections of the boat. This will ensure each area gets an equal amount of attention. Our general breakdown looks like this…
    1.     Hardtop
    2.    – Bow
    3.    – Helm
    4.    – Cockpit
    5.    – Transom
    6.    – Hull
  • Rinse off your target area with a copious amount of fresh water. You want to eliminate as much grime, growth, and salt as possible before scrubbing. Excessive debris can scratch paint as it gets pushed around the deck.
  • Prepare your suds bucket. To avoid spots, only use enough soap to create suds. Typically you would fill your bucket with around 4 gallons of water, then add a capful of Bright wash. A quick blast from the hose will activate the suds
  •  It’s time to scrub! Use the right brush for the job. For non-skid, use a stiffer brush like our medium bristle. For most deck fiberglass, use our soft brush. For glass, outboards, or the hull, use our extra soft brush. As a general rule, use the softest brush you can while still effectively cleaning the surface. If there is a particularly tough stain, try a stiffer brush in a circular motion
  • Rinse off the soap with more fresh water. Ensure no suds remain, as they will leave spots
  • Dry all fiberglass and instruments (radar, lights, outriggers, etc) with a PVA towel or Sprite Mop. This prevents water spots from forming. For glass, use a squeegee tool to pull all the water off
  • For detail work, use Serious Shine. Inside the cabin, at the helm, or the electronics are all ideal areas for this product. It can also be used on glass, including isinglass
  • Continue section by section until your boat is squeaky clean!
  • Stow all equipment, which should be dry. If still damp, use PVA towel to dry.