All types of boats require regular maintenance and attention. Whether the boat has sat in the yard since last summer, or you were out just last weekend, keeping your boat clean is important for its life span. No one enjoys cleaning, but when it comes to a vessel that has been in the sand, surf and salt water, cleaning is important to keep your boat running at peak performance and to prevent stains, breakdowns in materials and the like. Luckily though, professional detailing with every use is not necessary. With our tips and tricks, you’ll be out and, on the water, again in no time. Depending on the material your boat is manufactured from, you will need a few specialised products as the cleaners you have under the sink at home will eat away at the surface over time and cause more damage. You will need marine cleaners for this task to ensure no damage to the surface of the boat.
Regular washing or rinsing of your fibreglass boat throughout the year will make it easier come summer when you want to spend more time on the boat than dry land. Keep in mind it is integral for the gelcoat to be cleaned regularly so that dirt and debris are not allowed to build up and start to decompose with can compromise the gelcoat protecting the hull of your vessel. Good news is, all you really need is a hose down every couple of weeks or so and your boat will look newer for longer.
When you bring your boat home from a day on the water though, you will need to hose it down and clean it properly, especially if you have been out on salt water. All you need is a hose, a sponge and some soap specifically designed for use on boats. Have two buckets handy, one for soapy water and the other clean fresh water. Also remember to be careful with the nozzle on your hose. If its heavy or metal, and you drop it, you could crack the surface, so use a plastic nozzle to be on the safe side.
Make sure you switch between the soapy sponge and clean sponge when washing your boat, as you don’t want debris, however small, stuck to the dirty sponge to scratch the surface of the boat. Once you’re done with the final hose off, wipe the surface dry with a chamois and then buff with a soft microfibre cloth. You only need to clean the boat like this every few weeks during use and less frequently during the rest of the year, otherwise you will be constantly keeping up the wax on the surface.
When it comes to detailing your fibreglass boat, this step is really important for protecting and restoring the gelcoat to prevent oxidation. That chalky and dull look you see on some older boats is oxidation and makes the hull more susceptible to intrusion from water, which compromises the integrity of the fibreglass body.
3-4 times a year you should look to thoroughly clean and detail your fibreglass boat, including applying a special boat wax to keep your gelcoat in tip top shape. Wax removes minor oxidation spots and protects the gelcoat almost like sunscreen protects our skin in the sun. Just ensure before you start waxing the boat, you remove any oxidation areas, using a buffer is perfect as its abrasive nature remove surface imperfections along the way.
Mould and Mildew
Most vessels are made of materials resistant to mould and mildew and other water-based nasties. Having said that, mould loves dark and damp environments, so not much is needed for mould to start appearing on your boat and mould loves canvas.
Good news is it’s easy to remove mould if it starts to appear on your canvas. Try finding a product at your local boating store that will remove as much of the mould stains as possible without using bleach. Bleach may be perfect for removing mould, but it will also take the colour out of your canvas. If the problem persists, try using a different stain remover and never pack your canvas away wet. Mark, Nigel and the team provide our clients across industrial, private and commercial fibreglass our professional design and development services as part of the project. We enjoy the challenges presented in boat restoration and take great satisfaction in achieving the customer’s desired result.We use the latest techniques to repair your watercraft, whether it be a small cosmetic repair or a structural modification. Contact Mark or Nigel today, on (08) 8182 4877 or drop in for a no obligation free quote.