Secrets To A Clean Boat

You know who loves cleaning their boat? No one. Ever. But if you enjoy being on a clean boat, these tips should help.

Photo of a squeegeePhoto: Michael Vatalaro

The Versatile Squeegee

When boat seats are wet in the morning or after a passing shower, toweling them off works only if you have a dry towel at hand. A squeegee, on the other hand, can be left out in the rain or dew and still dry the seats. While you're at it, you can also clear the windshield and dry the smooth parts of the deck.


A Dollar Well Spent

Photo of LA Totally Awesome cleaner Photo: Michael Vatalaro

I couldn't find any cleaning product to easily remove black stains that form around gas fills and vents. On a hunch, I tried LA's Totally Awesome cleaner, available from the Dollar Store. I let it sit for 10 seconds, and wiped it off. The stains were gone. So was the wax coat, but that was easy to put back. It doesn't work like oxalic acid does on waterline stains, so it has its limits. The instructions warn not to use it straight on glass.


Pack Hard-Water Soap

Many bar soaps won't lather in saltwater, but most liquid dishwashing soaps work nicely for washing hands and bodies. Get biodegradable ones.


Rejuvenate Interior Woodwork

Many boat interiors have stained but unsealed wood panels, doors, and trim. Over time, the wood needs rejuvenation. Johnson makes a product called Revitalizing Oil. Simply spray it on a clean rag and rub along the wood grain, which will clean and nourish unsealed interior woodwork to make it look like new, while also adding a layer of protection from the elements.


Sole Brush

Excursions ashore, especially nature hikes, tend to bring dirt back aboard. Sand can be rinsed away with a slap of shoe soles on the water, but mud is more tenacious. We keep a stiff scrub brush just for shoe cleaning. However you get ashore, if you have a stiff brush at hand when you return to the water's edge, you can quickly render sole treads pristine. Better to clean mud there than from the deck. 



— Published: Fall 2014


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