Author: Boat Accessories Australia Date Posted: 25 October 2017
Keep your boat looking ship shape with a few tips and some easy-to-use cleaning and maintenance products. There are many components on your boat made from a range of materials so remember to use the right protectant for specific parts.
Keeping your hull clean and shiny not only ensures a long life but also improves your boat’s performance. Ideally it should be cleaned several times a year, particularly if it’s used in polluted water. Regular cleaning will reduce hull corrosion, stop barnacle growth, remove salt build-up, algae and mould.
Follow these few simple steps if you are going to clean the hull of your dry-docked boat.
1. Rinse with clean water using either a bucket or hose; no high-pressure cleaners as it may damage your paintwork.
2. Read the instructions and prepare your hull cleaning solution.
3. Apply with a big soft sponge, dipping regularly into the solution and using circular motions to clean the hull.
4. Rinse with clean, fresh water.
5. Using a clean sponge, wipe off any cleaning solution residue.
Nothing says well maintained on a boat more than shiny stainless steel. Make sure you wash down any stainless steel parts with fresh water after every trip to remove any saltwater chlorides as these attack the chromium oxide film.
Using a stainless steel polish will protect the surface from rust, stains and oxidation but if it needs cleaning first, use a non-abrasive cloth with dishwashing detergent or try a paste of baking soda and warm water for stubborn stains. Don’t use steel wool, brushes, cleaners with chlorine and bleach or sandpaper on stainless steel. To further protect and make your stainless steel shine, try the following steps.
Use a clean, soft cloth to apply a small amount of Septone Stainless Steel Polish to the surface.
1. Rub cloth in a circular motion over the surface until a black film can be seen.
2. Use another clean, soft cloth to buff the surface until a deep gloss is achieved.
3. If any residual polish remains on the surface, wipe over with a rag dipped in methylated spirits.
Even if your boat has started to show signs of rust, you can still take action to prevent further rusting. Septone Fish Oil contains properties that will halt rusting in the parent material. Being deodorised, you get the benefits without the smell.
1. Use a wire brush to remove any loose particles and foreign material.
2. Remove any rusted or badly pitted areas by chipping away at the damaged area.
3. Either wipe over with the fish oil or spray the aerosol can.
Fail to look after your trailer and you could run into trouble. Your trailer needs regular attention for a long and effective life. The most important protectant for a trailer is grease. The trailer bearings inside the wheel hub allow the wheel to rotate freely and should be kept well greased. Always check the amount of grease before a long trip. If you launch your boat after a lengthy trailer journey, grease the bearings to displace any cool water that has infiltrated the hot wheel hubs. It’s not such a concern when you are retrieving your boat because the hubs are cool or if you use bearing protectors. If you don’t use the trailer often, lubricate the bearings annually.
To avoid rust and corrosion make sure you also apply grease to the coupling, winch and axel springs. The best way to ensure all parts get a good covering of grease is to use your hands. If dirt or salt water gets into any moving part of your trailer, it’s at risk of friction and wear. Keeping it lubricated is like coolant against heat caused by friction.
The non moving parts of your trailer will benefit from a coat of Bel-Ray Marine Rust Prevent Coating. The easy to use coating can be applied by dipping, spraying or painting on and will provide maximum protection against corrosion for up to two years.
Spend a little time and you will be rewarded with a good looking boat and trailer that works when you most need and has the best chance of a good resale price.
If you need some advice on the best products for repairing the fibreglass on your boat, call Boat Accessories Australia on 1300 308 161 or send us an email.