Much like car owners, some boat owners love to wash their boats after every trip. Some clean them meticulously each week, and some never wash them the entire time they own them. Then there is everyone in between who cleans them every so often.
If you are in the “every so often” camp, you may wonder why you see your harbour neighbour washing their boat after every trip, regardless of the duration. But are they doing things right or does a boat require cleaning every time?
Cleaning Your Boat After a Day at Sea
Regular washing of your boat keeps it clean but also safe. You should clean your boat after every trip into the ocean. This is due to the saltwater crystals, which will eventually start scratching and causing abrasions to your vessel if you don’t clean them off.
With corrosion damage over time, your boat may stop being fit for purpose. Following saltwater trips, you will also want to flush your engine to ensure that no salt is left to build up in the hard-to-reach areas of your boat to cause damage there.
Pox on Boats
As a general rule, the coastlines and marinas contain much less salt than the ocean’s open waters, so when your boat is sitting within the marina, it is protected from lower salt levels. An ideal situation is to completely remove the vessel from sitting in any salt or stagnant water to ensure its greatest chance of a longer lifespan with few risks of issues for the next time you set sail. It will also mainly be free of what can be perceived as rust. In actual fact, it is not rust but what is labelled as “pox”.
Pox is the appearance of blistering of gel coat and fibreglass on the hull of a boat due to prolonged stays within the water. With regular outings in salt water, combined with a lack of cleaning, you’ll begin to notice pox more. This rust-like substance is caused on any stainless surface as the salt starts to erode it.
It will affect the stainless surface first, but if left untreated, you run the risk of it damaging other parts of the boat, making marine cleaning supplies a must for your boat storage area.
Cleaning Your Boat After a Day on Freshwater
Of course, you may only use your boat on freshwater trips, so the salt crystals won’t be an issue.
However, while boating in freshwater, you can still encounter dirt, grime and debris. Therefore, it’s still a good idea to give your boat a rinse after a freshwater outing too. This removes any difficult-to-remove residue, grime and debris you pick up on your journey.
What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Boat?
If you don’t keep your boat clean, you may encounter serious repairs that could have been avoided otherwise. During your regular clean, you can give the vessel a bit of an inspection, notice if there is any need for any fixes and give it the attention it needs.
You are less likely to encounter issues on a well-maintained boat, and you can spot problems easier if your boat is clean. Such as if you require marine tape for your boat or if your boat needs a touch-up.
Cleaning your boat also makes it look nice in the marina and gives you something to be incredibly proud of.
When Should You Deep Clean Your Boat?
A regular rinse following a trip is the best practice, but you should also take the time to give your boat a deep clean once a year.
Some people choose to do this at the end of each boating season before putting their boat into storage or securing it into a marina long term, whereas others prefer to do it at the start of the season, so it looks shiny for their first outings. Many boatowners will often do both to ensure the best maintenance for their vessel.
The Best Cleaning Products to Use on Your Boat
Undoubtedly, the best cleaning products you can find are available here at Offshore Supply. Our range of Unitor marine products includes some of the best cleaning supplies we have found when working in the industry.
Whether you are looking for a deck cleaner that will remove oil and grease, a product to renew the teak on your boat, or you have a bigger boat and require a whole cargo cleaning kit, you can find it from Unitor.
Other Parts of Your Boat to Keep Clean for Safety
Of course, it’s not just the deck and the hull you need to keep clean. The parts of the boat you rarely see also need a spruce up.
You may find that over a period of time in use, carbon can build up on various parts of the engine. The piston rings, valves, cylinder heads and walls of your engine all start showing signs of carbon build-up, which can affect engine performance and potential overheating.
Contact Offshore Supply for Your Cleaning Needs
At Offshore Supply, we have extensive experience helping boat owners maintain and clean their boats. From small power boats to enormous cargo ships, we can find you the marine cleaning supplies you need. Not only do we stock a wide variety of cleaning products for inside and out, but we also offer marine engine spares, paints and pest control measures to keep your boat safe. Contact us today or browse our catalogue online.