Did you know that a dirty boat can force you to buy almost double the amount of fuel?

According to the US Navy, things like heavy barnacle growth on the hull of a ship can increase fuel consumption by 40%. This is because dirt and barnacles make the boat heavier and increase drag.

The good news is that you can avoid this if you go about boat cleaning properly.

So if you’re ready to keep your boat clean and energy-efficient, keep reading. Our guide has everything you need to know!

Focus on the Key Areas

No matter what types of boats you’re cleaning, there are a few key areas you need to focus on. These are:

  • The interior of the boat (carpet, cushions, bathroom, countertops)
  • The exterior of the boat (hull, sails, gel coat)
  • Engine
  • Deck (usually teak, which is a type of wood)

When you’re cleaning your boat, focus on cleaning each material properly.

For example, many boats have vinyl in their interiors. Since modern boating vinyl has antimicrobial agents in it, you don’t want to use harsh chemicals that will remove them. 

Your cleaning protocol should also include wiping down any boating accessories like lifejackets. 

Freshwater or Saltwater?

If you’re wanting to get into boat ownership, consider whether you’ll be boating in freshwater or saltwater (and for a boat buying guide, you can read it here). This is because each water type has its own cleaning challenges. 

Hulls on freshwater boats often get covered in pond scum. This is caused by algae that form a green film on the hull and slow your boat down.

To clean pond scum, use a hull cleaner and a sponge. Make sure to wear gloves as most hull cleaners are acid-based.

Boat Cleaning

Saltwater, on the other hand, can corrode your boat’s hull.

To clean any corroded areas, you can make a paste from water and some powdered boat cleaner that’s safe for hulls. Let it sit for five minutes, and then scrub it with a sponge. Use a hose to make sure the solution is completely rinsed off.

Identify Your Boat’s Construction Materials

Even the best boats are made of common construction materials. These include stainless steel, aluminum, polyethylene (plastic), and wood.

Take some time to get to know what you can and can’t do when cleaning each material. For example, you should never use an abrasive cloth or cleaner on stainless steel. 

With polyethylene, you won’t know if a certain cleaner will discolor it until you try it. Make sure to always test cleaners on an inconspicuous area first.

Boat Cleaning Done Right

Boat cleaning doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Just remember to focus on the key areas, identify your boat’s construction materials, and use the right cleaners. Soon enough, you’ll have a boat that looks good as new!

And before you start, take some time to learn the most common boat cleaning mistakes. This will make you aware of them before you accidentally do any permanent damage. 

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out more blog posts from our lifestyle and sports categories today!

Read More: Proper Boat and Yacht Maintenance Tips for Beginners.

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