Boat Maintenance -
How to clean your boat help guide:
  
  

  
Keeping your boat as good as new allowing it to last years and save on maintenance costs.
  

  
You will always find a professional captain or crew washing down there yacht, with the same basic procedure. How good a job you do can make a huge difference on how good your boat looks a couple years from now. Salt on your boat can permanently stain window glass, It actually has several negative effects on anything it comes in contact with. It is corrosive to metals and it is also corrosive to boat finishes of all kinds, including gel coat. That's why the finish on your hull sides, which don't get much sun, also deteriorates as though it were getting the full dose of ultra violet. But when salt dries into crystals, it's also abrasive, just like sand.

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When washing down, it's best to follow this simple plan. 

1. Spray the entire boat with a fine spray to get everything wet. Removing any excess dirt & any dry salt crystals. This should include virtually all hardware like a pipe frame top, T-top or tower. Not only do you rinse the outside, but also the inside and under side of the top. If you have an outboard boat, don't forget to do the engines, including the undersides of the mount brackets. If it's a sail boat, try to hit as high up on the mast and rigging as possible.
  
2. After you wet everything, give it a few minutes for salt crystals to dissolve. Then come back and hose it down thoroughly. For the final rinse, start from the top down, doing the hull sides last. On a fly bridge boat, start with the bridge first. This will help prevent water streaking at those points where water runs down from the superstructure, finally rinsing the hull sides last.
  
3.  As for seat cushions, I recommend that you stand them on their sides or edges, zipper side down, and lightly rinse those down. This is also the best way to store them so that they don't hold water and start to rot. Stand them up on edge and leave them that way in a protected place.
  
  
4. When hosing down cockpit decks, it's a good idea not to use a high pressure nozzle because that high pressure will work water under your hatches and end up in the engine compartment where steel parts will rust. It's best use a fine spray, rather than a blasting stream, around all windows and hatches. I pay special attention to get all salt off of things like winches, radar scanners and other such expensive components.
  
  
5. Chamois down the windows to avoid permanent water spotting and helm area and most plastics and bright metal.
  
  
  
6. Detergents & Cleaners
Don't ever use strong detergents, and most especially abrasive, chlorinated cleansers on your boat for general cleaning. This is because the chlorine is corrosive and will permanently stain and discolour virtually anything that is anodized aluminium, like rub rails, windshields and trim. If you have a small area of imbedded dirt, try to use a stiff brush first.. Always be sure to fully rinse away all residue, including the places where it runs over the side or out the scuppers.
  
  
  
7. Brushes & Pads
As a general boat cleaning brush, lamb's wool are highly recommended as these are least abrasive on bright finishes. For tougher areas like non-skid, select a natural, not plastic, medium stiffness bristle brush. Avoid very stiff bristles as these will scratch. Use the lamb's wool on any surface that you wax; use the bristle brush only on the non-skid surfaces.
  
  
  
8. Window tracks
If you have sliding windows in your boat, the tracks and aluminium window frames will last a lot longer if you rinse and clean them out occasionally. Take the hose with nozzle inside and squirt the accumulated debris and salts out until the track is clean.
  
  
  
9. Deck drains
Pressure hose clean all those little drain holes in the deck hatch gutters. If those drains clog up with debris, as they often do, the gutters will overflow and put water into places it shouldn't be. Also check for these drains around window frames and anchor or rope locker compartments.
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10. Metal
Polishing your marine stainless removes rust, corrosion, oxidation and tarnish leaving your metals bright & shiny and helping them last longer. We use a metal marine restorer to clean & polish stainless steel, brass, bronze, copper, aluminium and other marine metals.