With boating season coming to a close, it’s time to start preparing your boat for storage. But before you put your boat away, you want to make sure it’s clean and detailed, especially so mold and mildew don’t start to form while it’s in storage. This article will teach you a few boat detailing tips you need to know so your boat is ready for the next season.
Start With Soap and Water
Before you break out the soap, rinse your boat from top to bottom to remove any loose debris and dirt. Start from the very top of the boat and work your way down to the hull; ideally, you’ll use warm, pressurized water.
After you’ve rinsed off that first layer of grime, you can grab your soap. Car, marine, or RV wash will do, as these lather easily and are made for automotive exteriors. For the exterior, use a microfiber washing mitt and a stiff brush for the wheels and rims. However, don’t lather up your boat all at once. If you let the soap dry, it will leave streaks and residue. It’s best to clean one small spot at a time, rinsing off the soap once you’re done with one area.
Buff and Wax
At this point, your boat’s exterior should look much better, but it may not be as gleaming as you want it to be. This is likely because the exterior of your boat has oxidized, meaning you’ll need a high-quality marine-grade polishing compound, rotary polisher, and wool cutting pads. Again, be sure to work in small areas at a time, wiping each area down with a microfiber cloth when you’re done. You’ll also need extra wool pads to get the job done so you’re not using the same dirty pad on the rest of your boat. Additionally, make sure not to use different products on the same pad.
After you’ve polished your boat, you’ll want to wax the exterior to get the day-one shine and protect your newly polished boat; marine-grade wax works best. Buff in circles focusing on one area at a time, removing any swirls left behind by the rotary polisher. Now that the outside of your boat looks sparkling new, you’re ready to clean the interior.
Spot Treat the Interior
Luckily, cleaning the interior of your boat is relatively easy, and maintaining your marine vinyl upholstery is even easier. Once a season, clean any carpeting with a soft carpet brush and carpet shampoo, using small circular motions and light pressure so you don’t damage the fibers. Vacuum any remaining water so the fibers don’t start to smell while in storage. Lastly, spot treat your interior with a vacuum and wipe away dirt and grime with a wet towel. Let your boat dry completely before you store it, and you’ve got yourself a clean and detailed boat ready for the next season.
With these boat detailing tips, your boat will be ready to go as soon as boating season comes back around. This way, you don’t have to worry about cleaning when you want to be on the water.