Yacht Cleaning Tips: Detailing and Washing 101
Cleaning your yacht is not just about maintaining its appearance but also ensuring everything runs well and performs optimally. Not only does a well-maintained boat cruise on the seas better, but it will be safer and more reliable, which is imperative if you spend extended amounts of time at sea or love to cruise long distances.
If you are new to the world of yachting or owning a boat, learning all there is to know about their maintenance and cleaning is an essential part of life as a yachtsman. Here are several tips for detailing and washing your boat to ensure maximum performance and safety while keeping it looking neat and tidy.
To ensure the longevity of your boat’s engine, routine cleaning, and servicing are vital. If you have an outboard engine, you can begin by waxing the cowl and exterior before using soap to clean it up after regular use. In the case of an inboard engine, you should regularly wipe away any build-up of dirt and debris but beware of any electrical wires and parts that you may accidentally damage with cleaning chemicals.
In most cases, leaving the engine cleaning in the hands of an expert is the best course of action. If you do it yourself, use microfiber cloths and avoid using abrasive bristle brushes.
The hull sides need protection to avoid oxidation and maintain their appearance. You should add two layers of paste wax every spring and give the hull an extra shine every month using a liquid carnauba wax. It will help it remain in good condition, but you should also give it a regular wipe-down with soap and water after every boat outing you make.
You should clean the canvas every month at the very least to prevent stains from embedding into the material and giving your yacht a dirty appearance to onlookers. Using a soft-bristle brush and soap, gently scrub the canvas and rinse out any dirt, but you may need to do a heavier cleaning periodically to remove more challenging and lasting stains.
For deep cleaning, you can use a mix of bleach with a quarter-cup of soap with a gallon of water, or you can try using a baking soda and soap mixture. For more specific information on the best cleaning materials, consult the manual provided by the manufacturer.
Teak is an ideal wood because it contains high amounts of silica and oil that make it durable and resistant to weather, rot, fungi, and mold. To clean and maintain your boat’s teak, scrub the surface with soapy water regularly. In some instances, the teak may begin to blacken, at which point you will need to use an acid-based cleaner for the job. If you use such a cleaner, be sure to remove the teak from the boat, as the chemicals can damage the gel coat, paint, and metals aboard your yacht.
In addition to cleaning the exterior of your boat, the interior also needs attention from time to time. Many yachts have marine carpeting that you must clean using a vacuum to remove loose dirt before scrubbing it down with a soft-bristle brush and a mixture of soap and water.
Additionally, any vinyl components – which you will find in a lot of seating – must be treated with anti-microbial to protect them from mold and mildew. Otherwise, it is just a matter of using soapy water to wipe or scrub all surfaces and regularly cleaning any cushions and furnishing you have aboard your yacht.
Join a Yacht Club
Joining a yacht club is an excellent way to find community with link-minded folk and learn more about the world of yachting from experienced mariners. At Lighthouse Point Yacht Club, we have various amenities you can take advantage of, in addition to fun events and activities throughout the year. Contact us today to learn more.