The more you use your boat, the more you need to maintain it! By looking after your boat and staying on top of boat maintenance you can keep it performing well and safely, plus you’ll preserve it into the future.
Now’s a great time to give your boat a bit of love and here are some tips on maintaining the hull.
MAINTAINING FIBREGLASS HULLS
Saltwater is probably the biggest enemy of all boats. Always wash the saltwater from the hull as soon as possible. This also applies to both the motor and trailer as well as any articles that may have been used in the water such as ski ropes, jackets, kneeboards, fishing gear etc.
Any fibreglass boat can be washed with a soft cloth or sponge and soapy water. Be sure to hose the boat well and make sure that it is left in a storage position that will allow the water to drain to the back of the hull and out the bungs.
The amount of polishing required will depend on where the boat is stored. It is preferable to store the boat out of the sun either in a garage/carport or under a large tarp. If this is the case then polishing once a year with a fine cut polish should be sufficient. For those boats that are moored or stored in direct sunlight then more applications may be needed. If the surface has become dull, an extra cut polish will be required and should be followed by a fine cut.
Harsh marks and grease can be removed from the hull with a solvent. Use a small amount on a cloth and be sure to avoid contact with any chine tapes and stickers.
Sterndrive motors should if possible be left with the engine cover open or at least left ajar. This is to limit condensation in the engine compartment thus minimising the chance of engine parts rusting. Do not do this if it is possible that rain or dirt/dust can enter the engine compartment. It is also crucial that sterndrive hulls be left with the bung out as the starter motor is located quite low on the engine and just one night of heavy rain is enough to submerge it.
MAINTAINING ALUMINIUM HULLS
As with fibreglass hulls, aluminium boats should be washed as soon as possible with a sponge and soapy water. Make sure the boat is hosed out well, both inside and out, and is able to drain properly.
Do not under any circumstances leave hooks, sinkers or any metal objects in the bottom of an aluminium hull, as this will trigger a serious corrosion problem. Paintwork and corrosion damage is not covered under the manufactures warranty.