Boat Maintenance & Organization

9 Helpful Tips for Boating Clean and Earth-Friendly

Even though a boat insurance policy will provide protection against wreckage removal, fuel spillage, etc., there are several steps that can be taken to act more earth-friendly.

Green Boating

Below are nine tips to minimize the impact on the environment when boating:

1 – Bilge

Keep the bilge clean and free of oily water. Avoid pumping the dirty or oily water overboard. Alternatively, use absorbent petroleum products like bilge pillows or similar to help with soaking up the oil while at the same time repelling water. Plus, ask the boat yard or marine if a service for bilge pump-out is available.

2 – Chart course

Before setting off make sure to carefully chart the course to avoid issues with wasting fuel or to go in the direction of sensitive sea habitats.

3 – Clean

Use safe and environmentally safe methods to wash down the boat and equipment. Limit the use of toxic detergent. A wide range of boat cleaning products is environmentally responsible and easy to purchase in-store or online.

Ensure all debris and mud are cleaned from the boat and related equipment (anchors, livewell, propeller, trailer, dinghy, life raft, etc.) to minimize the chance of exotic species spreading which can result in degradation and habitat alteration.

4 – Close vent

Close the vent on the portable gas tank when in storage or when the actual motor isn’t in active use.

5 – Fuel tanks

Avoid spillage by filling fuel tanks while still on shore. Try to avoid refilling when on board the boat. Filling the tanks on shore is certain to help with minimizing the amount split in the process. Plus, only fill the fuel tanks to the recommended limit. Fuel can easily expand in warm climates and extra fuel will soon start to flow out the vent lines.

6 – Routine maintenance

Ensure routine maintenance is completed on a regular basis.

7 – Sewage regulations

Stick to the federal and local guidelines that relate to the disposal of sewage. Avoid pumping raw sewage into the open water. Any boat without a pre-installed toilet should rely on a portable unit (port-a-potty or similar). Ensure the port-a-potty is emptied in a predetermined disposal site or pump-out station. A holding tank on board the boat can be useful in certain situations. Minimize the use of disinfectants after cleanup because they are likely to contain toxic chemicals.

8 – Spill kit

Have on board a purpose-made spill kit to help with salvaging any unfortunate issues with wasted oil or similar liquids. Plus, a supply of rags to absorb oil or fuel spillage can help. A minor spillage of oil can result in significant issues in the water so take the appropriate action to avoid these problems. Also, report any sighting of pollution to the local authorities when out on the water.

9 – Trash

Make sure the build up of trash is kept stowed away and taken home. This should include food waste, cigarettes, fishing line, etc. Recycling the waste where possible can also benefit the environment. Plus, batteries or similar items should be disposed of in the correct manner.

Boat Maintenance & Organization

10 Routine Boat Maintenance Tips

A properly maintained boat and equipment is critical to continued safety on the water.

Seasonal Boat MaintenancePlus, a regular maintenance program will help to save money in the long-term as it avoids issues with major repairs and faults.

Below are ten things to include in a boat maintenance checklist to ensure the boat is kept in full working order at all times:

1 – Battery

The battery should be given proper care and attention to ensure it is kept well-maintained and fully charged, while also ensuring the right fluid levels are in place. Plus, a build up of dirt and dampness can result in the battery draining much quicker than usual, so be certain to maintain its condition.

2 – Bilge pump

Give the bilge pump a regular check-up. Plus, it can benefit to ensure the battery has the capacity to operate the pump for a sufficient amount of time if required.

3 – Carbon Monoxide Detector

Any enclosed cabin can benefit from a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. Give the exhaust system a regular check for signs of leaks. Carbon monoxide is a result of deficient fuel combustion, which can lead to a serious case of poisoning.

4 – Cleaning

Washing down the boat after use is a more practical job than giving a shine to the fiberglass structure. A regular clean of the hull, deck, and related equipment is critical to counteract the damage that is caused by sea water and environment impact. Plus, anti-fouling paint and waxing is a further step in the right direction to preserve the integrity of the boat structure.

5 – Cover

Use a purpose-made boat cover throughout the lay-up period to avoid issues with contaminants and ensure the hull is protected against exposure to UV rays.

6 – Electrical components

Electrical components must stay dry to operate in the correct fashion so give a regular inspection to identify issues with corrosion. An extra safety step includes applying a high-grade non-conductive and water-repellent corrosion inhibitor or grease.

7 – Fuel

Fuel must be kept water-free. A well-maintained fuel tank is certain to avoid issues with condensation. A fuel stabilizer is a reliable method to avoid issues with oxidation or fuel degradation. Plus, the addition of fuel filters can further help to avoid issues with water getting into the system.

8 – Mooring

Damage occurs to boats not only when in use, but also when laid-up or docked. Ensure the mooring lines are safe and secure and tied neatly. Give the mooring lines a regular inspection to detect early signs of wear and tear.

9 – Motor

Have the motor inspected at regular intervals to detect signs of corrosion, damage, or rust. Check on oil levels after each outing and ensure proper cleanliness and filtration. Also, monitor the efficiency of the cooling system to ensure it is functioning to the correct grade.

10 – Winterization

Before laying the boat up for the winter season, make sure to put the watercraft through an extensive winterization program to ensure it is more prepared for next season. Whether the motor-driven, sail, or PWC is kept in a lock-up garage, climate controlled storage unit, or in-water, follow the right steps to winterize the boat to protect the machinery and equipment.

Boat Maintenance & Organization

What is the Correct Position to Store an Outboard Motor?

Protect a high-value outboard motor with a 50 – 315-lb weight capacity outboard engine stand. Motor stands, trollies or carts, designed to store a motor in the ideal upright position to prevent leakage of fluid, off the floor and safe, come in several different designs from movable, static or collapsible – each with there own distinctive characteristics.

Outboard Motor StandStands are perfect for storing motors in times of non-use, service or maintenance, and transporting to a boat.

A cool temperature in the storage shed is preferred since this offers the chance to lessen the process of rusting; low humidity levels work in a similar fashion. Basically, you should avoid storing the outboard in a shed which is likely to experience significant fluctuations in temperature — like being positioned by the furnace — since moisture has the potential to develop quite suddenly, which will result in mechanical related problems.

Characteristic of a Motor Stand

Portable for use wherever you are, a 1-inch tubular framed outboard stand sits on solid casters or pneumatic tires for increased maneuverability and stability. Its large diameter pneumatic-type wheels are designed to move with ease no matter the size of engine carried.

  1. 1-inch tubular-steed framed construction
  2. Multiple structure designs to accept varying weight limits
  3. Handles fold for ease in storage
  4. Solid-built 1.5 – 2-inch hanging block for placing the engine
  5. Pneumatic tires or casters

The motor’s hangers are placed on 1.5 – 2-inch thick block to secure the engine in a vertical position – which will hold up to oil, gas, or similar corrosive materials. For ease in pushing or pulling, a cart often comes with soft-grip ergonomic handles, which folds-down (or flat in some cases) for convenient storing – offering a lot more space in a shed or garage – and perfect to transport in a vehicle and use on arrival at the boat slip or marina. In addition, with the handles folded-down, it will make maintenance a great deal easier.

Offering varying weight capacities, an engine stand is constructed in high-strength tubular steel, in several different tube frame dimensions – and accepts all brands of motors (Johnson – Yamaha – Evinrude – Suzuki – Tohatsu). A stand built for small HP motors (up to 15 horsepower) has a weight capacity at 60 to 85lbs, a stand for medium HP motors (up to 30 horsepower) has a weight capacity at 85 to 130lbs, and a stand for large HP motor has a weight capacity at 130– 315lbs.

Storing an outboard engine in an upright position, at an angle similar to a boats stern is most beneficial to secure liquids inside the engine in the right compartments, which prolongs the motors tightness and sealing.

Build a Stand

Looking for a solution to winterize an engine, change oils, or general safe-keeping – a self-built stand offers a practical solution to avoid leaving a motor sitting on a garage floor – with plans offering construction times of 30 minutes to 2 hours using 2×4 or 2×6 lumbers plus miscellaneous hardware. Searching online will return a varied selection of plans, some good, others poor.

How to care, prepare and winterize an outboard motor

Proper care, preparation and winterization of the outboard motor or any mechanical component of the boat are able to increase the overall life-expectancy and functionality of the vessel. Maintaining the outboard engine offers a variety of positive aspects, from increasing the safety to reducing the cost of owning the vessel. While certain maintenance and service issues might be best left to the authorized dealerships and mechanics, a wide range of general repair issues on the engine can be completed by the owner to help with saving on costs.

Prior to using the outboard motor

  • Verify the engine oil level – relying on the guidelines suggested in the owner’s manual.
  • Check the fuel system for signs of leaks or extreme wear.
  • Inspect to lanyard stop to make sure it is able to kill the engine.
  • Examine the engine mounting to make sure it is able to securely mount the transom
  • Look at the steering system to inspect for signs of loose components. Check the tie bar fasteners and hydraulic fittings, and that no leaks or damage is noticed.
  • Inspect for indications of damage to the propeller blades. Replace or repair the propeller if required.

After using the outboard motor

  • If using the vessel in saltwater make certain to flush the engines cooling system.
  • Clean the outboard motor if just lifted from salt waters
  • Rinse out the propeller exhaust outlet with freshwater after using the vessel and outboard in saltwater.

Perform every 100-hours or yearly

  • Replace the oil and filter. Examine the separator/water filter for signs of dirt or debris. Change or clean the filter in situations where it is deemed necessary. Use a mechanic to verify the condition of the thermostat to make sure it is able to close at the ideal temperature. If required replace the lubricant for the gear case.
  • Make sure the fasteners, bolts, and nuts are tight. Look for signs of corrosion with the anodes and replace if required.
  • If operating a power-steering vessel have the steering fluid check and top up if necessary. Check the power trim and add fluid.
  • Examine the battery
  • Have the electrical system inspected for frayed wires or loose connections.
  • If regularly used in saltwater, examine the spark plugs for signs of corrosion. Swap-out the spark plugs if required.

Perform every 300-hours or 3-yearly

  • Have the engine inspect by an authorized dealer or mechanic to examine the water pump impeller and high-pressure inline fuel filter, and replace if deemed necessary.
  • Spark plugs are likely to require replacing at the 3-year or 300-hour time-frame.
  • Examine the accessory drive belt to establish if it needs replacing.


Boat Maintenance & Organization

10 Tips to Help Winterize Your Boat

There are several methods available for storing a boat off-season, all of which might involve a certain amount of effort to prepare a winterization plan.

Boat Cover for Winter Lay-UpA well-prepared storage plan should pay huge dividends because of the ability to maintain the mechanical operation of the boat. If you aren’t mechanically minded and don’t have basic maintenance and engine skills, you can refer to a boatyard to help go through the steps to properly winterize.

1 – Start with the engine

Start with winterizing the engine as this is potentially the most significant step that needs to be performed. You don’t want dirty, old oil left sitting in the engine throughout the off-season, so start by changing the filter and oil.

2 – Engine cooling system

The cooling system can vary, either an open or closed system, so it is important to know the particular type on the vessel. If it is an open system, whereby water is drawn outside the craft, it would be necessary to flush the system using clean water. This is achieved by inserting a hose into the intake opening and draining the system. If, however a vessel features a closed system, it is generally a case of refilling the system with a water or antifreeze solution, whichever might be recommended.

3 – Empty the fuel tank

Drain any gas that might be left in the fuel tank. A vessel often includes a drain screw for ease in completing this stage. Once drained, replace the drain screw and top up the tank with the required fuel stabilizer liquid.

4 – Clear the holding tank

Pump out the holding tank (bathroom), if applicable. It often benefits to have a boatyard complete this stage, unless the tank can easily be removed from the vessel. In preparation for next season, it often benefits to treat this tank with a highly effective deodorizing solution.

5 – Clean the bilges

Give the bilges a good clean and dry before leaving. A variety of tools like a stiff brush, hot water, and soap can help remove oil spills or similar. A cleaned bilge area is best sprayed with a lubricant (moisture displacing) and anti-freeze to stop the leftover water freezing up.

6 – Pack the gear

It is a wise precautionary measure to take off-board as much removable gear as possible. It isn’t necessary to leave cushions, sails, fire extinguishers, PFD, electronics, weatherproof gear, fenders, etc. on board – as this is only likely to attract dirt and moisture. Over the course of the winter give the removed valuables a complete inspection to identify those in need of cleaning or replacing.

7 – Open the lockers and hatches

If a vessel is to be winterized in an enclosed space, such as a garage, then there is often an advantage to open all of the storage lockers and hatches. It might also benefit to spray certain areas of the vessel with an anti-mildew product in areas like the bilge and lockers. If a vessel is to be stored outside, a dehumidifier can often help. Plus, open and clean the freezer or refrigerator system.

8 – Use a tarp

An essential step to take if leaving a boat outside and exposed to the elements, is to use a full-length tarp or cover. A high-quality boat cover will be required to make sure sufficient protection is provided for the duration of the layout period.

9 – Give the trailer attention

Similar to the motor-driven or sail boat, trailers can benefit from a service at the end of the season. Give the hubs a thorough wash. Any signs of rust should be rubbed down, primed, and given a fresh coat of paint. Inspect each of the tires for wear for cracks, and don’t forget the sidewalls. Also, consider removing the tires for a variety of reasons. It discourages theft, protects the springs, and extends the life of the tires.

10 – Lay-up storage

Before leaving the boat for the winter give the hull a pressure wash to help remove barnacles from trim tabs, struts, rubbers, and props. Open seacocks to let water drain. Inspect the hull for signs of developing blisters. Work on any blisters found during the winter lay-up to ensure the boat is ready for next season.

Boat Maintenance & Organization

Boat Winterizing – Boat Storage Tips for the Off-Season

Protecting a boat for the off-season is a difficult process. A well-protected boat has the potential to last longer, not only in relation to its mechanical components, but also aesthetically. Boat storage options are wide-ranging and each comes with its plus and minus points.

Boat Winterizing
Boat Storage Tips

1 – Establish the Type of Storage Facility

A storage facility based outside results in lower monthly fees, but the vessel will be totally exposed to the elements. A heavy down-pouring of rain, ultraviolet sunlight, heavy winds, and prolonged snowfall, has the potential to cause significant damage. An indoor based facility on the other hand will make sure the vessel is fully protected from the ever-changing climate conditions. Some facilities even feature climate control to make sure the vessel is stored at a constant temperature. It helps to research the potential rental fees to decide which option will be most beneficial to your situation.

  • Dry Storage. Many of the boat yards and marinas offer dry storage facilities. In general these dry storage facilities are secure and enclosed parking lots where a number of boats are parked up for the off-season. While the dry storage facilities can be a low-cost option to store a vessel, they are generally exposed to the elements and might be valuable to attacks of theft / vandalism. If leaving a boat in one of these facilities it is often recommended to fit a high-quality cover to give a higher degree of protection. Rates charged vary significantly, even for facilities located within the same region.
  • Boat Slip. A boat slip at a marina is a further storage option. If able to book a boat slip in the area of your choice, you can avoid the need to haul and launch each time you plan on going to sea. Popular marinas often have a long waiting list. A very long wait for available space is often inevitable. Rates charged for the boat slips often vary by region and time of season.
  • Storage Units. If a boat owner uses a trailerable model, it is can be stored for the winter layout period in a garage, car port, or alongside a property. However, in certain areas there are restrictions in place as to where a recreational vehicle can be parked in visible sight. If it is clear that it isn’t possible to store a boat on your property for the off-season, it might be necessary to hire a storage unit. A fully enclosed building offers a high level of protection for a boat, not just from the environment, but also from acts of theft or vandalism. Many of these complexes are situated close to bodies of water that are used for the recreational activities.
  • Professional Concierge Storage. In many boating areas, professional storage facilities are available for either exposed or dry storage. Many of these storage facilities offer a type of concierge service, which means the facility, will take the necessary steps to launch the vessel as and when required, and later return it back to its place in the storage facility. Other services offered might relate to maintenance, watercraft repair, and washing and cleaning service.
  • Marina. A marina offers a perfect storage facility for boats at any time of the season. A boat might be kept in a marina throughout the season and lifted ashore at the end of the season. A rack styled storage facility might be used for the period laid-up ashore. Basing a boat in one of the more popular marinas year-round is often very expensive, although it does offer the convenience of being able to use the craft at any time.

2 – Inspect the Location

Use a storage facility that gives quick and easy access to the vessel. Space to carry out routine maintenance should be available. In an initial examination of a storage facility, it is necessary to determine that the craft will be properly cared for and protected. It often benefits to comparison shop several boat storage facilities to determine the quality of service offered and amenities available. If planning on long-term storage, it might be possible to ask about potential discounts, as this is often available with some of the facilities.

3 – Insurance Coverage

Depending on the type of marine insurance plan you hold, a vessel might or might not be covered throughout the period that it is laid up ashore. If not entirely certain of the cover provided on the insurance policy, it is best to contact your insurance company to see what limitations might be in place during this storage period. If cover isn’t already in place, it is possible to extend your existing insurance coverage or take out a short-term plan provided by the storage facility.

4 – Identify the Level of Security

The security measures in place at the storage facilities can vary significantly. It is important to investigate this particular area to make sure you are getting the type of security you believe is necessary. A storage facility with on-site guards or 24/7 video surveillance are the preferred choice. A storage facility with just a simple fenced parking lot isn’t likely to offer a high agree of protection, and should typically be avoided.

5 – Use Protective Covers

In the off-season, it benefits to use a high-quality boat protection cover in either indoor or outdoor storage facilities. Covers are essential to protect the vessel from damage from the elements such as the sun, rain, and snow. Boats upholstery and electrical components can easily become damaged if not protected in the correct manner.

Boat Maintenance & Organization

What Type of Boat Dock is Right for You?

A floating dock is a great feature for a waterfront home. Whether you are fishing, boating, jet skiing, or swimming, a versatile floating dock is easy to scale to the personal needs.

River Boat Dock

The class of vessel intended for the dock (ski boat, deck, or pontoon) isn’t critical in most cases because these platforms are able to accept a choice of boats or PWC‘s. In the process of having a dock designed it will be critical to have it designed to match the intended use. Covered boat dock designs and plans are highly desired for those seeking a sheltered area from the rain or sun. Plus, a dock can be built with a spacious walkway or a convenient slip for more functionality.

A variety of variables can impact the layout and design. A skilled boat dock builder is there to help determine the most practical layout to match the lifestyle and location. River or lake conditions are often seen to dictate the style of dock built. Many of the designs are short-term or adaptable. A temporary dock might be installed for the summer season, and when the boat is moved to storage for the lay-up period, the floating or modular dock can be removed for the winter period. Popular dock materials include aluminum, concrete, exotic hardwoods, regular woods, and synthetic materials.

What dock is able to match your specific needs?


It requires a time of reflection to establish the most-efficient style of boat dock design. Throughout the planning stage it is crucial to determine the desired utility, feel, and look of the dock structure. In the planning stage factors to weigh up include the wave exposure, tidal range, and depth of water. Weather conditions are a further factor to consider with the dock fully or partially covered.

A dock structure in high demand and required for day-to-day use is likely to be constructed with materials of a sturdy standing, while the docks constructed for the aesthetic appeal needn’t require such solid resources.


A versatile platform is seen with the floating dock structures. A float dock is designed and constructed to float on the river’s surface and remains in place via fasteners and anchors. They are able to be installed at a much quicker rate than many of the alternative dock structures in the marketplace. A further quality aspect is the ability to adapt to changes in the depth of the river. Floating docks are constructed with a custom or modular build. A high-quality material is seen with the platforms made in PVC, which is known to resist splintering, rotting, warping, and chipping.


A solid and permanent stationary dock is installed with durable legs or supports driven into the river bed to give long-term placement and stability. A stationary dock is perfect for shallow waters or rivers likely to remain at a more stable depth. They are installed using metal, wood, or piping to support the dock structure. In many situations the material of choice is likely to be aluminum pipe or galvanized water pipe. A boat lift might be incorporated on the more heavy-duty platforms.


A straightforward dock design is to be had with the modular dock structures, which are easily and quickly installed. Modular docks are manufactured in high-strength PVC, which is low-maintenance, highly durable, and easily handled. A modular platform is likely to incorporate a non-slip surface, while some might include UV protection to avoid discoloration, chalking, and fading. They are aesthetically pleasing, cool to the touch, and resistant to heat. If required a modular dock can be extended or reconfigured to adapt to the changing conditions or circumstances.

Build with what Material

When it concerns the construction material of the boat dock, consider the location and environment. Polyethylene or aluminum docks are a hard-wearing choice. They are built to be sturdy and withstand major impact. Plus, these docks are low-maintenance and less likely to experience issues with rust or rot. Alternatively, a wooden dock is the preferred choice to add rustic and natural beauty to the shoreline. But, a wood-based dock is more reliant on regular maintenance. A combination dock in aluminum and wood is able to give the stability afforded by metal docks while also providing the attractive aesthetics of the wooden structure.

Boat Maintenance & Organization

5 Boat Storage Options (Outdoor & Indoor)

Whether you are looking for an indoor storage unit, high-and-dry boat storage, or outside trailer storage, there are multiple options to keep the beloved boat and equipment safe throughout the winter lay-up period.

Boat Storage OptionsLeaving the motor-yacht tied up at the marine is a safe and convenient option, but is likely to cost the most. Alternatively, trailering the boat home will take a lot of time and effort and might leave it open to the elements (if left in the yard) and take up space.

Below are five of the most appealing boat storage options

Self-Storage Facility

A self-storage facility offers the most cost-effective method to safely store and protect the boat throughout the winter period. A storage unit is also convenient and easy to access with many storage facilities situated near your home, the ocean, bays, rivers, and lakes.

While a regular self storage unit is without doubt a convenient option, there is a high chance that it won’t give the most desired fit. A self-storage unit for a motor-driven yacht, sailboat, or runabout needs to be in the region of 10 x 15 feet. Other standard sizes can include 10 x 20 feet and 10 x 30 feet. Any boats outside these dimensions will find it difficult to use a regular self-storage unit. Also, a maximum height is about 8-10 feet tall.

Outdoor Boat Storage

Even if a self-storage facility doesn’t have enough space inside, some facilities have large outdoor spaces to park up boats, RV, caravans, trailers, etc. Outdoor boat storage is usually more cost-effective than going to a specialized service. But, this space is essentially open to the elements and might not give the desired protection.

Storage facilities located close to bodies of water are more likely to have the needs of the boat owner in mind and provide some type of roof or similar protection from the rain. Plus, certain facilities will offer extra services like light maintenance to boat transportation.

Dry Stack Storage

A dry stack storage system is designed to store RIBs and boats (up to a certain length) in a large rack with many other vessels. A storage rack is usually competitively priced and gives a high level of protection from the rain, snow, wind, etc. A well-protected dry stack storage system is based in a large warehouse. This should ensure the boat is fully protected from the elements at all times. However, the process of returning the motor boat to the water can be time-consuming and difficult.

Plus, the racks are limited in space and most facilities are only designed to accept boats that are within 35 feet.

Indoor Boat Storage

Most of the storage units are able to accept the boats at the more modest range sizes — although certain models of boat are just too big and wouldn’t be able to fit within a standard storage facility. However, the dedicated storage spots are designed with a layout that is more boat-friendly and able to accept the larger boats.

Indoor boat storage is certain to appeal to those living in areas that experience the more difficult weather (snow and ice) all through the winter. A boat left exposed on an open storage facility is certain to experience issues with wear and tear over time.

The majority of indoor boat storage facilities is large warehouses with space to store a number of boats in a single room. Certain extras can feature in the price of renting a space for winter hibernation, such as full winterization and transport (to and from the storage facility). Full winterization can include antifreeze, changing gear lube, stabilizing gas tanks, pumping out water tanks, winterizing air conditioners, and greasing external fittings.

Jet Ski Storage

Storing a personal watercraft (PWC) is similar to storing a full size boat, but at a much smaller footprint. This makes it more achievable to store the Jet Ski on the driveway, in the yard, or enclosed in the garage. But, if there isn’t any safe and secure space at home, there are several under cover storage options available.

A basic self-storage unit often makes a practical choice for storing the PWC. It offers undercover protection to ensure the watercraft is safe from the elements; it is much more cost-effective than leaving at the marina. Most 10 x 10 foot storage units are plenty for a jet ski.

Boat Maintenance & Organization

6 Quick Tips for Boat Care & Maintenance

A well-maintained fiberglass boat has the potential to offer many years of boating, pleasure, and fun.

Motor Yacht

While a fiberglass boat doesn’t require an extensive amount of maintenance, it can still benefit from a practical repair schedule. Issues with a fiberglass boat include repainting the hull, repairing any cracks, or giving a good clean and polish. Proper maintenance is certain to keep the boat operating issue free for that much longer.

Below are six steps to maintain the aesthetics, performance, and safety of the fiberglass boat:


Get organized by writing out a maintenance schedule to ensure the work on the boat is completed on a consistent basis. A separate calendar for boat cleaning can itemize the best times to check parts for failure or wear, apply fresh paint, give a general clean, or prepare for winter lay-up.

Good wash

Giving the fiberglass boat a good wash is certain to help maintain the attractive appearance and avoid the buildup of salt, stains, and dirt. A periodic washing schedule is essential for not only keeping a clean hull and deck, but also makes it easier to notice other maintenance work. Only use the made for purpose cleaning solutions when washing the fiberglass hull and avoid heavy abrasives.

1 – Fresh water rinse

After using the boat in a saltwater environment give it a complete wash down using clean, fresh-water to help with removing all signs of salt residue. Also, make sure to clean the outboard engine (if applicable). A build up of salt residue can soon start eating away at the finish of the boat.

2 – Superstructure (clean)

Give the entire area of the deck (superstructure) a complete wash with a high-quality marine soap, warm water, and soft sponge. This should include washing and rinsing the windshield, deck boxes, vinyl seats, etc.

3 – Scrub the Deck

Scrub down the hull, deck, fixture and fittings using a pH-balanced and biodegradable that is especially intended for marine applications. A medium stiffness deck brush is likely to give the desired results. Avoid the brush with stiff bristle as this could potentially damage the boat’s finish.

4 – Superstructure (dry)

After the superstructure is fully cleaned make sure to thoroughly dry the surfaces using a dry, soft cloth.

5 – Windows and upholstery

Give the windows a sparkling shine using a home solution of water and vinegar or a more typical commercial cleaning product. Also, give the upholstery a good coating of a commercial vinyl solution to ensure the boat and equipment is well-maintained at all times.

6 – Polish and protect

A high-quality polish can help to protect the surface of the fiberglass hull once it has been given a good wash. A quality wax benefits the fiberglass material by providing a hard shell and a great shine. This protective layer will help to minimize the signs of color fading or discoloring after long-term exposure to the salt water. Use the right equipment when polishing to avoid scratching or digging into the surface of the hull.


Any small cracks identified in the fiberglass material should be repaired as soon as possible. A fiberglass hull is most susceptible to cracks if likely to launch and recover from the beach or sailing in rough waters. A minor crack that isn’t fixed immediately can soon turn into a significant crack in a short time-frame. Any reliable fiberglass repair kit should be able to help with repairing these small cracks.


A yearly inspection or replacement of the pump is essential for the fiberglass boats. A low performing pump can mean the water that trickles in isn’t pumped out. A boat used every year can benefit from having the pump replaced yearly. This is a quite simple job and can be completed with a few basic tools.


If planning to work with fiberglass it helps to utilize the proper personal safety gear to avoid inhaling the potentially toxic fumes. Safety equipment to wear when working with fiberglass (repairing cracks, cleaning the hull, prep work for painting, etc.) includes full body protection suits, goggles, gloves, and respirator. This should make sure the toxic particles in the air aren’t breathed in when working on the boat.