All About Clean Yachting

Keeping a yacht or boat clean might not be the most obvious concern for those who own a boat, but it's a very important part of ownership of any watercraft. Regular cleaning helps prevent rust and decay of surfaces and components. This type of decay can be especially serious when you regularly place your vessel into bodies of salt water, which can accelerate the deterioration of a boat without proper care. Regular cleaning helps preserve your investment to keep it beautiful and in good condition for as long as possible. Ongoing maintenance also ensures that the use of the boat or yacht does not negatively impact the environment. When preparing a yacht for sale, perform detailed cleaning to make it shine. Used yachts that receive regular cleaning and maintenance should have a long and useful life in the water.

Choosing the right equipment is important when performing cleaning tasks on a boat or a yacht. Scum and dirt will be ongoing issues as you use a boat, so it's crucial to stock up on cleaning supplies and use them regularly. While cleaning will be necessary to cut through debris, preserving shiny surfaces for cosmetic reasons will also be a consideration. Choose tools with soft bristles and surfaces whenever possible to prevent damage to the finish of the vessel.

Boats and yachts have many different surfaces and components that need cleaning aside from the hull. Take the time to clean carpeted areas, upholstery, windows, canvas, and metal and wooden components regularly. Ignoring these components may lead to decay and damage over time. Always use cleaning products designed for the specific material to avoid damaging them. If you have concerns or questions about cleaning a specific component of your boat, consult the manufacturer for product recommendations.

  • Carpeted areas of a boat tend to get very dirty. Use a power washer or a garden hose to loosen caked-on debris, then use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the water and debris.
  • Wash and polish the windows with products recommended for a boat's window material. Windows might be made of either soft vinyl or rigid polycarbonate.
  • Boat upholstery can become soiled and tainted with mold without proper cleaning and maintenance. Dry upholstery after it gets wet to prevent mold from building up on your cushions.
  • Canvas areas of a boat or yacht need cleaning and maintenance. Wash canvas with mild soap and water. Apply additional waterproofing spray when you notice that canvas loses its ability to repel water.
  • Keeping the hull smooth and polished is important for reducing drag through the water.
  • Metal components of the rigging need regular cleaning to prevent rust and corrosion. Use a solvent to clean metal parts, and then lubricate the parts to maintain them.
  • Clean wooden areas with mild soap and a soft brush to maintain them.
  • Washing the hull and exterior surfaces of a boat after leaving the water helps prevent the spread of exotic species from one body of water to another.
  • Maintenance of the holding tank is a part of responsible boating. Rinsing and flushing after every pump-out is part of effective maintenance. Periodic application of water softener and chlorine bleach will also help maintain cleanliness.
  • Never empty a boat holding tank into the water because this can result in serious contamination of the body of water.

The exterior surface of a boat will need regular waxing to maintain it. The exterior surface material will vary for different boats and yachts. Consult the manufacturer for specific cleaning and waxing product recommendations for optimal maintenance. With ongoing care, you can address problem areas as they arise and keep the boat in good working order. This should prevent significant damage from occurring.

The exterior of a boat can accumulate significant scum and soiling. Perform regular cleaning after each use to minimize the build-up of soiling. If you perform this cleaning immediately after leaving the water, observe posted signs about where you should wash your boat. These areas are designed to prevent run-off from reaching the water. The products you choose for cleaning are also an important consideration. For best results and the least harm to the environment, choose products that do not contain phosphates or harsh chemicals.

Boat and yacht engines require regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently. This maintenance involves both cleaning and replacement of worn parts. Failing to keep a boat engine clean could lead to contaminants entering the water, which would likely harm the environment, and while you're cleaning the components, this is a good opportunity to inspect them for any damage or signs of wear. Before storing a boat for the winter, always perform specific engine maintenance and cleaning to ensure that the boat is ready for long-term storage.

Written by Stephen Moynihan