Want to familiarize yourself with all aspects of yacht care?
Buying a yacht is just the start. If you want to keep your investment in tip-top shape, maintenance is the way to go. More so, good maintenance includes cleaning your vessel every now and then. Cleaning also helps you check for developing problems before and after every ride.
Be actively involved and take the time to familiarize yourself with yacht care. If you’re a first-time boat owner, read your yacht’s manual or enroll in some boating instruction classes. Consult the help of a professional when needed.
Cleaning Fiberglass Yachts
Every yacht builder will tell you how boating maintenance is important. Investing in maintenance keeps your ride looking great and running better. Cover all bases by making a checklist of what to do, and remember the following points.
Rinse it first. It’s the number one cleaning rule. Salt residue can eat away your boat’s finish. Give your boat a fresh-water wash down after every trip, including the outboard motor if it has one. Also, remove any loose grime and grit clinging to the surface.
Use boat soap, sponge, or brush to wash surfaces, and work from the top down. Rinse the sponge or cleaning mitt in the bucket often. Don’t let any soap dry on the surface. Keep a hose nearby to rinse frequently with plenty of water.
Boat soap. Choose a soap that has a neutral pH of 7 and safe to use on gelcoat surfaces. If you can find one, use wash and wax products that provide your boat with an additional barrier. It can also make surfaces easier to clean, and slightly enhance your yacht’s surface gloss.
Invest in quality brushes that are made of plastic or poly with a molded-in handle. You’ll need a soft brush to clean gelcoat and painted topsides. Stiff brushes will be for cleaning non-skid decks, cushions, and scrubbing waterline stains.
Tips from a Yacht Builder
Another important rule when cleaning is to always dry the surfaces. Most people do air drying, but freshwater may also contain chlorine, lime and maybe iron. You need to wipe down these sediments to prevent formation of residue.
Boat waxing. The best way to protect gelcoat surfaces is to apply boat wax or polish. These products protect your yacht against pollution, UV rays, insect fluids and bird droppings. Synthetic polishes and waxes are now made for easy application. Don’t forget to use a micro fiber application pad.
Sealant. It’s a rule of thumb to apply a sealer over your wax. It fills the gelcoat pores and dries to a mirror smooth finish. It helps repel salt spray, dirt, dirty water, oil, engine exhaust, UV rays, rust and waterline stains.
Deck drains. Don’t forget to clean out your drain holes in the deck hatch gutters. If those drains clog up, the gutters will overflow. It may put water into places like your engines or generator. Check for these drains around window frames too.
Consult your Boat Manufacturer for those who are new to boat ownership, operational expenses for maintenance can run close to 10 percent of the boat’s value, on an annual basis. Of course, the amount you’ll spend will still depend on the type of yacht and how often it’s used. Make an occasional tour around your boat and check all possible sources of problems and list down repairs as you go. Run all electrical and mechanical systems to ensure that they have not been affected by moisture.