Gordon Bay Marine view of water

Cleaning Your Boat

Mar 27, 2020

Your boat goes through a lot with you on the water, and all those days in the spray begin to show after a while. Salt and sand build up on the hull, along with barnacles and algae, creating a potential for corrosion if left unaddressed. Your windshield is covered in water spots and your dashboard eventually gets a coating of grime over it. The deck gets messy quickly with wet, dirty shoes walking all over it, tracking sand and mud everywhere. All of these issues are not only unsightly, but failing to clean your boat can leave you with problems down the road when all the grime wears down finishes and surfaces. 

The folks at Gordon Bay Yamaha in Mactier, Ontario, know how important your boat is to you, so we’ve provided this guide to cleaning your boat to help you get everything scrubbed up and ready for storage.

Gather Supplies

Before you begin, you should assemble everything you need by your boat so it’s all ready to go and you aren’t having to chase something down in the middle of the cleaning process. You’ll obviously need a long hose with access to fresh water, brushes, a marine boat wash that’s safe for both the environment and your boat’s finish, a mop for cleaning the deck, a long-handled brush to reach high areas, polish or wax for the hull, chamois cloths, a bucket and plenty of sponges. Avoid using “super-concentrated” detergents and cleaners since these might be so harsh that they scuff your gel coat or other finishes, doing serious damage to your boat. Gentle cleaners are your best option. If pressed for time or money, you can use a car washing soap instead, provided you’re certain it won’t affect the finish.

Prepare Your Boat

Walk around your boat and remove all items that don’t need to be on it. This includes fishing gear, clothing, wetsuits, watersports equipment and personal items. Bag up all trash and recycling and take it off your boat. Put anything away that is always stored on your boat. Take this time to check safety supplies and equipment to make sure that you’re properly stocked up.

Rinse Thoroughly

Your next step will be to rinse your boat thoroughly with clean water to get off all the residual salt, algae, sand and grime. These substances can scratch your boat’s gel coat if you try to scrub at them without rinsing, so it’s best that they’re removed before you begin the washing process. Rinsing also makes your cleaning job much easier. Make sure you’ve parked your boat over a driveway or gravel area with good drainage to avoid covering your lawn in salt.

Washing The Hull

Get your marine boat wash and a soft-bristle brush and begin cleaning your boat in small sections. Trying to tackle a large area can mean that the soap has time to dry, leaving streaks that could also damage your boat’s finish. Begin at the top and work your way down gradually to the bottom. The more thorough you are now, the better protection you’ll get when you wax your boat. If you’re in a hurry, you can let the water air dry, but a chamois cloth or squeegee blade will get excess water off so that it doesn’t leave unsightly spots.

Wax Your Boat

Once your boat is clean and dry, you should apply a coat of wax to her. Waxing prevents dirt and algae from sticking to your boat as much by creating a protective layer against debris. This means you won’t have to detail clean your boat as often. Wax your boat twice a season -- once at the start and once before you store her for winter. Use a boat-specific wax, not a wax made for other vehicles.

If you’ve cleaned your boat up in hopes of trading her in for a new model, you’ll want to stop by and see us. Our dealership in Mactier has a wide variety of boats for sale, both new and used, by many of the most popular brands out there. Gordon Bay Yamaha serves the greater Toronto area as well as Muskoka Lakes and Lake Joseph, Ontario.