How to clean and protect the hull of a vessel


How to clean and protect the hull of a vessel
  • 02.11.2021.

If you still don't own a boat, but you are dreaming of one day becoming the proud owner of a sea beauty, we’re sure you’ve checked out a lot of boats already and very likely have your favorite.

We are also sure that you have already visited some of the nautical fairs many times and admired the shiny polished boat surfaces.

On the other hand, if you own a boat, then you probably already know that it must be well cleaned, polished and thus protected in order to be shiny and catch the attention of envious beholders.

It is a job that must be done properly, and for those who have never cleaned and polished the hull themselves, here are some tips on how to do it. This will not make the task effortless, but at least it will make it a little easier.

Avoid costly mistakes

Yes, it can cost you dearly if you don’t maintain your hull regularly. It is not said in vain that regular maintenance and cleaning of the hull saves time and money and prevents headaches! Okay, not everyone may say so, but that's how it is from our point of view. Simply put, under the influence of the weather, your vessel is exposed to the accumulation of various impurities. Leaving these impurities to accumulate will make the cleaning job very difficult. On the other hand, not only will your boat not look aesthetically pleasing, but such impurities can cause a number of serious problems.

For instance, salt crystals from seawater leave the surface of the ship rough, or rather they create micro damage to the hull, which is potentially the cause of more serious damage to the hull.

Therefore, be sure to regularly rinse the hull of the vessel and all exposed parts with fresh water. A simple cleaning procedure with detergent and fresh water is the cheapest option.

You should, of course, make sure that the detergent is eco-friendly and that this cleaning procedure does not cause additional harm to nature.

Prevent stubborn rust stains on the boat

Rust and limescale stains are difficult to remove from the hull, especially along the waterline or inside where stagnant water collects. Not only do they look unattractive, such stains are difficult to remove without a more aggressive agent. Fortunately, there are a growing number of eco-friendly products on the market that you can use to clean your boat stress-free. Of course, we always recommend professional cleaning agents, so be careful to buy a product that will not cause additional damage to your boat or even yourself.

Naturally, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure there are no corroded metal parts on your boat; if there are, replace them or protect them properly from further oxidation. Be sure to also check for any rubber seals that can cause ugly stains on the boat.

Polishing the hull and deck for achieving that wow effect

Once the entire hull of your boat has been thoroughly washed and cleaned, it probably won’t have the expected shine, but will rather have that matt look and appear a bit worn, which probably won't be to your liking. Therefore, your boat needs additional polishing after washing. Polishing the sides of the ship and parts of the deck, in addition to being pleasing to the eye, is done to allow the protective layer to stay longer on the applied parts and the salt water to slip off more easily without sticking. The procedure itself, depending on the size of your boat, requires time, a little skill and a good professional tool.

Without a good tool this procedure is very tedious and it is difficult to achieve the desired wow effect. Of course, the polishing agents in the form of a liquid or a thick paste will also help. Each product should be used only according to the manufacturer's instructions so that you don't cause more harm than good.

Protective wax for the top coat

Now that you have cleaned and polished your boat and admire its brilliance, your work is still not done. As a final touch, it is necessary to coat the boat with protective wax. Carnauba wax is most commonly used. It creates a protective layer that shields the surface of the vessel from external influences, especially UV rays. It can be used on all fiberglass and gel coat surfaces. By applying a final layer of wax, your boat not only looks beautiful but is also protected from decay, thus retaining its value.

Although the whole process of washing and polishing the boat may seem very simple and undemanding, you will soon realize that you have spent more time and money than you originally planned. Especially if you don’t have your own proper tools and resources. So before you embark on this very important task all by yourself, seek expert advice on how to do it the right way and at the lowest possible cost.