Boat maintenance has a real impact on the environment, especially on water resources such as dams, reservoirs, lakes, rivers, or the sea. People frequently ask questions about how to maintain a boat.
It should be in the interest of each of us to protect nature, especially water, which has not been much in recent years.
So if you start washing boats, you should never forget the basic ecological rules. We will talk about them in this publication. We will also advise you on what cleaning techniques to use, what cleaning machines to choose, and ecological cleaning agents.
There are three options for cleaning boats – a specialized company, a protective film, or in-house. Let’s say a little about each option. In this article, we will focus in detail on self-cleaning.
Cleaning The Boat From A Specialized Company
The first option is that you can have the boat cleaned by a specialized company for how to maintain a boat. In this case, you must take the boat out of the water and take it for cleaning. The company will take care of everything, and you pay. You have it without worries, but also significantly more expensive than if you washed it yourself.
Sticking The Boat With A Protective Foil
The second option is to have the boat glued with a smooth foil, which will create a protective shield against dirt and minor scratches. In this case, it is enough to rinse the boat once a year with a strong high-pressure cleaner (wapka) without chemical detergents. Foil is not a completely cheap thing.
However, it will last you 3 to 7 years onboard, depending on the type of water (freshwater, sea). In our US waters, the boat’s protective foil can allegedly last for more than ten years.
If you decide to stick the foils, you will still not be able to maintain a boat. The foil aims to protect the boat from minor abrasions and scratches and then facilitate its cleaning. The foil will also keep you looking at the boat, which is useful when you want to sell it.
Hand Wash The Boat
The third option is to wash the boat on your own, which is a personal matter for many, who do not resist at all; on the contrary, they do it gladly and with full commitment. However, boat owners often do not realize that washing their pets can contribute to environmental pollution. It would help if you were easy and extremely careful about that. After all, you are part of a boating community that values nature and protects it. Don’t be indifferent to nature!
Two ways of ecological boat washing
- Use environmental alternatives or ecological means
- Get your Motor Scrubber to wash your boat; it’s waterproof
Use Ecological Alternatives Or Ecological Means
It all starts and ends with detergents, one of the main causes of water pollution and fuel leaks from the boat.
But let’s stick with cleaning products. If you decide to wash the boat directly on the water, always use only ecological cleaning agents!
Unfortunately, the world’s boat cleaning experts cannot agree on which cleaner is the most environmentally friendly.
Is It Better For A Boat Over The Winter? Leave It On The Water Or Pick It Up Ashore?
Here it depends mainly on whether or not we have an antifouling coating. If we don’t, the boat needs to pick up anyway.
If you have painted, it depends on the condition in which it can resist osmosis. If we do not have the opportunity to place the boat in the hangar after lifting, it should be in the water, where it will not leave so much to the mercy of large fluctuations in ambient temperatures.
During the winter, the conditions for growing vegetation are not good, so there is no need to worry about the overgrowth. In any case, the boat must be picked up at the beginning of the spring to clean the hull, repaint, and carry out work that cannot done on water (e.g., oil change in Z-drives, etc.).
How To Keep Batteries In Condition?
Batteries are essential accessories of the boat and need to be given the necessary care. Their maintenance often underestimates and, in most cases, damages at the most inopportune time. For batteries, care must regularly check the electrolyte level to keep the connections between the contacts and the cable terminals clean and recharge them.
It is not enough to charge the batteries only on arrival on the boat, it is necessary to ensure that they are recharged and checked every month. It will reduce the risk of damage, and the batteries will serve us for a long time. Generally, battery life is about five years.
When Is It Better To Change The Engine Oil?
Manufacturers prescribe a replacement interval of 200-400 operating hours for modern engines, or once a year, whichever comes first. For motorboats, in most cases, the time interval occurs, and the engine should change the charge before the boat winters.
The new engine oil also has better properties as a preservative for parts inside the engine. Another factor is the time during which the engine will not run. If it is longer than six months, it is necessary to preserve the engine fuel system.
However, the engine should start at least once a month and warm up to operating temperature at increased speed; in ideal weather, it is ideal for making a short ride with the boat to warm up the gears; it is also suitable for sealing rings of drive shafts.
How Often To Change Zinc Anodes?
The condition of the anodes must be carefully checked. It is often overlooked and leads to unnecessary damage to the boat. Many operators often wonder if something is wrong on the boat when the anodes wear out, but the opposite is true when the anodes are “eaten,” indicating their proper function. They should change when they are worn out by 50%, as this will cease to fulfill their function.
How Is It Best To Maintain Teak Deck Linings?
Teak maintenance is a frequently discussed issue. There are a lot of guaranteed recipes on it, but not all of them are correct.
However, the basis is not to use any brushes or other cleaning objects, which could cause severe damage to the wood. It is ideal to use a sponge and detergents commonly used in the household. There are many chemicals for teak wood, but you also need to be careful when using them, and before using them, try to test them in a place that is not so visible to see how the work has worked.
In any case, I do not recommend treating teak before the season with oil because after soaking; the floor becomes an ice rink. It is better to use the oil together with the boat’s winterization so that the oil can be absorbed during the winter. After each cleaning, the rule is so that the treated area rinses with a sufficient amount of water (in no case use pressurized water!).
If the teak has been treated incorrectly, scratches will appear in its structure, which can only be removed by grinding to a smooth finish.
How To Protect Gelcoat?
Gelcoat is often a business card of how the boat is cared for. It is at the mercy of weather conditions and other adverse factors, such as UV radiation. For this reason, it must be given due attention.
Particularly susceptible are the dark shades of different colors, which begin to lose their original shade and fade after a certain time. As for maintenance, it is important to wash the whole boat with a stream of water after the ride or with the use of shampoos to wash away the salt, which is more difficult to wash after drying.
There are several polishes from various manufacturers for Gelcoat maintenance. You can choose from a whole range of products intended for new boats to regenerate old and obsolete gelcoats. Anyway, if we want our Gelcoat to look nice, it’s important to polish the whole boat at least once a year when lifting the boat out of the water, thoroughly check the condition, and repair any damage.
It is also especially important to renew the boat’s anti-fouling coating every year, as this is an important element in addition to anti-fouling protection against osmosis. Underestimating this fact can lead to serious consequences, and eliminating it is not a cheap affair.
How To Take Care Of Toilets And Fecal Tank?
The correct function of the toilets will serve us without any problems if you follow a few rules. First of all, the toilet is intended for personal use and not as a rubbish bin.
We must also realize that the waste pipes in our homes are made of large-diameter pipes. Simultaneously, on the boat, there is a waste pipe with a hose a few centimeters in diameter, and therefore it is necessary to realize that what a toilet bowl in our home can bear can be the source of the problem on the boat.
Just use more paper, and we have a problem with cleaning up clogged waste. On boats equipped with sewage tanks, it is better to limit this equipment only when necessary. After a few years of use, an unpleasant odor usually appears, even if the system is tight and no sewage enters the hull anywhere.
Regarding the maintenance of this equipment, it is a good idea to add a chemical designed for this purpose after each emptying of the tank and concentrate it by several empty rinses. It is necessary to rinse and empty the tank several times during the winterization of the boat and concentrate the chemical again.
How To Maintain A PVC Boat?
Many anglers and boaters now own a for how to maintain a boat. Some buy the most expensive model from a well-known brand, and for some, a budget boat is enough.
The product’s service life is determined to a greater extent not by the price but by the correct operation. Therefore, only a well-trained person should go sailing. Advice on handling boats and proper storage will help extend the life of the craft.
How To Maintain A Boat Correctly?
- Regular Cleaning: After sailing, clean the boat’s surface of fish oil, grains of sand, and algae. Adhered particles and harsh chemicals contribute to tissue destruction. Thoroughly clean seams where debris often clogs.
- Drying: Do not leave a wet boat in the garage. It can become moldy and in cold weather – an ice crust. As a result, the material will begin to break down.
- Washing With Soap: Never scrub the boat with steel wool or abrasive detergents. Before long-term storage, clean the craft with a soft sponge dipped in soapy water.
- Gentle Handling: Use Fishing Boxes. Do not place knives and hooks on the bottom that can break through the PVC.
- Inspect the shore: remove sharp driftwood and stones from the road before launching.
- PVC boat operation
- Keep the boat away from fire: heat from a fire or an unextinguished cigarette can melt the material. Do not smoke near the boat. The burning matter is much easier. How to restore it.
- Fold the boat gently: keep the product folded. Make sure that twigs and dirt particles do not fall inside the package when folding.
- Dry the inflated boat: This will make the water drain better. Roll the craft with the valves open from stern to bow. If you have a model with a motor, the cylinders’ ends should press against the transom.
- Do not flood the boat with heavy objects during transportation or storage – such actions often lead to breakdowns.
- Store the boat in a safe place – new boats often suffer from rodents. You can protect yourself from uninvited guests by washing the fabric well. Then there will be no fish smell that mice like so much.
More Tips For How To Maintain A Boat?
- Create optimal storage conditions – the room should be kept at a temperature between 0 and 25 degrees Celsius. If you have left your boat in subzero temperatures, let it warm before use.
- Give up talcum powder – it is suitable for rubber products. PVC will be difficult to clean, making repairs difficult later.
- Do not try to make tuning hastily with improvised means – if there are no seats in the boat, do not put boards or logs in their place. They will damage fragile material.
- Read the instructions carefully, and always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- It is better not to turn around or move the folded boat at freezing temperatures, as unwanted cracks may form on the fabric.
- If the boat is suspended from the ceiling, it does not experience big changes in humidity. And rodents will not be able to get to it and make a nest for themselves.
- Inspection and repair of the boat
- Damage during operation does not always appear immediately. The web usually does not break through the first time but after prolonged use. The bottom rubbers, creases, and cracks are formed, which sooner or later make themselves felt. Therefore, after each trip, it is necessary to inspect the boat.
- If the puncture cannot be avoided, a repair kit will come in handy. It is usually attached to the boat. You can patch up a hole or scuff in the field. PVC material can be repaired and fished on the same day. The damaged area and the patch must decrease in advance with acetone. The cleaned surfaces were glued with polyurethane glue.
Inspection And Repair Of The Boat
Damage during operation does not always appear immediately. The web usually does not break through the first time but after prolonged use—the bottom rubs, creases, and cracks form, which sooner or later make themselves felt. Therefore, after each trip, it is necessary to inspect the boat.
If the puncture cannot avoided, a repair kit will come in handy. It is usually attached to the boat. You can patch up a hole or scuff in the field. PVC material can be repaired and fished on the same day. The damaged area and the patch must be degreased in advance with acetone. The cleaned surfaces were glued with polyurethane glue.
Storing The Boat In Winter
It is advisable to easily allocate a separate room where the boat will wait for the next season. The product must not come into contact with other things. It is advisable not to fold the craft into a tight package. Otherwise, the likelihood of cracking of the material will increase. The boat must loosely roll or be partially filled with air.
Do not allow water to enter the surface of the material. A non-flooded room with a normal humidity level should be chosen for storage. Otherwise, the accumulated moisture will turn into ice and destroy the PVC. You can install the boat on a pedestal or flat surface.
You can store the boat in the garage and a city apartment. However, freezing temperatures will not be beneficial. It is highly undesirable to leave an inflatable boat near heating devices, and even more so, near an open fire. Do not place heavy objects on the bottom, even if you keep the boat warm at home.
Do not strap the boatload across the cylinders. It can cause excessive friction or even rupture of the balloon. If dirt, silt, or sand appears in the boat, it should be removed (washed off with water) before storing.
Otherwise, this dirt can get into the pump fitting and disable it. When folding the inflatable boat, make sure that no branches or other sharp protruding objects get caught in the folds.
Before storing the inflatable boat in the bag for storage after the summer season, it should be washed with soap water and then rinsed with clean water. Rodents are not averse to eating PVC material, and if it smells like soap or is simply clean, it will most likely scare them away.
If you are still unsure about rodent-proofing your boat, treat it with a special solution before storing it. Also, during operation, periodically cover your inflatable boat with a protective agent from the sun’s rays.
Such means also reduce the friction of the case against stones. Protect the PVC material from abrasion. After applying such a product to the material’s surface, it will become slippery; step on the sides carefully. Just do not recommend the use of protective compositions based on silicones.
Difficulties In Caring For A Model With A Motor
The engine gearbox suffers the most. During the operation of the motor, it has a heavy load. Condensation and various deposits can form on the engine during prolonged storage. Whereas during operation, this usually does not happen. Therefore, remember to inspect the engine periodically, especially if it is stored in a cold room.
Failure to follow the rules of care reduces the life of the boat by 2-3 times. A well-kept boat will serve you for many years. If you store it in a dry garage free of rodents and corrosive liquids, it will last until next season without damage.
The material of such boats is a fabric covered with high-quality polyvinyl chloride. Moreover, there are several layers of such fabric. Such a craft can overcome many water obstacles and serve for a long time if handled carefully for how to maintain a boat.