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How to Clean and Polish a Boat Hull | CleanToGleam

Posted on October 17th 2017

How to clean your boat hull

One of the biggest struggles of boat ownership is keeping the boat and its hull clean and protected.

The hull is constantly exposed to the elements, from wind and rain, to cold frosts and drying sunshine. You’re also often contending with a build up of salt, algae and pollution from the water itself, which contributes to corrosion and barnacle growth. So how do you fight back and keep your boat hull clean, smooth and shining?

It’s best to get your hull cleaned several times a year depending on its condition, and how often it’s used. Of course, our recommendation is always to get the professional boat hull cleaners in every four to six weeks, but it can be done ‘DIY’ with a few hours and a bit of elbow grease!

Before preparing to clean your hull, you’ll likely need to make a trip to your local boat chandlery; talk to the experts on hand about the products and tools that you’ll need for the project, as these often depend on the type of environment that you keep and sail your boat in, and the current condition of your hull. Then get cleaning!

1. Wash her down
First things first; a thorough rinse and wash down. For this you’ll need a fresh-water, low-power hose or old-fashioned bucket and sponge to remove any debris, dirt, slime and/or salt that’s coating the hull.

2. Soap up
The next step is to soap up from bootline to rubber strip, using the specialised marine hull cleaner that you were recommended, and working to the manufacturer’s instructions. Rinse the hull with fresh water. If limescale is a problem, you’ll also need a good limescale remover, again working to product instructions from bootline up to rubber strip.

3. Get polishing
To get that stellar shine, you’ll certainly need to put some effort into polishing your gel coat. As a rule, boats with paintwork that is under three years old should be hand-polished to protect the delicate nature of this ‘new’ application. Boats with gel coats over three years old can be polished using a machine polisher and liquid compound. Pay special attention to any blemishes or flat spots. For best results, repeat twice.

4. Seal
To protect your hard work, be sure to seal the hull with a UV wax. These steps combined will protect your boat’s value and performance, and prepare her for antifouling.

If you need help or advice in cleaning your boat or yacht, get in touch. We offer professional boat cleans to suit your specific needs and schedule.


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