A well-maintained fiberglass boat has the potential to offer many years of boating, pleasure and fun. While a fiberglass boat does not need an extensive amount of maintenance, it can still benefit from a practical maintenance schedule. Issues with a fiberglass boat include repainting the hull, repairing any cracks, and giving a good clean and polish. Proper maintenance is certain to keep the boat operating issue free for the long-term.
Get organized by writing out a maintenance schedule to ensure the work on the boat is completed on a consistent basis. A separate calendar for boat cleaning can itemize the best times to check parts for failure or wear, apply fresh paint, give a general clean, or prepare for winter lay-up.
Below are six steps to maintain the aesthetics, performance and safety of the fiberglass boat:
1 – Fresh water rinse
After using the boat in a saltwater environment give it a complete wash down using clean, freshwater to help remove all signs of salt residue. Also, make sure to clean the outboard engine (if applicable). A build up of salt residue can soon start to eat away at the finish of the boat.
2 – Superstructure (clean)
Give the entire area of the deck (superstructure) a complete wash with a high-quality marine soap, warm water and soft sponge. This should include washing and rinsing the windshield, deck boxes, vinyl seats, etc.
3 – Scrub the Deck
Scrub down the hull, deck, fixture and fittings using a pH-balanced and biodegradable that is especially intended for marine applications. A medium stiffness deck brush is likely to give the desired results. Avoid the brush with stiff bristles as this could potentially damage the boat’s finish.
4 – Superstructure (dry)
After the superstructure is fully cleaned make sure to thoroughly dry the surfaces using a dry, soft cloth.
5 – Windows and upholstery
Give the windows a sparkling shine using a home solution of water and vinegar or a more typical commercial cleaning product. Also, give the upholstery a good coating of a commercial vinyl solution to ensure the boat and equipment is well-maintained at all times.
6 – Polish and protect
A high-quality polish can help to protect the surface of the fiberglass hull once it has been given a good wash. A quality wax benefits the fiberglass material by providing a hard shell and a great shine. This protective layer will help to minimize signs of color fading or discoloring after long-term exposure to salt water. Use the right equipment when polishing to avoid scratching or digging into the surface of the hull.