How to Wash a Boat

Use these six tips to make cleaning your boat easier and keep your vessel in tip-top shape.

How to Wash a Boat

Somehow, your neighbor’s 15-year-old boat looks showroom new. How? Elbow grease, my friends. Elbow grease. But, for me, that work doesn’t include lugging a bucket of soapy water around.


Most boat soaps suggest several ounces of soap per gallon of water. That gets a good suds going and, when applied with a sponge or soft brush, does a good job of lifting dirt. It also does a good job of wasting soap.

A utility spray bottle from a discount or hardware store costs a couple of bucks or less. It’s better to use the soap concentrate straight if the spray bottle will pump it, but you might have to dilute the soap. This bottle from Walmart sprayed Blue Coral soap straight. Some boat soaps are of higher viscosity and are apt to need watering down. Start with 2 parts soap and 1 part water. A soap that won’t hurt your car finish won’t hurt your boat.

Hose down the area of the boat you want to wash, rinsing away loose grime, then shoot a few stripes on it with your spray bottle. Brush it in, and swirl it around. The more-direct application of soap adds emulsive dirt-lifting power. When you’re done, rinse it away.

The right tools will make cleaning your boat much easier. (Randy Vance/)

Swab the Deck

There is no substitute for a good deck wash on a nonskid deck surface. Star brite’s Deck Cleaner (about $20 per gallon, is my go-to. In comparative tests in BoatingLAB, it has cleaned wine, grease and fish-blood stains better, and kept subsequent spills from staining the deck. It contains PTEF, a chemical considered a hazard in California, but it offers a sealing effect on diamond-pattern nonskid.

Once the boat is washed, spray the cleaner on the deck, brush in, rinse, then spray and brush again, but let the cleaner dry in place.


Use a detailer spray to wash the dashboard, consoles and compartments. Make sure the spray sports a UV protectant. There are plenty of good ones, but I lean on Lucas Slick Mist Marine Spray Wax ($7.99, To keep it off of tempered glass, spray it on a microfiber cloth and wipe the dash. It does a nice job of cleaning acrylic windscreens, so direct spray is A-OK. Wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth.


If your boat upholstery is fishy with blood and slime, use the spray-soap-and-hose approach, but then wipe it down with a vinyl cleaner and protectant that has a strong track record like 303 Marine Protectant ($9.59, Wipe it on, leaving a film in place to dry and seal your vinyl.


Star brite makes a three-brush set of soft, medium and coarse brushes that float on an interchangeable extendable handle. Use the blue soft brush on the hull and interior, and the yellow medium brush on the bottom and nonskid deck. The white coarse brush is for stubborn spots and waterline stains (from $40,

About Wax

In BoatingLAB, we tested several waxes, including two automotive waxes: One was tinted green; one was beige. Both left our white gelcoat with a matching patina that was hard to remove. On the other hand, we had good results with car waxes that were untinted.

Source : Boating Magazine More   

What's Your Reaction?


Next Article

Interview With Pro Drag Racer Leah Pruett

Professional drag racer Leah Pruett recently purchased a Supra SL550 so she can pursue her passion for wake surfing when she's not racing.

Interview With Pro Drag Racer Leah Pruett

Leah Pruett loves to drag race and wake surf. (Courtesy Leah Pruett/)

Leah Pruett is a professional drag racer who drives an NHRA Top Fuel dragster for Don Schumacher Racing. When she’s not blasting in a straight line at speeds that can exceed 330 mph, she likes to unwind at about 10-12 mph behind her Supra SL 550. We caught up with Leah shortly after she took delivery of her custom-designed Supra to find out about her passion for wake surfing and being on the water.

You drive race cars at extreme speeds for a living. What attracts you to a sport like wakesurfing?

I can’t snowboard or ride my motocross bike because of fear of injury. With wake surfing, if I fall at 11 mph it doesn’t ruin my career.

You just bought a new boat. You must like wake surfing for more than just that.

Oh yes. Wake surfing has allowed me to feel the board and the wave. It has helped me become more in tune with my body, and therefore more in tune with my race car.

The SL 550 is set up for serious wakesurfing.
The SL 550 is set up for serious wakesurfing. (Courtesy Leah Pruett/)

Tell us more about your new Supra SL 550.

I spend half of my time in Arizona and half of my time in Indiana. I was introduced to Supra on a recent trip and fell in love with the boats. I partnered with Pro Wake in Indiana to custom build a boat. I brought it back with me to Arizona, where I live about two miles from the launch ramp at Lake Havasu.

Read Next: Key Features To Look For In A Watersports Boat

Pruett's NHRA Top Fuel dragster rockets down the strip.
Pruett's NHRA Top Fuel dragster rockets down the strip. (Courtesy Don Schumacher Racing/)

How does it compare to your race car?

The common denominator is the driver’s seat. The Supra’s dash provides me that same sense of control and ease of use. Just like in my car’s cockpit, everything has to come natural in order for me to do my job.

How often are you going surfing?

When I am not racing, I will be on the water every chance I get.

Source : Boating Magazine More   

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.