How to clean your boat before placing in protected storage near Colton for the season

Before placing your boat into storage for the season, a thorough cleaning is essential to help extend the life of your boat both inside and out.

A boat has three areas that need cleaning attention: the bottom of the boat, where algae and barnacles attach and grow, the deck, where dust, dirt, pollen and film from rain coat and add layers of grime build up, and the boat interior, where days of fun, sand, silt and food discarded by summer passengers might remain.

Neglecting proper boat cleaning in the fall can cause deposits to harden on the hull and underside of the boat, and be extremely difficult to remove when you are ready to use the boat in the spring.
  1. After removing from the ocean or bay, rinse the boat with fresh water to remove residual salt, which can cause corrosion during storage.
  2. Clean boat bilges, empty any water that is remaining inside, and smooth a layer of protective anti-moisture lubricant around the rim. Remove your drain plugs and store in a place for easy location.
  3. Wash your boat top to bottom, front to back.
  4. The best cleaner for the boat exterior is good old-fashioned water. This natural solvent can be mixed with baking soda, borax, or lemon juice for all natural cleaning that is environmentally friendly. Use a coarse cloth to dislodge grime and reach for a long handle brush to clean the top decks and roof areas. Alternatively, choose a spray car wash wand to alleviate bending and overreaching. If you choose to use soap-based cleaner, only use one approved for boat use to prevent damage to your boat's finish. Take caution with the different boat materials; teak, Fiberglas, and chrome each need custom-formulated cleaning products.
  5. When the hull is cleaned, wipe dry and apply a protective coat of polish to give it a high caliber gloss.
  6. Clean the teak, carpet, and vinyl. Place odor and moisture absorbers to help ward off mustiness and dampness. Fluff up cushions so air can flow around them or place into separate storage outside of the boat.
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