As many boat owners already know, the weather and water conditions will play their part in deciding when you can spend a day on the river, regardless of how enthusiastic you are to set sail.

This means that there are periods of time where your boat will be sitting around, making it vulnerable to damp and a build-up of dust and dirt. The last thing you want to do is spend valuable sailing time getting the boat ship-shape, so here are some pointers on how to keep your boat and sailing equipment clean and ready for action at a moment’s notice.

Plan ahead


plan ahead
The key to keeping your boat clean is to have the right equipment and to have a plan that involves cleaning your boat on a regular basis.

A steam cleaner from a respected brand like karcher uk will definitely help you to get some of the jobs done efficiently and can be used in conjunction with a manageable cleaning schedule.

You certainly don’t have to spend all your potential leisure time cleaning your boat, but if you plan to give the boat a good clean every third or fourth trip, or when the boat has been unused for a number of weeks, you should be able to keep on top of things.

Keeping the seats clean

Using a cleaning product that contains bleach in it may be suitable for white areas like platforms and some hard-seating areas but you could cause damage to coloured fabric seating by using it.

A safer option would be to use the steam cleaner, which has the ability to get fabrics clean and keeps them sanitised with the high-temperature steam. You may want to consider using a marine grade protectant after you have completed the cleaning. Don’t consider a protectant product that is designed for cars, as these are not compatible and may even break down some marine material.

boat seats
Don’t encourage the damp

When you have finished using your boat for the day, consider taking the lifejackets ashore with you if they have become wet.

It would be much better to remove them and allow them to dry out in a warm environment rather than putting them back into their box, where they could very quickly accumulate mildew.

Dealing with mildew

No matter how diligent you are with your boat cleaning ritual, mildew and your boat will become acquainted with each other at some point in their lives.
The climate inside most boats is almost nirvana for mildew and if it doesn’t take a liking to the various fibres found in the clothing and cordage on board your boat, it will definitely be partial to the linseed oil that is found in many oil-based paints used on boats.

A clean and dry boat is a good start when you are attempting to combat the onset of mildew and good ventilation is essential. Obviously you have to be aware of the need for security, so you can hardly leave your boat to air whilst unattended. This means that regular cleaning of the interior will help to prevent mildew gaining a foothold.

A regular cleaning schedule won’t take long to complete, especially if you use equipment like a steam cleaner to get the job done quickly. The pay-off is that when the sun comes out, you can soon be straight out onto the water, ready to use your boat.

Jamie Ryan is a boat owner with a mission. From basic boat maintenance and right up to refurbishment and re-upholstering tasks under her belt, she enjoys sharing her experiences through blogging.