Go Back  The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > The Boating Forum
Reload this Page >

How do you wash your boat and keep it clean?

The Boating Forum

How do you wash your boat and keep it clean?

Old 07-25-2020, 06:18 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 382
Received 8 Likes on 6 Posts
Default How do you wash your boat and keep it clean?

This post applies to any size and type or boat, painted or gel coat, but I am in my seventh year with my current boat, an 18' Privateer center console that was completely redone and painted with Awlgrip paint in and out (seven years ago). Except for the center console, which is covered when not in use, it is beginning to look like it is not new any more. My normal routine after I use my boat is to just spray it down with fresh water real well and occasionally hit it with a wet terry cloth rag or a large sponge. I know other people do much more than I do, some having mixed up concoctions of various soaps and cleaning agents that they swear by. Maybe its time I try some soap once in a while. I have some stains on the deck at the transom where a little bit of water does not drain off the deck and these are tough to clean.

What is you cleaning routine after you use your boat and what products do you use? How much time do you spend cleaning your boat after each outing? And any special action you take to deal with fish blood during your fishing trips?
Old 07-25-2020, 07:04 AM
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: CT
Posts: 3,269
Received 214 Likes on 134 Posts

I typically wash with boat soap every other trip. A good hose down after every trip. I start the year with a good coat of wax and will give the front of the boat that gets most sun exposure another coat half way through the season. Gelcoat still looks like new.
Old 07-25-2020, 07:06 AM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Oak Island NC
Posts: 2,232
Likes: 0
Received 838 Likes on 444 Posts

Worldcat 230DC If the boat is really dirty, it takes about 30 minutes.

While fishing, I wash down the blood with raw seawater as soon after it happens as possible - it makes it easier back on the lift.

I use Starbright Nonskid deck cleaner in the interior, gunwales on down, with a medium stiff brush.
Exterior, including outboards - soft brush with Orpine Wash & Wax
Old 07-25-2020, 07:10 AM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: St. Augustine
Posts: 270
Received 160 Likes on 80 Posts

I mix up a5 gallon bucket of boat soap and Zeposhine, turn on the hose and had the brush and bucket up to my wife. She does the rest. She’s never satisfied with how I clean the boat. I figured that doing a load of laundry by mixing all colors and whites together worked so well getting me of laundry detail, that not getting the boat clean enough would do the same. I do rinse off the trailer.
Dacman, durak, expidia, kenmarty, XenScott, zx7king and 1 others liked this post. (Show less...)
Old 07-25-2020, 07:44 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 298
Received 149 Likes on 79 Posts

Starbrite boat soap after the weekend is over. Srarbrite non skid cleaner for the deck.

try to wax 2-3 times per year.
Old 07-25-2020, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Jacksonville,FL
Posts: 33
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts

I wash by boat after every trip with Meguiars ultimate car wash and a microfiber wash mitt. I use a soft brush. Every 4-6 trips I use starbrite non skid cleaner.
Old 07-25-2020, 07:56 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: St Petersburg FL
Posts: 155
Received 85 Likes on 41 Posts

If short on time - Foam cannon with chemical brothers soap, soft shurhold brush, both deck and hull

If plenty of time - bucket wash with same soap, hull and deck, plus hull cleaner for the tough spots and woody wax on the deck.
Old 07-25-2020, 08:13 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Corpus Christi, TX (Flour Bluff)
Posts: 227
Received 78 Likes on 59 Posts

Carwash soap, Starbright deck cleaner in a spray bottle for spot cleaning nonskid. When fishing keep a bottle of Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner handy to use with the SW washdown. Cheap and keeps the fishy slime and blood under control making cleanup at home way easier A little bit goes a long way.
Old 07-25-2020, 10:33 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Snohomish County, WA
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

I usually wash every other trip, depending on how long we've been out. I use a good quality liquid car wash soap that contains wax, mixed in a 5 gallon bucket when I wash it. This way I eliminate most water spotting since it "air dries". When I just rinse, I use Salt-Away & their dispenser/mixer, since all our boating is in salt water. It seems to rid most salt residue. A good quality wax applied at the beginning of the season also helps keep her clean & shiny, but on a 25' cabin cruiser, it's a ton of work. I also use a quality cleaner for the non-skid with PTFE in it. The trailer and outboard get flushed/rinsed with the Salt-Away after every trip. Salt water is hard on a trailer, especially the brakes.
Old 07-26-2020, 01:11 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: SWFL
Posts: 417
Received 209 Likes on 93 Posts

For the tough stains on the nonskid I use Barkeepers Friend and a scrub brush. Cheap and found in every grocery store.
Old 07-26-2020, 02:53 AM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: ENC
Posts: 43
Received 12 Likes on 5 Posts

We have to keep our boat in a wet slip ... have been reticent to do more than just rinse there, and not crazy about pulling and relaunching frequently. Are there perfectly acceptable and eco-friendly cleaners to use while in the water?
Old 07-26-2020, 09:15 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Fort Pierce,FL
Posts: 6,242
Received 1,210 Likes on 783 Posts

I found car wash/wax to clean the boat and always leave a shine.
Old 07-26-2020, 08:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Pottstown, PA
Posts: 47
Received 10 Likes on 7 Posts

I have a 19ft CC. When fishing freshwater I'll do a pretty basic clean. Sometimes after 2-3 trips depending on how dirty it gets. Salt water I clean after every trip is done and I'm back home. I use an electric power washer with soap (mimicking a car wash) star bright cleaner and a hand brush and a good deck brush to get it clean and get the salt off. Freshwater cleaning takes more time to get everything out than it does to clean the boat. Saltwater cleaning takes an hour or so.
Old 07-27-2020, 04:46 AM
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Richmond / Reedville VA
Posts: 651
Likes: 0
Received 122 Likes on 75 Posts

All of the above are good.
Now I am a weekend boater
Personally I wash with any good boat soap and dry afterwards. Then I have a full cover. This is why my 15 year old boat still looked new when I sold it.
Keeping the sun the off is one of the most important things
Old 07-27-2020, 05:08 AM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 8,851
Received 1,277 Likes on 763 Posts

Seven years of basic freshwater rinsing and wonders why boat doesn't look "new". Huh.

Soap helps. Any soap. But soap.
Old 07-27-2020, 05:14 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,503
Likes: 0
Received 461 Likes on 285 Posts

Awlgrip paint cleaner.
Old 07-27-2020, 05:23 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 9,232
Received 1,593 Likes on 923 Posts

After each trip I wash down the sole and inner cockpit to clean the blood, bait etc with sea water, a quick rinse with fresh (the fresh water tank isn't huge) - side and foredecks get the same - if the cabin has a lot of salt spray (on a calm day it doesn't happen) it gets a fresh water rinse.

Hull gets nothing.

Maybe once every six weeks, the whole boat gets a fresh water wash.

BUT, once a year it gets a very thorough two stage polish (with wet sanding of any fender marks, blemishes etc) and sealed with NuFinish which is the key to it lasting so well - this year I've tried a hybrid ceramic on the gunwales and cabin - so far so good, so will probably use it on the topsides and cockpit interior next year.

This is how it's holding up at 16 years old.

Old 07-27-2020, 06:38 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Forked River, NJ
Posts: 318
Received 42 Likes on 27 Posts

A good wax pre season. Just rinse the hull with fresh water and Starbright Deck Cleaner on the decks and boat soap on the rest of it. If we are using the boat all weekend and Sat isnt a fishing trip with blood on the deck we just rinse on Sat and then do the above at the end of the weekend.
Old 07-27-2020, 06:45 AM
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Tarpon Springs, FL
Posts: 8,496
Received 4,024 Likes on 2,278 Posts

All rinsing is doing is spreading the salt out a little more evenly. It needs to be washed with soap.
Old 07-27-2020, 06:53 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: NOLA Brah
Posts: 3,180
Received 739 Likes on 430 Posts

Starbrite Boat Wash for the hull and cap, Starbrite Deck Cleaner for the deck. Dry with multiple large microfiber chamois'. Store inside enclosed unit that sees no sunshine.

^^This every time it comes out of the water.

Full detail last summer that still looks like it was just done because of the above.

Anal/Compulsive Factor... +10.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.