Monday, May 13, 2024

How To Clean Bottom Of Boat

What To Look For When Buying A Boat Hull Cleaner

How to Clean the Bottom of a Sailboat Underwater! (Tips from the Pros #4 /Patrick Childress #55)

As mentioned before, cleaning and maintaining your boat hull is vital to preserving the integrity of your boat. After all, its the part that takes the brunt of damages and is constantly in contact with water. As such, it is more prone to corrosion and staining which can damage your boat hull if left uncleaned.

However, you cant choose any old cleaner and go with it. You have to take into account several factors because choosing the wrong type of cleaner may do more harm than good to your hull.

For this, I have created a list of factors which might help you with your selection. They are as follows:

  • Type of Boat Hull

First and foremost, you need to consider what kind of boat hull your boat has. Is it made of aluminum or fiberglass? The reason for this is because some cleaners are more effective for aluminum surfaces while being too abrasive for fiberglass and vice-versa.

Knowing what type of hull your boat has will help you determine which cleaner is appropriate for it. Also, it allows you to prevent damaging your hull all because youve chosen the wrong type of cleaner.

  • Ingredients

Ideally, you want to choose a cleaner that is effective at removing stains and dirt without being abrasive and damaging to your hull. While strong cleaners are usually acid-based, their formulation is still gentle enough for use on most surfaces.

  • Ease of Application and Removal

This also eliminates the need for heavy scrubbing which can be exhausting and take too much time.

  • Response Time

What Causes Hull Stains

Part of understanding how to clean the hull of your boat is knowing what causes stains. Many factors cause hull stains, including algae, bacteria, pollutants such as diesel fuel, and a heavy concentration of minerals like iron. The good news is that, unlike many other products, BKF works to remove all these contaminants.

Bar Keepers Friend is one size fits all. BKF is also effective on tarnish, oxidation, scaling, and lime build-up. Now consider that BKF uses no fillers or bleach, which makes it biodegradable, and you have the best answer for cleaning your hull. BKF is the hull truth. If we can answer any questions, please let us know. Happy boating! We hope you have one hull of a time on the water!

If you found this interesting, you might also enjoy this post, A Beginners Guide to Boat Cleaning.

About the Author

Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. Hes a beer geek and on weekends he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. Hes the proud father of two educators he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Managers Workbook a crash course in effective management.

Cleaning Aluminium Boat With Vinegar

Cleaning your boat is a very vital step inthe maintenance of your boat.

There is a load of fancy boat cleanerswhich promise the best results. However, theres one DIY solution which works awhole lot better than the rest, especially of aluminium boats.

Ican tell you straight away that vinegar is one of the best solutions tocleaning aluminium on your boat.

Vinegaris very effective in cleaning aluminium boats.

In this article, Ill give you an overview of how to use vinegar to clean your boat. Its not as simple as pouring some vinegar on your boat and scrubbing. Theres a technique to using vinegar properly.

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How To Clean A Boat Exterior

Okaythe insides all set. Now, lets take a look at how to clean the boats exterior. Items to address include:

  • Hull and gel-coat surfaces
  • Teak

Hull and Gel-Coat Surfaces

Hullsides and other smooth gel-coated surfaces need serious protection and maintenance to stay shiny and avoid oxidation. This starts with a base coat of two layers of paste wax, each and every spring. Monthly, give the boat some extra shine by applying a liquid carnauba wax. Then, after each and every use wash the boat down with a boat soap that contains some liquid wax .

Hull Bottom

If your boat is kept on a trailer or a lift, treat the hull bottom exactly as you treat other gel-coated areas. If the boat sits in a wet slip, however, you probably have had the bottom painted with an antifouling paint.

Canvas and Clear Canvas


Boat engines need regular cleaning inside and out, no matter whether you have an inboard or an outboard powering your boat. In the case of outboard engines, this starts by waxing the cowl and exterior, then washing them down with soap and water after every use. These surfaces are very similar to automotive finishes, so treat them just as you treat your car. Use microfiber cloths or wash mitts, and never hit an outboard cowl with an abrasive bristle brush.


Remember people, a clean boat is a happy boat. And now that you know how to clean a boat, your pride and joy should be grinning from gunwale to gunwale.

Dealing With Old Paint

New Website launch 2014! Keep Your Bottom Clean

However, since most of us will be recoating over a previously painted bottom, we will need to make sure the surface is prepped for another coat. Check the bottom paint compatibility chart below to see if the paint you plan to use is compatible with whats on your boat now. If old paint must be removed because its incompatible or too deteriorated to overcoat, be sure to have Aqua-Strip, Ready-Strip® or other stripper system or other material on hand.

If the old paint is known and in good shape: Remove old loose paint, dirt, grease, and marine growth with a power washer, brush or scraper. Wipe down with solvent wash. Sand with 80-grit paper. Exercise caution to avoid sanding through a barrier coat that may have been applied to prevent fiberglass blistering or damaging the gelcoat of the hull. Repeat solvent wash. Clean with the thinner recommended by your paint manufacturer. If you have to apply gelcoat blister protection, follow your manufacturers guidelines for surface and tie coat priming before you proceed with the paint application. If blister protection is not needed, you can apply paint directly to the sanded surface or the fiberglass.

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How To Clean Fiberglass Boat

When you’re cleaning a fiberglass boat, be careful using things like the boat scraper above. You don’t want to take chunks of paint off the hull but it will happen

Here are some things to avoid :

  • Hard brushes
  • Steel wool
  • Aggressive use of boat scraper

Obviously with a fiberglass boat, you should use the above with care. You don’t want to cause some serious damage to your hull and open up a whole load of new problems.So when cleaning a fiberglass hull, use microfibre towels, a simple cloth, cleaning pads or something similar to the rotary brushes mentioned above. These cleaning products will help with removing stains from the boat hull as well as dirt build up.

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Boat Hull Cleaner

A boat hull cleaner is specially formulated to remove dirt, stains, and other marine problems. Hence, consider these factors including the types and benefits to guide you in choosing the boat hull cleaner.

The different types of boat hull cleaners

There are plenty of hull cleaners but they do not work all the same. You have to find a fit for your boat hull and address stain deposits and dirt issues. Categorize your hull cleaners based on safety, formulation, compatibility and ease of use, which we have laid down below.

  • Fiberglass Boat Hull Cleaners

These one are specifically formulated for a fiberglass boat consisting of safe substances for gel coat and resin protectant of the hull material. These are strong cleaners that can make it peel, loosen sealants or crack, among other issues.

  • Multi-material Boat Hull Cleaners

A flexible type that works for fiberglass, aluminum, plastic, wood, and metal. An effective choice though be careful since it will not cause discoloration or corrosion to metal-based materials.

  • Acid Boat Hull Cleaners

Some contain hydrochloric, oxalic, and phosphoric acids but are powerful cleaners even on the toughest stains. However, if mishandled, they can become hazards, so ensure to protect yourself.

  • Non-Acid Boat Hull Cleaners

A safer alternative for hull cleaners but may not be as powerful as those with acids. Great cleaners if you are looking for non-harsh on your skin, nose and eyes.

  • Fast Acting Formula

Benefits and drawbacks of boat hull cleaners

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Aluminum Boat Hull Cleaning

For cleaning an aluminum boat hull the method and the steps will be the same as described above for a boat hull. So, wash, clean, polish and wax the aluminum hull maintaining the sequence.

  • For washing freshwater hose and hot water will do better. It will remove the external grit, grime, algae, sea salt, and dirt. You can use microfiber towels or soft sponges to remove the external elements.
  • Now when selecting the cleaning product we must take an appropriate cleaner which is specially made for cleaning the aluminum boat. Use the soft nylon brush and microfiber clothes or soft sponge with the circular motion to apply and scrub the boat hull. Dont use hard brushes but repeat the process if necessary one or two times more.
  • Polish and wax the boat with proper polish and wax made for aluminum boat and must be marine grade. Many people like to use just a marine grade aluminum boat paint.
  • Aluminum always reacts with the weather and produce oxidation. So, if you dont go for winter fishing on your boat, cover the boat with a good boat cover to protect the boat as much as you can.

    Boat Bottom Cleaning Guide

    How to clean the bottom of a boat

    You do a great job of maintaining your boat and keeping it cleanabove the water line. But when it comes to cleaning the bottom of your boat, the entire prospect can seem like a labor-intensive chore. Fortunately, with this boat bottom cleaning guide in your corner, youll have the tips and strategies to make quick work of your boat hull so you can get back to doing what you do best: enjoying your boat!

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    Cleaning The Boat Trailer

    Your boat trailer can get grimy from bugs, tar and dusty roads. Giving it a good cleaning when washing the boat will keep it looking sharp and brand new.

    Star Brite Scrub Pad Kit withHandle

    Spray down all exterior surfaces with a high-pressured spray, paying special attention to wheel wells and bunks. A mild detergent, such as dish soap, can then be applied with a sponge or scrubbing pad such as Star Brite Scrub Pad Kit with Handle. A rinse and you’re good to go.

    The trailer tires and wheels should also be given attention. Scrub with a small brush or pad to clean away grease and dirt from the rims and sidewalls. Finish off the job by spraying a commercial tire shining foam to give the rubber that new and shiny look.

    Cleaning your boat should be a regular maintenance practice for any angler. By following these simple steps, your boat will still shine like the first day you laid eyes upon it…even if it is a few good years older.

    How Do You Remove Hull Stains From A Boat

    Use any hull cleaner for your boat from this review to get faster results than manually scrubbing stains with soap. Directly apply the hull cleaner in small divisions at a time, following the manufacturers instructions on how to use it. Use a soft-bristled brush or foam wet with the cleaner, let it settle for five minutes or longer for heavier stains.

    Get your washing bucket ready to rinse and wipe dry each application to avoid the possibility of withering the finish. Withering may include blisters when acidic components or chemicals stay on the hull surface much longer. Polish and wax to finish a good coat, and even do second coats to prevent ingrained stains into the hull.

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    How To Clean A Boats Carburetor Without Removing It

    A carburetor is an important part of your boats engine. It is important to keep this piece of the engine in good condition. There are a few signs your boats carburetor needs cleaning:

    • Black smoke from the exhaust
    • Popping sounds from too much air in the fuel
    • No fuel under the drain screw when you remove it from the bottom of your carburetor

    You can clean your boats carburetor without removing it. Youll need to have a full tank of fuel and then funnel in a carburetor cleaner into the full tank. Turn on the engine and cruise around at a very slow speed so the cleaner can circulate through the engine. Youll know when the cleaner starts to work because your RMPs will drastically rise. When this happens, turn the idle knob down to keep your RPMs low.

    What Causes Stains And Dirt In A Boat Hull

    Professional Boat Bottom Cleaning Starting at $50

    A lot can cause stains and dirt in a boat hull, like water salinity, oxidation, oil/grease, among others. They can also come from the high presence of minerals, ionization and plant and marine growth. Marine growth can include algae, barnacle growth, and other marine creatures that come in contact with a boats hull.

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    S For Effective Boat Bottom Cleaning

    First, get your boat out of the water and raised on a surface where you can use cleaning products and gray water. From there, youll want to tackle your boats hull with the following progression:

    • Rinse. This will eliminate any buildup of salt, algae, or mold that might be present on your hull over time. At the very least, it will eliminate dust and other debris, giving you a smooth surface to wash.
    • Cleaner selection. If you read our previous section, you know what to look foryou can also browse all of our Boat Cleaners to see if there might be another section on your boat that needs spot cleaning.
    • Scrub. Using a large sponge dipped in your cleaning solution of choice, wipe down your boat hull thoroughly, taking care to approach and even go above the waterline, just to be thorough. Go in circles and dont scrub too hard, as you dont want to damage your boats paint job.
    • Rinse again. Some professional boat cleaners will even recommend using a fresh sponge to spot-rinse any areas where cleaner or debris is still holding on.

    Once dried, this approach should yield a clean boat with as few water spots as possible. But one more step remains if you want your boat to stay in clean condition.

    How To Clean The Boat Bottom

    Al Winn of Spirit, a CT 41 ketch, uses ablative bottom paint and works hard to be gentle on the paint. He begins with a soft brush and rubs it over the hull and keel to remove the soft growth and slime. While this takes some paint off and I see a little cloud in the water, its a lot better than using a scrubby pad like so many professional divers do, he says. He then uses a 1 plastic putty knife to carefully flick off barnacles individually, not to scrape in large sweeps.

    Although the plastic knife wears away and has to be replaced almost every cleaning, Winn says that a metal putty knife just removes too much paint.

    On ¿Qué Tal?, we have hard modified epoxy bottom paint and arent so careful with the bottom paint when cleaning. We start by using the wide scrapers Dave prefers the piece of plexiglass and I the 6 metal putty knife. Were not trying to do a perfect job at this point, just get the big areas done. Some cruisers who have more soft growth than barnacles begin with rubbing a carpet scrap over the hull to get the soft growth off, then go back with a putty knife to get the barnacles.

    Once an area is free of most of the growth, we go back with a 1 plastic putty knife and get the picky little parts, such as around transducers. If working on one area for a while, it may be helpful to use a suction handle to hold yourself in place.

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    Tools Gear And Tricks

    Over time, weve learned that varying degrees of fouling and different areas of the boat require us to have a variety of tools at our disposal when cleaning MonArks bottom.

    Snorkeling gear In addition to a snorkel, mask, and fins, I sometimes wear a wetsuit and weight belt. Nothing is more exhausting than trying to keep myself submerged when scrubbing a few feet underwater, so attaining neutral buoyancy is helpful. Before going in, I always prime the inside of my mask with a dime-sized dollop of baby shampoo to prevent fogging.

    Work gloves I wear leather work gloves to keep me from bashing my knuckles or cutting myself on barnacles as I clean.

    Plunger Underwater, Im weightless, so I use a toilet plunger to hold myself next to the hull while I scrub.

    Hardwood scraper We have a 2-foot length of 1 x 2-inch hardwood that we run against the hull to scrape and knock away the majority of growth quickly before moving on to . . .

    Sponge, scrubbing pad, and brush On light growth, we start with a sponge. If thats ineffective, well use a scrubbing pad or even a firm-bristled scrubbing brush. Whichever tool it is, I use one with the largest surface area practicable so I can cover more of the bottom in fewer strokes. We often use 3M Doodlebug Scrubbing Pads, which we can find at most chandleries.

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