We have a boat-cleaning week coming up to prepare the fleet for the Summer Season. Along those lines, we’ve decided to share some tips about boat cleanliness this week.
- Rinse all running rigging and hardware – often people spray down a boat to make it look good, which is nice, but the real purpose of the wash-down is to clean the salt and other debris from the moving parts. Over time the salt will build up in the blocks & fair-leads and cause them to freeze up. Salt causes corrosion on other metal parts of the boat as well. Areas where we continually notice salt build up and corrosion are anchor windlasses and high blocks such as those attached to the bottom of the boom.
- Whenever possible, use boat soap and a brush on the deck to dissolve salt. In our fleet, we try to keep a brush on board that will screw onto the end of the boat hook. If you can’t find one, please write it on the checkout sheet!
- Check your shoes before boarding. Hitch-hiking stones and seashells (left on the dock by seagulls) cause scratching and chipping in the fiberglass. If you see shells on the dock, it’s a good time to practice your kick-the-can skills and punt them off into the water.
- Don’t forget to open the anchor locker and spray it out. They tend to gather quite a bit of salt-water during sailing, and if you used the anchor, of course you want to get all of the mud rinsed out sot he locker will drain properly.
- Sweep and wipe down the inside of the boat. Don’t forget to check the shower and to wipe underneath the cushions. Under the cushions, we often find potato chip crumbs!
- Check the ice-box and the sink. Ice-boxes need to be rinsed out periodically or they will build up mold. Leave them propped open when you secure the boat. Make it a point to double-check it and you won’t forget your leftovers. We’re pretty sure the next person to be on the boat won’t want them!
Have fun and remember to leave the boat the way you’d like to find it. The next skipper (and their crew) will really appreciate it. If you are putting the boats away properly, it should take a minimum of 30 minutes with all hands, before the sun goes down, to clean the boat up and secure it.