As winter draws to a close and boats (and their owners) are beginning to come out of hibernation, it is the perfect time to ensure that your boat is primed and ready for the new seasons’ exploits. The winter is a great opportunity to get a full checkup of your boat and rule out any problems that might come back to haunt you mid-season. Remember, time (and sometimes money) spent on those niggling issues now, can save you the frustration of lost time on the water in the summer months, If you need to haul out, now’s the time to make your appointment, and budget for complete repairs which may be beyond the your own skills or equipment.
However, there are plenty of other jobs around the boat which, while being less technical in nature, can make your boat shine come springtime. Tired teak can certainly make your boat look sad and unloved; there are thousands of ‘renovating’ products on the market that can solve this problem and they are super easy to use! Just give the deck a good scrub with a diluted marine cleaner – try scrubbing inline with the grain of the wood to avoid unnecessary wear. Follow up by using a teak brightener to refresh the color, leaving your deck looking as good as new! Keep it looking good longer by taking the time to apply a sealer or teak oil such as Semco Teak Sealer.
You can give the inside of your boat some love too, again there are plenty of products out there for all of your cleaning needs, from mold busters to toilet decalcifiers. However, a great all-round cleaner to have on board is some simple vinegar! If you can stand the smell while you’re cleaning, vinegar is a fantastic versatile product. Dilute with some water and scrub onto those stubborn mold patches, not only will it break down the existing mold, it will slow down its future growth too – which means less scrubbing next time around!
After sitting out on the water, or exposed to the elements all year round, it is understandable that canvas on board your boat can start to leak where the waterproofing has deteriorated. Re-waterproofing your canvas, therefore, can become and essential task for each new season. Give the canvas a thorough cleaning with a brush or jet-washer (on a wide setting) and allow to dry before applying a waterproofing treatment such as Starbrite Waterproofing Spray. Most applications are spray-on formulas, apply the first coat in one direction and the second coat perpendicular to the first to ensure an even coverage, then leave to dry out in the open. This treatment will keep your canvas waterproofed for at least a year and most also provide UV protection to prevent damage from sun exposure, keeping your canvas operational for longer.
Taking the time to preen and pamper your boat in the winter months not only means that you are ready to get out on the water as soon as warmer weather arrives, but it also keeps your boat healthy and most importantly looking beautiful to enjoy come summer!