It's "Maintenance Monday", and today we're talking about what to do after a great day in the Gulf of Mexico with your boat. It’s no secret saltwater can wreck havoc on a boat’s hull, engine, and its mechanical and electrical components. With the exception of fiberglass, the fine salt particles will stick to the metal, where it promotes rust and corrosion. In addition, it can also settle into small spaces where it expands and crystallizes, damaging things like zippers and fasteners.
If you take your boat into saltwater, be sure you clean it afterwards. Failing to properly clean and maintain your boat after exposing it to saltwater may lead to serious damage or even equipment failure.
Wash Your Boat Immediately -
Once you get back from boating in the Gulf, immediately wash your watercraft down with freshwater. Saltwater is similar to mud in the sense that it’s easier to clean while it’s still wet and fresh. If you procrastinate and wait until the following day, the water may evaporate, leaving behind coarse salt particles stuck to your boat. Hose down your boat with freshwater and marine boat soap, paying close attention to areas of exposed metal.
Note: it’s not a bad idea to apply a coat of wax to your boat’s hull once or twice a year. This will help protect against salt, ultraviolet (UV) light, corrosion, and other forms of damage.
Flush The Engine(s) -
After rinsing your boat with freshwater, you should flush the engine(s) to ensure there’s no salt lingering behind. Even small trace amounts of salt can take its toll on an engine, corroding gaskets and other critical components. It should only take a couple of minutes to flush your boat’s engine(s), but doing so will help protect it against damage caused by exposure to saltwater.
There are products designed specifically for flushing saltwater from boat engines, such as Salt-Away, but freshwater should suffice in most situations.
The important thing to remember when boating in saltwater is to clean your watercraft in a timely manner. The longer you wait, the more it will harden, and the greater the risk of it causing corrosion and damage to your boat. If you wash the hull and flush the engine(s) within 24 hours, though, your boat will remain clean and ready to hit the Gulf again on your next adventure.
If you have any questions regarding your boat's wash and cleaning requirements, call us today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation at #MarinerServicesInc. at (239)776-4253!