Boats offer wonderful recreational opportunities, especially when a person sets sail on the high seas of the ocean. While an ocean fishing trip or voyage can be relaxing, the salt water can do much damage to the boat over time. Once the trip is over, the boat should be washed down to prevent the salt doing damage to the paint job. When you want to clean your boat, the best way to do so is by using a pressure washer to help rid the hull of salt and other debris, thus restoring the new-boat shine everyone desires. However, before starting your pressure washing job there are a few things to take into consideration.

boat_pressure_washThe first consideration is taking into account the material that was used in making the boat. While some boats are made of wood or aluminum, the majority of today’s boats are made of fiberglass. To make sure the paint is not stripped off, an all-purpose cleaner specially made to combat salt should be applied to the boat using a very low-pressure setting on the pressure washer. This detergent should then be allowed to soak on the boat for up to five minutes, in order to ensure the detergent can loosen the salt and its residue. Once this is done, you should start cleaning the boat at its highest point. By doing so, the dirty water will drain away from the part being cleaned. To help maximize water pressure, spraying should be done at a perpendicular angle to make it easier to clean any stubborn spots.

To make sure all the detergent is removed, the boat should be rinsed in sections 3-4 feet wide. This should be done slowly to make sure all the dirt and soap residue is removed, then you should take advantage of the sunlight to check the hull for any sections you may have missed. If you find any sections that are still dirty, rinse them off and check them again.

For many boat owners, when it’s time to wash their boat they wonder if they should use an electric or gas-powered pressure washer. While individual preferences may vary, most people use gas-powered pressure washers when cleaning their boats. This is due to their versatility, durability and ability to put out large amounts of water pressure. Most boat owners own commercial-grade pressure washers, since their boats are considered major investments. However, for smaller boats that can be done easily once docked, electric power washers can be used. However, many owners feel they don’t have quite as much pressure as gas-powered models, plus sometimes it’s pretty inconvenient trying to find a place to plug it up and make sure the power cord stays out of the way.

To make sure the boat is thoroughly cleaned in the easiest manner possible, a number of accessories can be used with your pressure washer.

  1. Extension wands are great accessories to use, especially when cleaning bigger boats. For smaller boats, the standard wand that comes with the pressure washer is usually sufficient.
  2. It’s also a good idea to use low-pressure nozzles when cleaning your boat, in order to avoid any paint being removed from the hull. For boats made of wood or aluminum, this is especially important not only to keep the paint from being removed, but to also avoid damaging the structure of the boat itself. The best nozzle to use is one that sprays a low, wide-angle area that offers just enough pressure to get off the salt crystals.

For best results, it’s best to wash off your boat after each use. For boats as big as a 45-foot Sea Ray Express, it can take as little as 30 minutes. Just be sure to never use strong detergents or abrasive, chlorinated cleaners on your boat. Because the chlorine is corrosive, it can stain and discolor many surfaces, especially aluminum.

So after your next ocean excursion, take a few minutes and wash down your boat. By spending some money on cleaning supplies and a good pressure washer, maintaining your boat can be as easy as washing your car. As with any possession, the more time you spend looking after it, the longer it will stay in great shape.