With cooler weather just around the corner, it may be time to start thinking about how you’ll be storing your boat while you count down the calendar pages to boat season again. While many of our customers are lucky enough to live in an area with year-round boating weather (we’re looking at you Florida and California), many are not as lucky and we want to make sure the boats that get stored for the season are done so with the properly preparation in place!
Step 1. Wash.
We know, it might seem obvious but giving your boat a proper wash before storage is key. You need to wash away all the brine that can cause staining and degradation on your boat’s gel coating. Using a proper boat wash, like the Marine 31 Gel Coat Wash & Wax with Carnauba, ensures you are doing a safe wash – a.k.a., not instilling swirls or minute scratches.
Step 2. Polish.
Depending on the quality of your boat’s gel coat finish, a polish step may be necessary. When gel coats start to oxidize, it’s very noticeable – your hull will have a dull, chalky looking finish. A polish is necessary to remove that oxidation and this is definitely something you want to do before your boat goes into storage. Marine 31 All-In-One Gel Coat Polish & Wax is perfect for this step as it’s designed to remove light oxidation and leave a protected finish behind.
Step 3. Protect.
If you’ve read any of our other guides centered on prepping a vehicle for fall, you’ll know the most important step is the protectant. If your boat’s gel coat isn’t protected during the winter months, environmental contamination can start to degrade or dull your gel coat and you wouldn’t notice until you put your boat back in the water come spring. Using Marine 31 Vessel Coat UV Pro can protect your gel coat for up to 2 years and is easy to apply. But if you’d rather use something that’s easier to apply but still provides ample protection, check out Marine 31 Gel Coat Carnauba Wax + Sealant will last the whole winter season!
Step 4. Interior Cleaning & Protecting
Once the exterior of your boat is cleaned, polished, and protected, it’s time to get to work on your boat’s interior surfaces including cushions, non-skid flooring, metal railing, and vinyl and rubber surfaces. Each of these will need to be cleaned and using an APC like Marine 31 Port to Starboard All Purpose Cleaner allows you to use the same product on all of these surfaces safely!
If you’ve got any cushions that are showing signs of mildewing, be sure to use Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover – that will remove any staining caused by mildew. Be sure to protect with Marine 31 Mildew Stain Guard to prevent any future mildewing!
Step 5. Windows, Plastic, and Metal Cleaning
While smaller in area (usually), these surfaces can get pretty dirty – think of all that water flinging up onto the surface, drying, and causing unsightly staining. Marine 31 Stainless Steel & Aluminum Brightening Soap will quickly clean up metal surfaces and keep them looking new. If your boat is equipped with a plastic windshield, you can use Marine 31 Plastic Clear to clean away any cloudiness.
Once your boat has been fully washed, scrubbed, cleaned, and protected it is ready for storage! Whether you’re storing it in a boat yard or in your drive way, using a boat cover is crucial to protect against all that snow and ice coming your way.
Check out the full line-up of essential marine and boat care products in the Marine 31 brand – your boat will thank you!