Boats need constant care and regular cleaning to keep them beautiful, functional and comfortable.
Spaces are tight, the materials to be cleaned are often many and each with different characteristics, and the work to be done to clean the boats must be focused and limited in time. When the boat is laid up in winter, it is left completely to its own devices – albeit, in most cases, dry-docked and perhaps even indoors.
After the winter, the boat needs a thorough and complete cleaning both inside and out before being taken out to sea.
Boat cleaning: inside
Having a dirty or otherwise unkempt interior does not only mean having to deal with an unattractive or uncomfortable environment, but also, potentially, with an unhealthy environment, inhabited for example by mould, mites and bacteria.
- The first thing to do, on the first useful sunny day, is to air the inside, keeping everything open from morning until evening. And when we say everything, we really mean everything: portholes, locker doors, hatchways, doors, various cupboards, everything must be opened and ventilated. The winter closure leads to the stagnation of moisture and thus to the creation of an unhealthy environment.
- The second job is to remove the layer of dust that will inevitably have formed on all surfaces inside the boat. So, before proceeding with the actual cleaning of the inside of the boat, the most superficial dirt must be removed by dusting and vacuuming. At the same time, any items that were not removed from the boat when it was put into winter storage must be unloaded or otherwise brought into the open air. Moisture and mould may have attacked the most unthinkable objects, such as nautical charts, pilot’s books, life jackets, work clothes left on board and so on.
- At this point, having aired and dusted, it is finally possible to officially begin cleaning the boat, starting with the galley.
Cleaning the kitchen and galley
The galley should be emptied completely before winter; very often, however, people end up leaving behind certain products with a very long shelf life, a fundamental basis for any self-respecting galley – and kitchen. The problem, however, is that these products can fall prey to moisture and mould and, in the case of cans, corrosion, so each individual product should be moved, checked and cleaned.
Every corner of the galley should be cleaned using NAUTICAL DETERGENT, a super-concentrated, two-component alkaline detergent with high degreasing and wetting power. It is suitable for plastic (ABS, fibreglass, EPDM, nylon, epoxy, silicone) painted and metal surfaces.
The boat’s refrigerator should also be cleaned very carefully, as should the freezer, because it tends to give off unpleasant odours after being unused for a long time. In this case we suggest you use SANIDAT SANITISER, a perfumed detergent with a sanitising action.
The burners must also be cleaned carefully. Spring cleaning of the boat is among other things the right time to take a closer look at the connections and gas hoses, therefore disassembling the burners and using VASELINE SPRAY GREASE to prevent metal corrosion and to seal rubber joints.
Cleaning the toilet
Here is another area inside the boat that deserves our attention: the plumbing of the nautical toilet during the winter is not used for a very long time, which is why, in addition to normal cleaning, it is normal to purge it. For cleaning the toilet, SANITARY CLEANING DETERGENT specially developed for sanitary areas, removes impurities caused by microbes and bacteria as well as stains and soap and limescale residues.
Washing boat fabrics
A separate chapter should be opened for all boat fabrics: it is advisable to put everything that cannot be washed in the washing machine – mattresses and cushions – in the air, even for more than one day. Everything that can go in the washing machine, from curtains to pillowcases, should be cleaned according to the most appropriate cycle depending on the material. All other fixed upholstery can be washed in place, thanks to DATATEX FABRIC DETERGENT, which removes the most stubborn stains while giving the area a fresh scent. It contains non-ionic surfactants that are over 90% biodegradable. DATATEX can be applied by hand with a sprayer or by a special extraction machine.
Cleaning the bilge
Among the dirtiest places on a boat are the bilges, the places where all liquids finally collect, to be removed by the pump. Here there is no shortage of dripping grease, salt encrustations and so on. This is why, in order to keep bad smells away, to avoid threatening the bilge pumps and compromising the walls of these sumps, it is useful to clean these spaces from time to time.
Cleaning the outside
There are many different reasons for cleaning a boat’s hull carefully: to protect it from the action of crustaceans and algae, to keep it looking good, to eliminate friction.
We usually start with the “toughest” part, in other words the hull which, being submerged in water, is both dirtier and harder to reach. Obviously, the hull can be calmly cleaned during winter storage, once the boat has been dry-docked, and then polished again shortly before returning to the water, therefore a few moments before giving the indispensable antifouling – which serves precisely to provide additional protection to the hull.
The hull, however, certainly does not consist only of the part below the waterline. In fact, cleaning the hull of the boat also means cleaning the topsides, that is the part that remains above the waves, and is therefore less exposed to agents such as algae, but which remains in the public eye.
To restore beauty to the topsides, it is necessary to use specific products: NAUTICAL DETERGENT, alkaline two-component, super concentrated, with a high degreasing and wetting power. It is suitable for plastic (ABS, fibreglass, EPDM, nylon, epoxy, silicone) painted and metal surfaces or NAUTICAL ACID DETERGENT specifically intended for cleaning boat keels, with its mixture of acids, non-ionic surfactants and special corrosion inhibitors, it is ideal for removing mixed organic-lime encrustations.
When it comes to cleaning teak, it is always best to follow the rules carefully so as not to risk ruining this precious material. Indeed, this particular wood, thanks to its natural oils, is able to resist like no other in the middle of the sea, but only if it is treated with care, using the best products. It should therefore be cleaned gently, without risking removing the oils, using soft water, soft brushes or special detergents.