Keep Your Boat Pristine
YOU HAVE WORKED HARD FOR MANY YEARS and now you have bought what you have always dreamed of owning, your motor cruiser or your yacht. Funny thing is the salesman hands you your keys and you are on your way: right? How do you look after your new toy? What is the best way to keep the finish, clears, canopies in good condition? You would think these lovely expensive vessels would come with a video or maintenance manual to teach you what was needed to protect your vessel from corrosion.
The biggest issue is the salt and salt spray that builds up on your boat while moored as that is where the majority of large pleasure boats spend their time, tied up.
There are chandleries filled with detergents, waxes, coatings and the like however, very few break the corrosion cycle and remove the microscopic salt (sodium chloride) that has built up in the surfaces of your vessel. That is what causes the damage with assistance from the sun -your pride and joy starts to deteriorate. So what do you do?
From 28 years of boating experience I have had no better result than what I am about to explain as removing the salt on a regular basis is the key to a beautifully presented vessel and reduced repair costs caused by salt corrosion.
Fifteen years ago I tried a product called Salt-X which was developed to do two jobs, firstly, to remove and neutralise damaging microscopic salt and secondly leave a non oily sacrificial wax on the surface to give temporary protection between treatments.
Every year my charter boat requires a marine department inspection and without fail, every year, the inspector, normally an ex-captain would ask how I managed to keep my vessel in such pristine condition as he is always astounded that the vessel showed no sign of corrosion.
After a day’s charter the boat is always covered in salt spray which has to be removed, however, no matter how much I hosed there was always salt on the boat after the water had evaporated.
I use either of two methods. First method to remove the salt and protect my boat is to give all the surfaces a quick hose with fresh water and let dry, spray on a solution of SaltOff SX50 over the boat, do not rinse off and the job is done. I have found that this removes the microscopic salt, helps any waxes last longer and stops the salt from causing damage while tied up.
For a more thorough salt removal and wash SaltOff Boat & 4x4 Wash is the product to use with the addition of a high grade mild detergent, you use Boat & 4x4 Wash the same as a boat wash.
This product can be used on your covers, clears, all surfaces including sails; I have found it excellent on clears.
I find a soft hair broom and bucket the best way to give the boat a thorough going over, however, a sponge or pressure sprayer can be used. I do a section at a time with the broom and Boat & 4x4 Wash solution then rinse off with fresh water before the product dries as the detergent tends to streak if let dry.
If you are not using your boat for an extended period it would not hurt to give the boat a periodic coating of SaltOff SX50 to control any salt build-up as even a windy day can cover your boat with salt while it is tied up.
Even your fittings and surfaces in the cabin and below deck suffer from salt and using the SaltOffon all your metal fittings is ideal, spray SaltOff on a soft cloth you can wipe over all your electronics and that will keep the salt under control.
What about your engines, generators, raw water cooling system and heat exchanger?
SaltOff has proven itself as an excellent treatment in these cooling systems as many larger boat owners have already discovered.
Depending on your boat’s configuration you can add the SaltOff through the strainer or a simple T fitting in the cooling line. There are systems available that can inject SaltOff with the touch of a button. Talk to SaltOff about your needs and I am sure a treatment system can be set up to suit your requirements.
If you don’t have any fresh water you can use SaltOff with sea water, talk to the SaltOff guys about this application.
So far every boat owner I have converted to using Salt-X and Boat & 4x4 Wash on their boats have been very happy with the long term benefits and savings enjoyed from reduced repair costs. So here is your opportunity to reduce the time spent maintaining your boat and spend more time enjoying it.
Neil Harris is a SCUBA instructor examiner with over 25 years of diving and boating experience under his belt. Travelled the south pacific extensively exploring most of the known war and shipwreck sites. He is qualified to service all major brands of SCUBA equipment and is a qualified commercial skipper.
by Neil Harris - May 2009