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Essential Boat Maintenance Guide

Mar 2, 2008
When buying a boat, whether used or brand new, an important consideration should be on boat maintenance and the upkeep of the vessel.

Boat Inspection

It is important to personally inspect the boat or to hire a professional boat inspector prior to purchase. Some local boat traders may have their own inspectors available for hire. If you are buying a boat secondhand a boat survey should have been carried out on your behalf. The boat survey is conducted by a qualified marine surveyor to access the status of the vessel. The results of the surveys including comments and recommendations are then made available to the buyer and highlight the weaknesses of the boat and identify any potential problems. Any major issues revealed by the survey should prompt the buyer to be cautious.


A regular wash down once or twice a week will keep the boat looking good and keep it efficient, especially when the boat has been out into saltwater. Feet on the decks tend to accumulate grime which runs down the side of the boat and this can leave streaks down the hull. The sun, acid rain, salt and dirt can all cause damage to the boats exterior and leave the finish vulnerable to the elements. It is recommended that you wash the outside of the vessel with a mild detergent rather than a strong wax which may strip the wax layer. Boats are made from a variety of materials from fiberglass and metal and canvas, so it is worth checking you are using the right cleaning substance for the material. Most marine stores will sell detergents for various boat finishes. Washing your boat regularly will help to maintain the boats finish for as long as possible.


You won't need to wax your boat every time it is washed. It is however good practice to at least wax it in the spring before the season and again in autumn before the winter. By waxing you can keep the eye catching glossy look of your vessel and maintain its value.

Using natural products instead of chemical products help to preserve the finish of the boat. There are numerous types of wax available and manufacturers recommend you apply a double layer of wax to the vessel.

Boat Hull

The hull is possibly the most overlooked part of the boat when it comes to boat maintenance and cleaning but it is also the most important part. It should be regularly inspected and cleaned. Over time algae, barnacles and other marine life will attach themselves to the bottom of the boat which will impact on its speed and performance. Some people even claim that a good clean saves them on fuel.


Apart from vacuuming the living quarters of the boat on a regular basis, additional cleaning improves the look and quality of the boat in the longer term. This involves polishing the wood and metal, cleaning windows, blinds, canvas and upholstery. It can also prevent bacteria and termite problems.

Alternatively if you are buying a boat and don't necessarily have the time to devote to boat maintenance there are many companies that offer maintenance services.
About the Author
For further information about buying a boat please visit experienced yacht brokers Inwards Marine at http://www.inwardsmarine.com. Based in Europe Inwards Marine have offices in the UK, Switzerland and Monaco.
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