How to care for your Fibreglass Boat16 February 2020
Whether it’s for your business or your personal use, a boat is a great investment. Having a boat allows you to have unique experiences that you can’t get on land. If you like to fish or participate in water sports, having a boat makes these activities more accessible.
Just like any vehicle, your boat needs to be properly maintained. Fibreglass boats are popular because of their better amenities and increased stability on the water. However, they often require more upkeep than most aluminium boats. Here’s what you can do to keep your fibreglass boat in good shape.
Fix Cracks Quickly
If you hit a sharp rock or another object while boating, your boat’s haul may splinter or crack. You can also get cracks in the haul by leaving your boat on land. You are best to repair these cracks immediately before they get bigger. The bigger the split, the more expensive it will be to repair!
Fortunately, you can fix most small cracks on your own. All the materials you need are usually included in fibreglass repair kits. First, drill a small hole at each end of the crack to keep it from spreading. Small cracks can be widened and filled with epoxy. After the crack is filled, leave the epoxy to dry for one day.
Wash Your Boat Regularly
A good wash is the best way to keep your boat looking clean. All you need is dishwashing detergent mixed with warm water. Rinse with clean, fresh water; setting it back in the river or ocean to rinse will just let new dirt accumulate on your freshly-cleaned boat.
Boats can accrue a lot of grime from saltwater, especially on the hull. It would be best if you gave your boat a good wash every few months. If you regularly take your boat out for long trips, you may want to clean just the bottom every month.
Don’t Forget the Wax!
After you’re finished washing the boat, apply a fresh coat of wax. Using a high-quality polish can prevent many little scratches or dings on your boat. It will also stop oxidation from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Wax polish can be applied using a buffer. Use gentle, circular motions so that you can avoid streaks or damaging the hull. After you’re finished, let the wax sit for ten minutes.
The Gelcoat is what gives the fibreglass boat its glossy appearance. However, you may have to repair the Gelcoat at some point during your period of ownership. Sometimes, even a good washing won’t remove stubborn debris from the boat. Excessive dirt and grime can cause the Gelcoat to deteriorate.
These parts need special attention. With a commercial Gelcoat cleaning formula, use rubber gloves and a washcloth to scrub these areas by hand. You may also need to apply a new layer of Gelcoat if the current one has deteriorated.
Take Your Time
It’s important not to cut corners when it comes to boat maintenance. As you’re cleaning your boat, take the time to inspect it thoroughly for damage. Never skimp on wax: it’s crucial to keeping your boat shiny and safe! If possible, set aside at least a few hours or a whole day to wash your boat.
If you’re applying new paint or a Gelcoat, always make sure that you have the proper safety tools. Inhaling fibreglass can lead to eye irritation, stomach problems, and respiratory infections. Have your goggles, gloves, and respirators on hand before you begin any work.
As long as you have a regular cleaning schedule and a little patience, maintaining your fibreglass boat doesn’t have to be a hassle. With proper care, your boat could last as long as 50 years!