Wash Your Boat! The Effects of Saltwater

Salt is abrasive and harsh and, like a cancer, saltwater can wreak havoc on a boat’s hull, engine and all of
its mechanical components. Salt will stick to metal surfaces promoting rust and corrosion, dull the shine
on your fiberglass or wooden boat and even eat into paint to make easy work out of depreciating your
boat.
Any seaman worth his or her salt knows that washing your boat is a step you just can’t neglect. Savvy
boaters make it a habit to wash their boats as soon as they return to the dock.
You want to wash the surface of your entire boat, flush your outboard and pay special attention to any
crevices where saltwater may accumulate on your boat. If you keep your boat in a saltwater slip, keep a
keen eye out for barnacles and algae which can damage your hull and slow down your boat. Gerry’s
Marina is full-service so we offer hull cleaning services or you can take care of it yourself.
Also maintain marine-quality hardware and electrical components and keep your bilge as dry as
possible. Plus, don’t forget that your boat trailer comes in close contact with the saltwater too, so make
sure you wash that as well – paying special attention to underneath and electrical components like lights
and brakes.
And remember that lubrication doesn’t just keep things moving smoothly. It helps protect against rust,
so lube things like trailer rollers, hinges, latches and any other moving parts. Also apply marine grease to
outboard steering, tilt, tub, the engine trim and couple.
It can be a bit of a bother, but vigilance certainly pays off in the case of boat washing. You’ll be thankful
you did it and very bothered if you didn’t!