Hot Topic: Keeping your boat looking good this winter

AkzoNobel’s technical manager, Richard Jennings, shares maintenance tips boat owners can follow to help their boat look amazing for the next season.  

In this feature Richard highlights the importance of fresh water washes and fixing paint cracks before ‘putting boats to bed’ for the winter. He also pinpoints potential pitfalls in a seven-step guide for boat owners to follow before storing away their craft.

Firstly, you should pressure wash the boat to remove growth and dirt, but make sure it is not powerful enough to damage the surface.

Follow up with a gentle detergent cleaner, such as Awlwash 2.0 by AkzoNobel. Regular usage will help to prevent dirt and grease build-up. It is important that you rinse the area again with fresh water using a hose or a less intense pressure wash.

Dry off and remove any standing water using a rubber blade and microfibre cloth to prevent osmosis.

The next stage is to remove any stubborn stains or growth on the coating or substrate using brushes with soft bristles, and avoid abrasion pads at all costs.

Check for any cracks to the paintwork or metal substrate and then apply a protective polymer sealer, such as Awlcare, that polishes to a gleaming shine while containing no harsh abrasives. It will help to stop any moisture seeping in over the winter months.

Aim to use cleaning products that are PH neutral as anything too acidic or alkali can have detrimental effects. Products containing bleach may leave permanent stains, even from splashes, so take extra care if these are being used anywhere. Metal polish, too, will damage painted surfaces, so if one is used, ensure it is fully rinsed off before proceeding with further cleaning.

The final stage is to throw on a cover, but be careful in areas with high-winds because the material can become like a ‘piece of sandpaper’ and damage the surface it is laid over.

Richard concluded: “The more maintenance and care you give your boat before putting it to bed, the better it will look when you unwrap it for the new season. It is vital to fix any cracks for the ultimate protection as moisture will find a way in and cause corrosion during the winter months.”

Seven-step guide to keeping the winter wow factor 
1. Pressure wash with fresh water to remove growth and dirt
2. Use Awlwash 2.0 detergent to prevent dirt and grease build-up
3. Rinse again with fresh water using a hose or a less intense pressure wash
4. Dry off and remove standing water using a rubber blade and microfibre cloth
5. Check any cracks to the paintwork or metal substrate
6. Apply Awlcare to stop any moisture seeping in over the winter months
7. Place the winter cover on the boat, but make sure it is breathable

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