The ultimate guide to keeping surfaces ship shape this summer

Owning the boat that’s the envy of all the others in the marina this summer doesn’t happen by accident. It involves proper planning and maintenance.

Here’s how to select the right equipment and products you’ll need to get that wow factor, whether you’re taking your boat out on a fishing trip, leisure cruising or embarking on a family vacation.

Start with the right equipment

A summer topcoat maintenance program will ensure that the aesthetic of your boat remains pristine all the way through summer and beyond. To start, it’s essential you have the correct equipment for the job to keep your surfaces looking their best for longer.

For example, did you know that the choice of cleaning products can adversely impact the durability and quality of coatings? Aim to select cleaning products that are PH neutral, as anything too acidic or alkaline can have detrimental effects. Most household cleaners are NOT PH neutral.

Every boat owner considers their environmental impact at all times, so it is vital to ensure the equipment and products chosen are safe. Products containing bleach may leave permanent stains, even from splashes, so take extra care if these are being used anywhere in close proximity. Metal polish will also damage painted surfaces. If a metal polish is used, ensure it is fully rinsed off before proceeding with further cleaning.

Brushes should have soft bristles, while natural sponges are best. Avoid abrasion pads at all costs.

This might be difficult to avoid in the summer, but higher temperatures can soften paint, leading to damage when routine cleaning takes place. If you can, carry out cleaning and maintenance when the temperatures are a little lower in early mornings or after dusk.

Products that bring out the ‘wow’ factor

Now that you have the correct equipment and conditions, you’ll need the right products to use on your surfaces.

Awlwash® is a gentle detergent cleaner, part of the industry-leading Awlgrip® family of products produced by AkzoNobel. It washes and cleans to prevent dirt and grease build-up. Depending on the job to be done, it can be diluted as required – after cleaning, always rinse thoroughly.

Step two after using Awlwash® is to apply Awlcare®, a protective polymer sealer, that polishes to a gleaming shine while containing no harsh abrasives.

It is non-yellowing and its effects will last through multiple washes. For best results, repeat use of Awlcare® builds up protection against the harshest conditions.

Safety and environmental impact are key for every product in the Awlgrip range, from raw materials to disposal and recycling. Awlgrip goes beyond regulatory compliance in terms of reducing waste, removing VOC emissions and working towards more sustainable processes.

Richard Jennings, Global Technical Manager for Yacht Coatings at AkzoNobel, says: “The boat that’s the envy of all the others in the harbour isn’t necessarily the newest or the biggest, it’s the best maintained. Existing coatings can look fantastic for a very long time if maintained and protected carefully.

“Both Awlwash® and Awlcare® have been specifically formulated to maximise the lifespan of your topcoat. They are the safest and most effective protection around.”

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