Hey there fellow boaters, Captain John here.

I get many questions from our customers asking very logical questions about how to get (and) keep their boat looking its best. If you see an answer to your question here, great. But if you are still unsure about anything to do with the surface-care of your boat, chances are good that I have a good solution. Please call us at 877-262-8274 and we can answer any questions.

And please know that I’m not being cocky about this, because for 50+ years I’ve been working on the cosmetics of boats – and I was damn good at what I did. But eventually, I started getting unfriendly messages from my knees and shoulders saying “nope, can’t do that any-more”. And so, I figured I would continue to work on the boats by helping you, the boat owners and the next generation of surface-care specialists do a good job and avoid mistakes that I learned from over the years. And what better way to get the results you want than by using products that work. So, between using the Boat Brite boat cleaning products and picking my brain for answers, I’ll bet your boat will look really good.

Captain John

Will your boat polish, boat wax, etc. last all season?

No, and here’s why. During spring prep, you apply a coat (maybe even 2) of your favorite coating over a (hopefully) well cleaned hull. Let’s say this happens in May and your season will run through September. That’s a minimum of 4 months. And during those 4 months, your boat is bombarded by the strongest UV rays of the year, often a lot of rain, regular boat washings (hopefully) and the abrasive friction of the hull cutting through the water.

So, let’s say that you applied two coats of your favorite protection, then let it dry and then buff it off. This yields a nice gloss and protection for a short period of time. If your lucky you’ll get + - 30 days of solid protection from the initial 2 coats. The initial application needs a booster shot to continue an uninterrupted protection of your boat – especially topsides where the bombardment of the elements is the harshest. So, to keep your boat looking good but more importantly protected from the degradation of the elements, it is important to reapply another coat of your favorite coating – every 30 days or so. And of course there are all sorts of caveats that would change the length of time between coats but if your boat is like many and kept in the water and uncovered, + - 30 days is a good time for a reapply.

For a real good visual understanding of what I just said above, check out the Boat Brite Ultimate Finish product video on the website. It explains what to do to keep your boat looking good and protect your investment. And certainly, if you would like to talk about this subject, please call me.

How often should I wash my boat with Boat Brite boat soaps?

Depending on where your boat lives has a lot to do with the answer. I wash the topsides of my boat every weekend and I suggest the same practice to anyone who asks me. But this is often not followed. And so, if you’re not going to thoroughly was your boat every weekend, at least rinse it well with a hose with the nozzle set on the strongest stream it can give.

Location does have a lot to do with the washing requirements. If your boat is kept outdoors near an urban area, there are pollution particulates in the air – soot from factories, trains, buses, planes, cars etc. These particulates settle on the decks of boats. Then at night, the dew moisturizes these particulates driving them into the porosity of the gelcoat and often over the sides in the boats’ “drain channels”. This runoff leaves a trail of dirt down the side of the boat – these are aka Black Streaks. So, the imbedded particulates on the decks of the boats and the associated runoff need to be washed as soon as possible – if neglected the greasy dirt will become really challenging to clean and will require an aggressive high alkaline cleaner (aka degreaser) to deep clean the surface of the boat. And this high alkaline degreaser will also compromise the wax/polish coating and ideally the surface is recoated with your favorite wax/polish.

But if your boat is kept in a boat house or a covered slip or under a mooring cover in a non-urban area then it will stay clean longer – but it still needs to be cleaned regularly.

And please, all boat soaps are NOT created equal. Please read the ingredients of the boat soap you are using – if it says it’s a degreaser, or it “cuts greasy grime” it’s not good for boats – it’s likely great for pots and pans and greasy hard surfaces but not for gelcoat. Our YachtShine Marine Soap is an excellent boat cleaner that has no alkaline degreasing ingredients. Instead, we developed a soap that deep cleans without harsh chemicals. And it does a fantastic job on boat glass and clear vinyl as it is a non-streak formulation. And at $29.00 for a gallon, which will last a long time, it is the best soap you can use for your boat. Please call or email to discuss boat cleaning 101 and what to use and what NOT to use.