Boat Cleaning Tips

Monterey Cruising Yacht

Cleaning Your Yacht

Whether you are cleaning your boat or having someone help you out, you'll want to make sure that your watercraft is up to par. Every time you travel on the water, your vessel risks collecting dirt, natural debris, and unwanted waste left behind by others. Over time, this exposure can lead to build-up that is likely to cause damage to your ship. With regular cleaning and maintenance, your boat or yacht will look like it's brand new. We created this guide for you to use whenever you or someone else cleans your ship. If you decide that your boat or yacht is beyond repair, give us a call at Bassett Yacht & Boat Sales.

Preparation is Key

Building good habits now will help keep your yacht in tip-top shape. Every time you are out on the water you are collecting debris, gunk, and if applicable, salt water. All of these things will dry on to your ship after you are done traveling. Whenever you dock or leave the water, rinse your boat with fresh water. This will decrease the amount of buildup on your vessel, increase the length of life left in your boat, and make your or your cleaners life much easier when the time comes.

Everglades Yacht

Cleaning The Exterior

Keeping the exterior of your yacht clean is similar to cleaning a car, on a much larger scale. Use a soft-bristle boat brush, marine boat wash, and step-stool of your choice to get the job done. It's important to use products that are made specifically for this task, as many cleaners and brushes that are made for general use or cars could cause serious damage to the exterior of your boat. While you are washing, work your way from top to bottom to prevent old grime from drying on a lower, fresh and clean section. In order for your hard work to look good, it's best to wash your boat in a shady area away from the sun to prevent water spots from drying in a visible pattern. If being in a shaded area isn't an option, work in small sections and use either a chamois or squeegee to dry the boat while you work.

Yacht Interior

Cleaning the Interior

Once the exterior is clean, you'll want the interior nooks and cranny's to look just as nice! Start with any upholstery and vinyl, using an upholstery specific cleaner or a mild soap with warm water. Using strong chemicals like bleach can cause irreversible damage, and can have a lingering smell. Once your upholstery is finished, shine up your windows with a standard glass cleaner. For interior detailing, including glass, we like to use fine microfiber towels as they are gentle and leave nothing behind!

Sea Pro Center Console Boat


Waxing a boat will ideally be done twice per season, before and after storage. Waxing your boat makes it difficult for dirt to stick to it, adds an additional layer to protect against scratches, and provides an attractive shine. When choosing a wax to use, only purchase a marine wax. Substituting wax that is made for other vehicles such as cars will not protect your boat from damage, as the exterior of other vehicles is not made to be soaked in water for long periods. Non-marine waxes may also harm the finish on your boat. Waxing should be considered preventative maintenance, much like going to the dentist for teeth cleaning. You want to stay away from liquid or spray on carnauba waxes, as they are more often than not a poor quality product.