When your boat came off the showroom floor, she was sleek, fast, shiny and clean. Her curvaceous lines moved unfalteringly down her lithe, sparkling body, all the way from the tip of her upturned nose to her ample rear end. She was a thing of beauty that glided effortlessly over glass-like waters and she could easily turn heads at 150 paces.
If you’ve recently purchased a boat and aren’t aware of the importance of keeping it free of corrosive salts, then read on. Why? Because you want to retain the value of your prized investment.
If you wash your boat sporadically, then read on. And, if you never wash your boat, definitely read on. Leaving salt water to crystallise on your boat will promote corrosion and cause irreversible damage to many of its components. If you diligently clean your boat, as explained below, it will stay looking pristine for many years. If you don’t, your boat will soon be in a very sorry state.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that salt water doesn’t reach every part of the boat. Even a fine misting of water will begin the corrosion process. Unfortunately, if you take your boat to sea, it will be subjected to salt build-up in the form of saltwater hitting the boat and in the salty air and mist that often surrounds the boat.
Watch any professional crew worth their salt, excuse the pun, clean their boat and you’ll see they do a very thorough job of washing away the salt. They know that if they don’t do a proper clean, their boat will quickly succumb to corrosion. Professional crews know that salt corrodes metals, boat finishes and gel coats, and this is why they clean the boat as thoroughly as possible to remove all salt residues.
Bear in mind that if salt buildup is not cleaned from the boat, its hydroscopic tendencies allow it to draw moisture from the air and this exacerbates corrosion.