Our first tip, if you use a spray style applicator, is to spray your sunscreen off of the boat. It can cause discoloration of the seats and ruin clothing and towels. If possible, encourage guests to spray before they get on the boat, and apply touch -ups with cream sunscreen when on board.
Another must-have for keeping your boat in shape is a canvas cover to protect your boat at the end of each outing. Our founder, Nicole, notes that this can be “one of the most awful parts of boating,” since over time they become hard to snap down after being exposed to the elements. A great trick for this is to have some liquid soap on hand to apply to the bottom part of the snap – it generally helps make it much easier to snap the cover down.
Another unexpected problem on boats, especially lake boats, is spiders. Besides being an unwelcome guest for most, they can also leave webs and spider poo marks on your boat. Luckily, there are some delicious smells that spiders hate – like lavender, citrus, peppermint, and tea tree. For a quick homemade fix, add 10-20 drops of any of these scents in essential oil form to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray it around your dock or mist your boat cover. For inside your cabin or in boat lockers and the head, place any of these oils on a cotton ball and leave that in the corners. Repeat the process regularly to keep the spiders away! If you’re not a fan of these scents, a simple option is equal parts water to white vinegar. You can spray around the dock as well as those dark corners of the boat. This solution also works particularly well for wiping down vinyl boat seats.
Speaking of vinyl boat seats – these can be tricky to clean. Our best hack is to sprinkle a bit of baking soda onto a clean towel and rub that onto the surface of your vinyl upholstery. Then, mix one part vinegar with two parts water and add a couple tablespoons of Murphy’s Oil Soap. Soak a rag or towel in the solution and wipe the mixture over the surface before rinsing it all clean with a wet rag. To clean chrome surfaces on your boat, a dilution of dish soap and vinegar in a spray bottle will do the trick.
When you have a bigger party on your boat, take a few minutes after docking to wipe down the seats to make sure suntan lotion, makeup, and food don’t stay on the upholstery and create discoloration over time. To make cleanup easier for guests, have designated areas for trash and recycling to minimize confusion. In addition, color-coding any organizational areas on your boat will make it easy for guests to make sure they leave your space clean.
With these tricks in your tool box, your boat is ready to stay beautiful for the long haul.