Pages Navigation Menu

How To Maintain Your Small Sailboat So It Will Be Lake Worthy For Years To Come

If you have a vacation home on a large lake, and you’ve purchased a small sailboat to use on the lake, then you have to take steps to make sure the boat is well maintained. It is not an aluminum canoe or a fiberglass kayak that you can simply drag up onto shore and leave to the elements. A sailboat, even one that doesn’t hit the saltwater ocean, needs to be taken care of. Here’s how to do that.

Wax and Polish For The Fiberglass

The boat’s fiberglass body (and the gel coat top) needs to be protected. If you don’t wax and polish the body of the boat, the gelcoat will fade and disappear and then you will end up with exposed fiberglass. This will eventually start to fade and absorb color and look ugly. So, you need to pick up the proper marine wax and polish that is used with sailboats. The owner’s manual for your sailboat should recommend a particular type of wax and polish, but if you brought the boat used and don’t have access to the manual, then speak with a salesperson at a marine supply store to make sure you’re getting the right combo.

Frequent Hull Cleaning To Avoid Abrasive Hull Cleaning

When you are done sailing for the weekend, you should raise up the boat on your boat lift and clean off the hull if you’re not planning on returning for a while. You can get liquid sprays to use. The precise chemical components vary. The reason you want to do this, instead of waiting till the end of season and having a thorough cleaning, is because it is more gentle. If you let lots of algae accumulate, then the cleaning will need to be abrasive to scrub off the dirt and growth. That abrasion will lead to a shorter lifespan for your boat’s antifouling paint.

Install A Boat Lift Cover

Don’t think that you can simply lift the boat out of the water and leave it be. While that will stop algae from growing on the hull, it won’t stop the sun from beating down onto the deck and sails. The sun has UV light, which will damage the boat over the long term. You also need to protect the boat from rain. You should get a boat lift cover that sits above the boat and completely covers it. You want air to be able to pass through so mold won’t grow, but you also want complete coverage from sun and rain. Contact a company like Waterway Boat Lift Covers for more info.