Cleaning Aluminum Boats
Alongside every Seahawk Offshore at Waterfall Resort in Alaska is a freshwater hose and bins of cleaning supplies. The last task of the day for the resort’s guides is a comprehensive freshwater and soap cleanse of the boat’s interiors, bilge and exteriors.
While boat owners are generally aware that it’s critical to run their engine(s) with a freshwater source after returning from a day on saltwater, it’s equally important to give proper care to your aluminum boat’s finish. There’s a couple of reasons why.
From a purely personal point of view, you may want to keep your boat looking tip top for the admiration it earns you from friends, family and fellow boaters. From a financial point of view, maintaining your boat’s appearance is an important factor in maintaining your boat’s value.
For example, let’s say you want to sell your Seahawk Outboard so you can step up to a Seahawk Offshore. Keeping your Seahawk Outboard looking as close to the way it looked when it was delivered will help you preserve its best possible resale value.
Saltwater Care and Maintenance
To start, as a reminder, it’s always best to run the engine in a freshwater source (lake or river) to flush the engine or jet of saltwater (see your specific engine’s Owner’s Manual). When that’s not an option, attaching a freshwater hose via a flush muff or the engine’s accessory connector is the best bet.
The first step after flushing the engine is a fresh water rinse, inside and out, of the boat and the trailer. If there’s a wash down station at the boat ramp, take advantage of it by rinsing your boat off right after it comes out of the saltwater. Be mindful of other boaters waiting in line and remember that at the ramp, it’s a quick rinse.
Upon reaching home, rinse the boat if you weren’t able to do it at the boat ramp.
Then, wash your boat completely, inside and out, with a boat soap. Washing your aluminum boat with freshwater and boat soap is critically important. This step helps to reduce the risk of crevice corrosion and paint-related corrosion.
Some cleaning products to consider using to clean or minimize corrosion on your aluminum boat include:
No matter which you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.
Please note that we don’t recommend polishing the natural aluminum material or using aluminum cleaning products such as abrasives, acids, detergents, aluminum cleaner or aluminum polish.
If your boat is painted, we recommend that you wax your boat’s painted surfaces as often as possible, especially when regularly running in saltwater. However, if your boat is brand new, we recommend not waxing or polishing the painted surfaces for the first 30 days you own and operate the boat.
While cleaning your boat, visually inspect the sacrificial anodes. At North River Boats, we recommend using only Aluminum Sacrificial Anodes only, and never mix the anode alloy type. Additionally, we recommend consulting with your authorized service center before changing or adding anodes.
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