Ownership: Washing and cleaning aluminium boats

Washing and cleaning aluminium boats

Maintenance & Care

Keeping your boat clean will help prevent dirt from staining the surfaces, make it easier to maintain your boat and reduce the overall amount of maintenance required. For normal cleaning, fresh water and a soft brush or sponge are usually sufficient. Special boat care products or mild general purpose cleaning agents may be used if needed, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Use only cleaning agents that are compatible with aluminium surfaces. Do not use alcohol-based agents, solvent-based agents or cleaning agents that contain acids (such as oxalic acid or phosphoric acid) when cleaning aluminium boats. Solvent-based cleaning agents must also not be applied to the consoles and other plastic components.

Painted aluminium surfaces can be washed using the same cleaning agents that are suitable for aluminium boats in general.

Drainage holes should be cleaned regularly to remove any dirt and prevent blockages. 

Whenever possible, rinse off any bird droppings from the boat’s surfaces and canopy as soon as possible. Dried bird droppings can be brushed off, after which you can use fresh water and a mild detergent if needed.

Fuel splashes should also be removed immediately from the boat’s surfaces.

Cleaning and abrasive polishing aluminium boats

Chafe, oxidation and stubborn staining can be removed from non-surface treated aluminium surfaces mechanically using fine-grade abrasive polish. After abrasive polishing, the aluminium surfaces can be protected using waxing products or protective oil. Do not use abrasive polishing or wax products on anodized aluminium surfaces, such as fittings and railings.

The removal of oxidation marks from aluminium surfaces is not necessary, since the oxide protects the metal naturally. Similarly, if the surface is scratched, a protective oxidation layer will be restored naturally to the aluminium surface.

Do not use abrasive polishing or wax products on anodized aluminium surfaces. Anodizing is used for the surface treatment of railings and other fittings.

Protective oil for aluminium hulls

Aluminium surfaces above the waterline can be protected using a thin layer of protective oil for aluminium hulls or similar multipurpose oil. Spray the oil onto the surface of the boat and wipe with a dry cloth. 

Before winter storage, spray a generous layer of protective oil onto the aluminium hull, but do not wipe it off. Instead, leave the oil on the surface and wipe it clean only in the spring. This will also remove any dirt and dust that has accumulated during winter storage.

Washing the hull

After lifting the boat out of the water, wash the exterior hull immediately, as it is easiest to remove any algae and dirt when the hull is still wet. You can use a pressure washer or brush with fresh water.

If the hull has been treated with anti-fouling paint, avoid dry-grinding the hull. Anti-fouling paint should be removed by wet-grinding, and any grinding dust should be collected.

Cleaning the windshield

Do not use abrasive cleaning agents or equipment when cleaning windshields made from plastic (acrylic or polycarbonate plexiglass). You can use mild general purpose cleaners, dishwashing liquid or glass cleaners with a lint-free soft towel or sponge.

Never use a dry cloth or paper to wipe the boat’s plexiglass windshield.

Windshields with wipers are made from tempered glass and can be cleaned in the same way as plexiglass windshields but are less prone to scratching.