Just wonder if anyone has experience to wash boat with a pressure washer. I recently bought a pressure washer (1600 psi) for household use. The instruction manual says don’t use it to washer cars. I was wondering if it is safe to pressure wash your boat’s hull? I know that you should spray the electronics, switches, etc with a pressure washer. Is it safe for fiberglass deck and/or hull??
Boat pressure washing is the best answer on how to clean a boat and it can make your boat look new again. Boats are susceptible to ardent stains like grime and fungal outgrowths. Using pressure washer is the easiest method to remove these stains which affect the appearance and durability of the boat. If the boats are exposed to natural elements for a longer period of time, they may lose their shine and look and it can prevent their beauty to be regained again. In contrary, regular maintenance and cleaning will help you to a great extent to save your money and time in due course. You can also look at our pressure washing a car guide here to learn how to pressure wash your car and return its gloss back and make it new again.
How to Clean a Boat – Requirements for Boat Pressure Washing
A pressure washer with the capacity to generate a minimum of 2000 PSI and water output of over 1.3GPM is needed for boat pressure washing. High power is needed because there are high chances of the grime creep into crevices and gaps of certain surfaces and a lot of water under high pressure may be required to remove this.
Preparation for Boat Pressure Washing / How to Clean a Boat
Shut all portholes, doors and windows before you start your boat pressure washing. The bilge pump should be checked and it must be ensured that it is perfectly working because the water will be accumulated in the bilge area at the end when you finish pressure washing. You may have to remove this collected water at the earliest. Likewise, the boat deck should be drained quickly and perfectly. After all, all those items which you want to save from getting wet should be removed before you start the pressure washing process.
Applying pressurized water should be done with utmost care when you deal with wood like teak. The varnish layer provided on top these may get blasted away by the water jet delivered by the pressure washer. On other parts such as the plastic windshield, canvas, wood decking etc., it is not advisable to use high water pressure since there are chances that they may get damaged. Besides, windshields usually have a protective covering which may get scratched very easily.
A telescopic wand can be kept ready for cleaning the taller regions of the boat because this is much easier than climbing up.
Procedure for Boat Pressure Washing
It is always advisable to start boat pressure washing from the dock because if you start from the top, unwanted dirt will not reach back onto the boat. You can start the washing process from one end, engaging yellow or green tip and move from side to side as you proceed across the dock. You will need to rinse the boat sides before moving ahead.
After this, the pressure washer is to be connected to the supply line and all the indicators are to be checked to make sure that the unit is in good working condition. Cleaning products for boat washing such as the 505 Brushless Vehicle Soap can be used to reduce the effort for washing. Detergents and soaps are useful when you clean boat with a pressure washer.
Start from the very top of the boat if it is more than one story tall and slowly work your way downwards. At this time, ensure that water flows at 90 degrees so that you get maximum impact from the pressure washer.
The wand should not be moved so fast as heavy grime may be missed out and don’t move it very slow as you will need a lot of time. When pressure washing involves chemical application wash your boat part by part. Since, presence of chemicals for a long time on any surface may cause damage, rinse off the cleaning solution and wash the surfaces quickly before you apply chemicals somewhere else. It is advisable that you can take less than 15 minutes to wash any section of the boat with chemicals.
To clean the bottom and hull portions of smaller boats, first of all get the boat away from the water and stabilize it for washing. You can apply more chemicals on dirtier areas and rinse the boat starting from one side to another. The job can be made simpler and faster if you use a hot water pressure because it will take less time. Besides, it uses less chemicals and save money also.
Allow drying for two days, after that apply a coat of boat wax or hull polish so that it offers more protection.
The following things need to be kept in mind when you go for your boat pressure washing:
- Zero degree red tip is not at all recommended for wood as it delivers a water jet which is narrow and intense. It is recommended for concrete or metal surfaces.
- Fifteen degree yellow tips are stripping tips for boats and are best suited tip to deal with loose paint, metal and concrete surfaces.
- Twenty five degree green tip is the best suited spray tip for cleaning the deck and other areas.
- The forty degree white tip can be used to clean areas such as varnished or, paint laden surfaces and for an overall rinsing.
As you have seen, different pressure washer spray tips are used here in cleaning the boat.
How to Clean a Boat Interior
Once the outside of the boat has been fully cleaned and waxed, it is time to get to work on the boat interior. As with the outside of the boat 303 Marine and Recreation Multi-Surface Cleaner is perfect for most cleaning jobs inside the boat as it is strong enough to clean stubborn spots, but gentle enough as to not damage the surfaces. For more suborn stains and marks, the 303 Spot Cleaner can be used. For the details, such as aluminum poles, you can use a specialized metal polish to clean them, then you can use the same wax used on the outside of the boat to protect them.
Consumer reviews cleaning a boat include comments such as:
I use pressure washer cleaning a boat when really dirty. Just dont use the 0 degree nozzle. I use the 10-20degree and it works great. Of course the best solution is preventative maintenance. A little wax goes a long way.
I use toilet bowl cleaner to get the yellow off. I pressure wash inside the boat every year, but the hull? Not generally necessary
Take the cushions off, and stay way from cockpit bolsters. You can tear through them in a heartbeat. And don’t forget the appropriate eye and foot protection. A 2500 psi pressure washer will peel skin off your toes. I know from my experience.
I’ve pressure washed my boat–mostly the interior–very little on hull. I trailer so I don’t get any grunge on the bottom so that’s not an issue for me–
I’ve had great luck with the pressure wash cleaning the non-skid deck and removing the damned algae and mold I seem to get in a few places–usually places that don’t get much/enough sun to keep the stuff from coming back.
I assume a hard core pressure wash, especially on the small areas that algae and mold keep coming back on, will take the wax off especially if I use the soap injector–is that an accurate assumption? Is there a soap that would be better than the stuff that’s sold for a pressure washer–maybe like car wash soap???
I used a pressure washer when cleaning my Seacraft. It worked great. It was a gas powered pressure washer with a psi of around 2000 . I kept the nozzle about 6″ or more from the hull but it did a great job. We did inside and hull.
Conclusion on How to Clean a Boat
Fungal outgrowths and grime can accumulate on boats surfaces over time. To keep your boat good in appearance and to prevent it from getting damaged, a pressure washer can be used. Pressure washers are highly efficient and powerful compared to ordinary water hoses. With pressure washers, cleaning vehicles and boats can be completed effortlessly and quickly. Cleaning with a good pressure will improve your boat’s appearance both in and out of the water saving your investments and time. Hope you liked our boat pressure washing guide and you have learned how to clean a boat easily.