How to Desalt a Boat In 3 Easy Steps
New boat owners who spend a lot of time on the ocean might not know just how important it is to keep their vessel free of salt. Buying a boat should require a course on how to desalt a boat. Take a trip to the docks and take a sneaky peek at some of the docked boats, and you'd probably be shocked at the percentage of them that are absolutely caked with salt.
Even if you aren't taking massive amounts of spray over the bow, your boat will still end up covered by mist that swirls back into the cockpit. If you've taken your vessel for an extended ocean voyage then you likely know all about. If you haven't had the pleasure, trust me. You will come back with salt everywhere! So let's take a trip into the wonderful world of how to desalt a boat.
Why Is Salt A Big Deal Anyways?
The largest reason that salt needs to be cleaned away is that it is exceedingly corrosive to metals. One boat hangs at the forefront of my mind when discussing this subject. The vessel was less than a year old and had its aluminum frame corroded by salt. That damage is irreversible and will cost a bundle to repair.
Apart from being corrosive to metal, salt will also eat away at boat finishes of every type including gel coat. Have you noticed the finish on the sides of your hull looking a bit more decrepit despite not getting much sun. You have salt to thank for that. Salt can be even more detrimental than the sun's UV rays.
Now lets say your engine's cooling system isn't treated to deal with salt water. You can see where I'm going with this right? A job that would've taken less than 30 minutes to complete can you cost thousands of dollars. Do the right thing, and ensure that your ship stays salt-free. How can you do that? Well, that's what we're here to learn! So let's jump into how to desalt a boat in 3 easy steps.
Start With A Thorough Rinse
The steps in how to desalt a boat are about as simple as it gets. The first thing yuo will want to do is spray down the entire boat and get everything wet. When I say rinse, I mean a quick rinse. You don't need to soak it or anything, just a nice misting to get all that salt nice and dissolved.
Ensure that you get every surface that you're able to. If you're skipping out on the bottom of your T-top or tower it is going to look very ugly extremely quickly. Perhaps even more importantly is getting to expensive navigation equipment. You do want your radar to stay functional after all.
After a couple of minutes the salt should be liquidated and ready to be washed away. As with most things in life, you're going to want to clean from the top to the bottom. Start with the uppermost point of your boat, spray down the deck, and finish up with the sides of the hull. Easy day.
Finishing Touches Make the Difference
It is important to note that while spraying the deck you'll probably want to do it with the least amount of water pressure possible. High water pressure could work water under the hatches and into the engine compartment where rust will wreak havoc on steel parts. If you have an outboard engine, don't neglect it or its mounting brackets.
Don't forget your seat cushions. Salt buildup on your cushions can make them abrasive and after a day lounging on them in shorts? You're gonna have a bad time. Stand them on their edge with the zipper side down and give them a light rinse. Leave them standing until they're nice and dry so they don't hold any water.
You don't need to chamois your entire boat, but definitely do the windows to avoid water spots. Better Boat's Microfiber Sponge Set should provide all that you need. You should also take to the helm and anywhere else you see bright metal or plastic. After you're done with this, your boat should be looking like the day you bought her. Take a step back and be proud!
Preventative Maintenance Is Highly Recommended
Some people don't use detergents to desalt a ship, others swear by them. I'd suggest trying a few months with and without to see which type you are. One thing I will mention is that using the right detergent can make the entire process of rinsing your boat less necessary. You will still need to do it, but not as often.
Better Boat's Salt Remover and Flusher leaves a protective barrier that prohibits future build up and protects against corrosion. To sweeten the deal even further, Better Boat's Salt Remover and Flusher can be used as an engine flush. Spend a fraction now in order to prevent thousands in repair costs later down the road.
There are abrasive, chlorinated cleansers on the market that can permanently stain and discolor anodized aluminum by disrupting the oxide of the finish. While it is better than allowing aluminum to corrode, it remains quite unsightly. Our salt remover will do no such thing. Satisfaction is guaranteed or your money back.