How do you keep your white boat white?

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by bassadict69, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. bassadict69

    bassadict69 Member

    Feb 8, 2013
    Benton, La
    2012 190 Sport
    4.3 mpi
    My boat has alot of white in it & I play hell keeping it looking good. I wax it every spring before putting it in the water, then is kept in my boat slip all summer, raised out of the water when not it use.

    My boat house is lighted so it is a heaven for bugs at night. We wipe it down often, but at the end of the summer, there is still quite a few marks that almost look like stains, both in the fiberglass and the seats that are almost impossible to remove.

    I know this will be the last boat I buy with much white in it!

    How do you keep your boats clean?
  2. Carpedmman

    Carpedmman Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Portland, OR
    2003 460 Sundancer
    Custom Cockpit interior, Cockpit AC/Heat & Thruster.
    Cummings 480CE,
    I feel your pain. I have had similar issues with my boats at times. What it sounds life is occurring is either spider poop marks, bird droppings or bug poo getting on an unsealed surface. When this happens there is some staining into the fiberglass that occurs. Either having a really clean surface which will not allow staining or a cover with greatly assist in keeping your sanity. I realize your boat is 19', have you considered a full cover?

    Now realize this condition on a 46' boat and having OCD. Life is tough, but I have a boat to keep me sane! ;)
  3. JimT

    JimT Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 7, 2009
    Charlotte, NC- LKN
    2010 330 Sundancer
    T-350mags w/BIIIs & Axius, 5.0 kw Kohler
    I wax my boat 3-4 times a year. I also apply 303 to the vinyl every couple of weeks and more often if needed. The boat is always covered when not being used. Camper top in the winter and cockpit cover the rest of the year. I routinely get compliments on how clean my boat looks.
  4. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    I've found that this is one of those areas of life where a little PM goes a long way. Meaning, if you wait until the boat is dirty, it requires a lot more effort to get it clean again. But if you give it a quick clean on a more regular basis, before it gets dirty, it will stay looking nice. Plus, that "quick clean" really is pretty quick - doesn't take much time.

    Dark vinyl will still get dirty, but you'll likely end up cleaning it even less -- which means you're more likely to get mold or mildew growing on it.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
    Tonka Boater likes this.
  5. boltman

    boltman Active Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Flint/Swartz Creek MI, Ported in Whitehall/Montagu
    480 Sedan Bridge
    "Sea Ray's Best Boat Ever Made"
    700 hp MANS Diesels Thundering Cathedrals of Torque!!
    I cover my vinyl with white bed sheets when we're not at the boat all other times boat is waxed twice a year and compounded when needed

  6. bloodshoti1978

    bloodshoti1978 New Member

    May 4, 2014
    185 sport
    Not having a garage to store my boat after submitting numerous planning applications to my local authority but all were rejected im forced to store my boat outside all winter. I park it up next to my house at the most sheltered location i have.

    I have a full winter cover with three Boat Vent II ( to allow air circulation.

    I remove all vinly seating including the sunpad, rear and front seating from my boat and store it in my basement after giving it a good clean with ( and a soft brush and then protecting it 303.

    It quite easy to remove all the seating from the 185 Sport... most just pops off... sun pad takes more effort as it requires unscrewing 5 screws from each hinge... and snapping the gas struts off... having said that 10 mins i have both sections off.

    As the sun pad has been removed i also drop another waterproof cover down over the engine block.

    May seem a bit exterme but im much happier to know the complete interior is store under sheets in my basement... not practical for a larger boat but should be doable for most bowriders.
    Leardriver likes this.
  7. Tonka Boater

    Tonka Boater Active Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Wayzata, MN
    1997 232 BR
    502 MAG, Bravo I
    I agree with Dennis. The best way to keep a boat clean is to do your best to prevent it from getting dirty. I'm not coming from a perspective of being anal -- just take some steps to minimize the cleaning required. For example, with a lighted boat house it's a must to keep the boat covered to keep the bugs and other droppings from staining.

    I store my boat outside but I'm still able to clean my boat from bow to stern, inside and out, in less than 30 minutes. From a preventive maintenance standpoint, I wipe it down inside and out after each use and I keep a rain cover on it when it's not in addition to the factory cockpit canvas. The rain cover keeps topside gel clean and free from bird droppings and the tighter cockpit canvas keeps bugs and leaves out.

    I wash the exterior with a good boat soap once a week and I vacuum the carpet once or twice a week and use a good vinyl cleaner a couple times a week too. Pretty easy... 30 mins.
  8. Brett the Brit

    Brett the Brit New Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    Lake Minnetonka Minnesota
    2000 280SS
    Twin Mercruiser 5.7L
    A trick I learned from my mechanic on really stubborn stains is to use Soft Scrub with bleach and make a little paste to the area and let it dry in the sun. Took out stubborn rusty type staining but be careful and watch it. You might want to try it in an inconspicuous spot first.
  9. skibum

    skibum Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    Perry Hall, MD
    2005 Sundancer 260
    496 Magnum HO
    LOL... You replied to a 2 year old post. Sometimes referred to as a "necropost". :)
  10. Brett the Brit

    Brett the Brit New Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    Lake Minnetonka Minnesota
    2000 280SS
    Twin Mercruiser 5.7L
    Ha! I'm new to using forums. Don't know all the particulars. Still a good tip that worked well for me. I'm off to Iowa tomorrow to pick up my new 280SS. Was hoping to see more SunSport posts. The few I've seen have been helpful. I'm going to be upgrading from my 1981 Express 300.
  11. somefun

    somefun Member

    Aug 26, 2016
    Puyallup, Wa
    2007 250 SLX - Tow Vehicle 2002 Silverado 2500HD
    496 Mag, Bravo III
    I read these threads for useful information regardless of the age! :)
  12. Brett the Brit

    Brett the Brit New Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    Lake Minnetonka Minnesota
    2000 280SS
    Twin Mercruiser 5.7L
    As I am new to the forum, I'm reading all the posts and yes- the information is excellent no matter the age. I am getting ready to sell my 1981 Searay 300 Express Cruiser and I used this trick over the weekend to get out some stubborn stains.
  13. Searayguy185

    Searayguy185 Member

    Jul 17, 2017
    2004 Sea Ray 185 Sport 4.3 V6,

    2008 Toyota Highlander Sport
    Mercruiser 4.3 V6, Alpha 1 Generation 2

    You're able to use the waterproofing 303 spray on vinyl seats? I did not know that.
  14. Brett the Brit

    Brett the Brit New Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    Lake Minnetonka Minnesota
    2000 280SS
    Twin Mercruiser 5.7L
    Newbie question. What's 303 and where do you get it?
  15. Tonka Boater

    Tonka Boater Active Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Wayzata, MN
    1997 232 BR
    502 MAG, Bravo I
    303 Protectant and you can get it online or at West Marine. They have vinyl and fabric protectant.
  16. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    Hands down, the best product I've discovered in many years of boating is Woody Wax boat soap. We just returned from 4 weeks of cruising. The first day out I spent four hours doing a really thorough wash of the boat from top to bottom. It was pretty clean when I began as we keep a clean boat. After that wash, we did nothing more than rinse it in the morning if it has bugs on it and then mopped it. If no bugs, but dew, just mopped it. If dry and no bugs, we did nothing. I'm going to give it a good wash this weekend after killing all the spiders we picked up in Leland Harbor. I will hose it down with a garden bug spray that attaches to a garden hose. That takes about 5 minutes and the contact poison kills most common insects. A day or two later another wash with Woody Wax soap. The product leaves a shinny finish that repeals stains. Most bug marks come off with water pressure from our dock hose. Not sure what the product ingredients are, but the boat seems to get whiter as the summer progresses. The shine even seems to improve. Great product.
  17. Almightys

    Almightys Member

    Jun 15, 2015
    Warren, MI
    1992 Sundancer 330, 7.4l's w vdrives, and genny
    454 Mercs
    Topside wax wont last all season. You'll at least need to wax in beginning, middle and at end of boat season at minimum. 303 protectant on vinyl monthly help a bunch on the inside.
  18. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    My experience has been that Wax does last all season in Michigan if you wash the boat properly. The so called "boat soaps" sold at marine stores strip waxes and shine. 409 and other similar cleaners do the same thing. Use a good soap and the shine lasts. All you need to see is a professionally maintained boat that is washed weekly to appreciate the importance of doing washes the right way. Saves money and effort, and keeps your boat looking like new through the end of the season.
  19. ThorSen

    ThorSen Member

    Aug 17, 2017
    Western North Carolina
    2018 SPX 190 OUTBOARD 150
    150 4-stroke Mercury outboard
    What are some examples of widely (nationally, chain store?) available "good soaps?"

    That is, what are some of the boat soap brands that DO NOT strip waxes and shine??

    We're on freshwater Lake Rhodhiss in WNC so, no worries about salt ...

    (I can't help but agree there is no point in "undoing" work put into finjshbwaxing, etc. -- the wife and I have and maintain classic autos but, being completely new to maintaining a sport boat, I ust have no idea what soap(s) to procure. Or, best place to get them...

    Appreciate this thread. Much!
  20. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature

    Woody Wax Ultra Pine Boat Soap is the best I've found. Discovered it two years ago and have been using it weekly with very good results. I washed the boat three days ago and it was kind of grey looking due to being around several diesel boats that skippers let idle for way too long before taking off. The dirt washed right off and the shine came right back. The next morning, there were lots of bugs that got trapped in the dew and the boat needed to be rinsed with a hose but I did not get around to the task. Later in the day we got heavey rain and when I went down to check on things following the rains, it was dry and looked like it had just been detailed.
    You only get these results if the boat has been properly polished and waxed beforehand. The product does not make a neglected boat look good. But it does preserve what was well done at the beginning of the season. Our boat was launched in early April and still looks fresh.
    Best price I've found was on Amazon. I use a shot glass to measure the amount used as it is pricey.

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