Get your boat ready to launch for the boating season with these recommended spring boat maintenance products and preparation tips for your boat

boat launch springAs the spring thaw begins, the shrink wrap and blue tarps get peeled away so that boaters can begin the tasks of spring boat maintenance and preparation. Spring commissioning can be a lot of work… but every boater knows that the effort is worth the end goal of launching the boat for another boating season.

Going into our 11th year of boating (and on our third boat), we feel like we have learned a thing or two about getting the boat ready in the spring. We’ve tried many types of boat bottom paints, cleaners and other boat maintenance products over the years – some sucessful, some not so successful. Below are some of the products we recommend for spring boat maintenance and preparation… along with a few tips from industry experts.



Products for Spring Boat Maintenance

Here are some recommended products for spring boat maintenance and preparation (most of these products we use on our own spring boat prep):

RECOMMENDED BOTTOM PAINT: Interlux CSC Antifouling Bottom Paint

Interlux Micron Csc Antifouling Paint Paint, Blue, Gallon
By far, the best bottom paint we have used for multi-season use is Interlux Micron Csc Antifouling Paint. It may cost a bit more than other bottom paints, but it is well worth it because it lasts 2-3 seasons (saving you time and money over the long term).

This stuff works great too. It reduces buildup of old coatings which eliminates the need to sand when you do reapply it. We boat in brackish Chesapeake Bay waters and have never had an issue. The manufacturer says it is suitable on all boat types in all fouling waters.

***Buy Interlux Micron Csc Antifouling Paint at West Marine

RECOMMENDED WASH and WAX: Orpine Wash and WaxOrpine Wash & Wax Wax, Gallon

For protecting your boat with one easy wash and wax product, we use Orpine Wash and Wax for a clean start to the boating season.

This stuff is great on fiberglass, painted surfaces, plastic, metal, and wood. It also protects glass enclosures and windows from water spotting. You can use it to remove musty mildew odors too, leaving your boat smelling fresh. Best of all it is biodegradable, so its a green product.

***Buy Orpine Wash and Wax at West Marine

Flitz Liquid Metal Polish Polish, 8.5oz.
RECOMMENDED METAL POLISH: Flitz Metal Polish

If you boat in salty or brackish water, a good metal polish like Flitz Liquid Metal Polish can do wonders for cleaning up stainless steel on your boat. This stuff literally transformed the metal on our boat last year after we upgraded to a boat that came from salty ocean water.

It works on brass, chrome, aluminum and stainless steel to remove saltwater corrosion, oxidation, tarnish, rust and water stains.

***Buy Flitz Liquid Metal Polish at West Marine

Starbrite Non Skid Deck Cleaner Gallon
RECOMMENDED DECK CLEANER: Starbrite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner

A good deck cleaner is important to get your boat cleaned up in the spring, but will of course need to be used throughout the season. Pretty much everyone we know uses Starbrite Non Skid Deck Cleaner for keeping swim platforms and topside decks clean. It has a penetrating foam that lifts out grime by getting into hard-to-reach, ground-in dirt and it leaves a durable, protective PTEF coating that repels dirt and stains.

***Buy Starbrite Non Skid Deck Cleaner at West Marine

3M Products Plastic Restorer & Polish
RECOMMENDED PLASTIC CLEANER: 3M Plastic Restorer and Polish

Your boat canvas is a big investment and it should be maintained to prolong it‘s life. During winter storage the plastic, or eisenglass, can get dirty and scratched while being stored.

3M Plastic Restorer and Polish
 can help to restore clarity and shine to exterior plastic, including polycarbonate, Lexan and acrylic hatches and windows. You can use the Plastic Restorer to remove hazing and stains, and then follow up with the Plastic Polish to remove minor imperfections and create a high-gloss shine.

***Buy 3M Plastic Restorer and Polish at West Marine

3M Products Vinyl Cleaner & Restorer
RECOMMENDED VINYL CLEANER: 3M Vinyl Cleaner and Restorer

Your boat’s white vinyl seats can also take a beating during winter storage and spring commissioning. A good maintenance product for vinyl is the 3M Vinyl Cleaner and Restorer. It cleans, shines, conditions and protects vinyl, rubber and plastic surfaces on a boat. The Restorer deep cleans dirt and grime and enhances appearance of vinyl.

***Buy 3M Vinyl Cleaner and Restorer  at West Marine

Bell Chemical Roll Off Cleaner & Stain Remover Remover, Gallon
RECOMMENDED MULTI CLEANER: Roll-off Cleaner and Stain Remover

Roll Off Cleaner and Stain Remover by Bell Chemical (also known as the “Amazing Roll-off”) is definitely a must-have multi-purpose cleaner for a boat.

This all-purpose cleaner has many uses including removal of dirt and grime, exhaust stains, rust stains, bird and spider droppings. It even works really great on vinyl and canvas tops.

***Buy Roll Off Cleaner and Stain Remover at West Marine

Shurhold Products 120v Ac Dual Action Buffer
RECOMMENDED BUFFER: Shurhold Dual Action Buffer and Polisher

The Shurhold 120v Ac Dual Action Buffer makes it easy to buff, wax and polish your boat to really make it shine for the upcoming boating season.

This handy buffer featuring a dual-action oscillating head, six speed settings, 500W, 4.2A motor, GFCI plug, 20′ power cord and canvas storage bag.

***Buy Shurhold 120v Ac Dual Action Buffer at West Marine

Why Buy at West Marine?

West Marine has the largest selection of boating products you need for maintaining or upgrading your boat. If you want to save on shipping costs and time stopping at the store on the way to your boat to begin your spring boat maintenance, you can always buy online at West Marine and pick it up at the store!

More Tips for Spring Boat Maintenance and Prep

There are many leading industry resources that offer spring boat prep checklists that thoroughly cover everything you should maintain, check out or prep for launching a boat in the spring.

Be sure to check out our round-up of spring boat maintenance checklists worth reviewing prior to your spring boat launch.


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Diane Seltzer

Founder & Editor at My Boat Life
Diane is the founder of MyBoatLife.com as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids BoaterKids.com. She is also active in the boating industry, serving as the marketing director for a marine sunshade product, SureShade, and founder of Marine Marketing Tools, a collaborative site for sharing marine marketing best practices. Diane is also the author of the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.

One Comment

  1. I enjoyed reading the informative article on Bravo III outdrive, about preventing corroison.
    Thank you,
    Sonny

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