For most people, maintaining their boat is not a favorite pastime. I totally get it; you bought your boat to enjoy on the water. But yes, maintenance is necessary and regular cleaning and impregnation of your boat cover is a must. In this article I answer some frequently asked questions about this topic.
Is the boat cover need to be cleaned every year?
Yes, it is very important that you take care of the boat cover every year. In any case, what you should regularly do is:
- clean the hood with lukewarm water and a soft brush
- protect the cloth with a good impregnating agent.
If you have a new boat cover, do not wait with cleaning and impregnating until you see the first stains, but immediately provide good extra protection with a strong impregnating agent.
How do I best clean the boat cover?
Cleaning the boat cover is not a job that you have to dread. When you follow my simple step-by-step plan, cleaning the boat cover is a piece of cake. I would like to urge you not to delay cleaning the boat cover for too long; serious pollution shortens the life of the material. And the dirtier the hood, the longer you spend cleaning it. Therefore, always remove dirt as soon as possible using lukewarm water and possibly Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo.
- First clean the boat cover with lukewarm water and a firm - but soft - brush.
- Use a sprayer or plant sprayer to apply the shampoo to the wet cloth (the shampoo is allowed to end up on the window windows).
- Brush off the dirt very well.
- Now let the shampoo do its work and soak in for 20 minutes (time for a cup of coffee).
- Rinse and brush off the dirt and shampoo from the boat cover with clean water.
- Now wait for the boat cover to dry completely. Only then can you really see whether all dirt and stains have disappeared. If not, give the hood a post-treatment with Ultramar Power Cleaner (see next question).
How do I treat a heavily soiled boat cover?
If the boat cover is seriously soiled, a treatment with Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo may not be sufficient. The boat cover then needs an extra cleaning to be completely clean. For this extra cleaning, use Ultramar Power Cleaner.
- Apply the power cleaner to the boat cover. This can be done with a sprayer or plant sprayer. Again, use a firm – but soft – brush to brush in the cleaner well.
- Power Cleaner needs time to work well, you should count on an hour. If you see little change after an hour, you can apply some extra cleaner, brush in and let it soak in. Keep repeating this process until all dirt and stains are gone. You can have fun with this for a few hours.
- Has the Power Cleaner done its job? Then rinse the boat cover well.
- Give the boat cover time to dry completely.
- Do not forget to provide the hood with a new protective layer. Always use a good and professional impregnating agent for this, then you can be sure that the fabric gets the protection it needs.
What kind of brush should I use?
In the two previous questions I told you that you should use a firm - but soft - brush when cleaning your boat cover. Firm, because the brush must have enough power to brush off the dirt well; soft, because the brush must not damage the cloth. Ultramar has developed a brush that meets these requirements. This Ultramar brush:
- is especially suitable for cleaning boat covers;
- can also be used for the caravan;
- enhances the properties of Ultramar cleaning products;
- absorbs a lot of shampoo and water through the split ends;
- is made of soft polyester;
- can be put in the dishwasher.
Do I have to impregnate my boat cover?
Hell yes! Boat cover maintenance is not only about cleaning, but also about impregnation. This is something you should make time for once or twice a year. Impregnation not only ensures that your boat cover is waterproof, but also gives the cover an excellent protective layer. By treating the boat cover, you protect it against, among other things: resin, salt, weather spots, fungi, bird droppings, insects, black & green deposits and polluted water. Impregnation is something you can easily do yourself; you use our impregnating agent Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Protector.
- Make sure that the cloth is clean and dry before treatment (so always clean the soiled cloth first with Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo and/or Ultramar Power Cleaner).
- Apply Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Protector liberally and evenly to both the outside and inside of the boat cover.
- Allow the boat cover to dry thoroughly.
- Repeat the treatment if necessary.
Please note: if the impregnating agent ends up on the windows or on the deck, do not let it dry but remove it as soon as possible.
Do I also have to impregnate the inside of the boat cover?
I understand that many of you think that only the outside of the boat cover needs to be impregnated; dirt is mainly on the outside, isn't it? True, but it is still very important to also provide the inside with a protective layer. The coating on the inside is very vulnerable and it is precisely this coating that ensures a good watertightness of the hood. So be sure to impregnate!
How much impregnating agent do I need for my boat cover?
I advise you to use approximately 2.5 liters of Sprayhood & Tent Protector for a standard-sized boat cover of a sloop. Do not be too quick to think that you can do it with less, in the end you will only be more expensive. By properly impregnating the boat cover, it is easy to keep clean and that extends its life.
Can't I just use all-purpose cleaner?
Unfortunately, many people still think that it does not matter with which product they clean the boat cover. But that's really a misconception. Green soap, for example, leaves a greasy film on the boat cover - perfect for algae, mold and dirt to cling to. Your boat cover will be dirty again much faster. A product such as Biotex can damage the coating, which means that you run the risk that your hood is no longer waterproof. I would like to urge you not to use such cleaning agents. There are plenty of cleaners on the market that are suitable for the maintenance of your boat cover. With these agents you can properly clean and protect the boat cover and the cover will last for years longer.
How can my boat cover get so dirty?
If you have been an avid water sports enthusiast for a long time, you will probably have noticed that the boat cover gets dirty faster than before. Mainly due to mold and green deposits. There are several reasons for this:
- the climate is also changing in the Netherlands;
- air pollution has increased;
- Certain chemical substances are currently banned in the manufacture of the boat cloth, which means that mold develops more quickly.
How can I prevent mold formation?
Mold cannot develop without heat, moisture, nutrition and germ cells. If you manage to disable one of these elements, it can be very difficult for mold to develop and certainly not grow any further. What can you pay attention to?
- When replacing the hood on your boat, wipe the tubes and hood with a good cleaning agent.
- Try to schedule a small maintenance every month. This way the dirt is removed in time and the germ cells have little chance to multiply.
- Only fold the cloth when it is completely dry.
Why can't I get rid of those strange pink spots?
Do you have strange yellow or pink spots on your spray hood that you can't get rid of with detergent? You are probably dealing with 'Pink Staining'. This phenomenon is caused by micro-organisms contained in the PVC coating. The feces of these microorganisms are black, pink or yellow. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to prevent these stains and cleaning is also difficult. The only thing that can sometimes help is to seal the cutting edges and stitching holes. After that, the fabric is no longer exposed and you have less chance of these annoying stains.
Can I remove green deposits on my boat cover?
Green deposits on the boat cover are a major annoyance for many water sports enthusiasts. However, it doesn't have to be. If you are there in time, green deposits can be removed quickly. So if you discover green deposits on the boat cover, grab water and a brush as soon as possible. You will see that it disappears like snow in the sun. However, if you wait too long with cleaning, it will be a different story.
How can I clean and impregnate a boat cover with window film?
You can also clean a boat cover or tent with window film with Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo and Power Cleaner; and impregnate with Sprayhood & Tent Protector. It is not harmful if the shampoo, the Power Cleaner or the impregnating agent gets on the foil. You can even use the shampoo to clean windows. Do you still see dried drops of impregnation after impregnation? You can remove these with a cloth and a little bit of benzene.
What do I need to clean the boat cover?
Good equipment is important when maintaining your boat. Always have everything you need to hand. Then you can quickly clean if necessary. Do you like to use the very best material for cleaning and impregnating your boat cover? View us Product Range!
Hopefully I have answered all your questions regarding cleaning and impregnating boat covers. If not, don't hesitate to get in touch!