Steaming - clean your boat efficiently
Steaming, or steam cleaning as it is also known, is an effective way to clean your boat. Using hot water under high pressure, you can get your boat clean. A good tip is to steam clean your boat shortly after taking it out of the water. This prevents the green color of the boat from drying, which makes it much easier for you to remove large parts of it with hot water (and you don't have to work with chemicals later).
When you start steam cleaning, it is a good idea to set aside an area at a time (e.g. starboard side) and work efficiently either forward or backward at the waterline. NOTE! Avoid the mist coming into contact with deck details or stickers, as these will quickly be damaged by the water pressure.
The area which always takes the longest is the stern of the boat. This is generally where you'll find the most growth, on and around the engine bracket and the engine itself, so expect to use chemicals to remove the growth. Before using chemicals, rinse off what you can with hot water under high pressure as a pre-wash.
Circulation of fresh water in the engine - freshwater flushing
Freshwater flushing is important to flush out all the salt water in the engine and avoid corrosion during storage in the winter. You can easily do this yourself by connecting a fresh water hose to the engine (check what kind of outlet your type of engine has for this). Normally, there are two ways to connect fresh water:
- Threaded coupling that connects to the outlet for the cooling water
- These are installed above the water inlets on the motor. NOTE! If you have a water inlet at the front of the engine, this must be taped over to ensure that you maintain the water pressure in the engine during freshwater flushing.
The next step is to turn on the water and make sure water is coming out of the water inlet before starting the engine. Turn the engine on and let it idle for at least 10 minutes to ensure the engine is at a good working temperature. This is so that all thermostats and valves open fully and to flush out any salt water residue. Allow 10-15 minutes to finish the freshwater flush and disconnect the equipment again. If the engine has a winter maintenance program, you can also do this at the same time, check what kind of maintenance your engine needs.
Also ensure that the gas tank is relatively full and that you use the engine manufacturer's gasoline preservative when you pour it into the tank. This will ensure that the gasoline is of good quality when you start up in the spring.
Watch our video on freshwater flushing