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The key to safety is preparation, so before boat pressure washing, make a mental rundown of the procedure.
* Whether you are using a gas pressure washer or an electric power washer, make sure you have plenty of time for the job. You should never use your power washing equipment in a rush.
* Check that you are in the right location, some marinas have rules stating that repairs and washing must be carried out in designated areas only.
* Check for lose items, electric cords, make sure that all hatches and windows are closed and protect anything that shouldn't get wet.
* Whatever you do, don't try to rinse your feet while you are pressure washing, it will peel the skin right off your toes!
The preparation of your boat for pressure washing is simple but important to the safety and success of the operation. You may want to keep a checklist to make sure you follow the same steps every time you work with power washing equipment around your boat or yacht.
1. Close all hatches and window to make sure they are watertight.
2. Clear the dock to have plenty of maneuvering space (it is a good idea to wash the dock first, you don't want to be tracking dirt back onboard).
3. Check the way that the water will get out and clear any obstructions.
4. Store any items that should not get wet, such as cushions and carpet. (You don't need to remove closed cell foam cushions; the power washer will not damage them.)
Once you have followed the steps to prepare your boat, the pressure washing procedure is straightforward.
* Start from the top down and work in small areas about three to four feet wide.
* Hold the trigger gun perpendicular to the surface you are washing, and move the spray slowly. The ninety-degree angle is the best to get the most power out of your pressure washing equipment.
* The cleaning solution should not stay on more than five to ten minutes on the surface.
* For bigger boats or yachts is a good idea to work in sections, washing and rinsing before you go on to the next area.
* Pull the plugs out of your waterways to let the water drain out.
* If your boat does not have waterways you can use a squeegee or absorbent sponge.
* Let your boat dry.
When you are getting ready to wash your boat make sure that you choose the correct pressure washing chemicals, otherwise you may risk damage to your power washing equipment.
All marine application detergents must be environmentally friendly, such as Bio-Cleanse™ Part 1 & 2. Remember to use a specific cleaning solution for windows. To extend the life of your dock lines, wash them with plenty of water (no detergents) to remove dirty or oily water and salt. The manufacturer will usually include a list of recommended power washing chemical that are compatible for each application and boat surface type.
Maintenance is the key to preserve the appearance of your boat and to preserve its shipshape condition and value. The correct frequency for pressure washing your boat is tied to a number of variables. It depends on the length of your season, whether it is stored inside or out, or if your boat stays in the water in a marina slip.
As a rule of thumb it is safe to say that you should use your pressure washer weekly and/or after each time you use the boat in order to counteract the harmful effects of oxidation, salt, bird droppings, and other pollutants that accumulate on the surface and in the water.