Swab the Deck: How to Clean a Sailboat

Lead Image
  • 4-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30-50
What You'll Need
1 inch chisel
Stiff brush
Yarn mop
Plastic scraper
Vacuum cleaner
Soap and conditioner
Broom and trash can
Working gloves and eye goggles

When it comes to cleaning a sailboat, there are many parts to be considered. This includes those found inside and outside the boat. It might take some time to get the job done, so it is important to prepare well by gathering necessary equipment, such as a vacuum cleaner and nontoxic detergents. It is advisable to start with the interior before cleaning the outer parts of the boat.

Step 1 – Gather Necessary Materials

The type of material required depends on the size and items used to make the sailboat. Make sure to get enough quantities of every kind of material needed for the project to avoid running out of such items while in the middle of the jobs. Cleaning equipment can be obtained from rentals.

Step 2 - Remove Garbage and Waste

Remove wastes, dirt and other unnecessary items from drawers, kitchen surface and other interior parts of the sailboat. Collect them in a waste paper bag. Use a stiff brush to remove dirt and dust from walls, floor surfaces and carpets. Vacuum the carpet.

Clean mirrors, tables, kitchenware, and wood surfaces using clean soapy water. Wipe walls and floor surfaces as well before moving to the exterior part of the boat.

Step 3 – Clean the Exterior

Start by collecting wastes, such as papers, cans and old rugs and place them in a waste paper bag. Use soapy water to clean windows and exterior blinds. If there are exterior carpets, remove the dust and vacuum them as well.

Step 4 – Swab the Deck

Depending on the type of material used to make the sailboat, obtain a yarn mop and use clean water to gently rub the wood or steel surface to remove any traces of dirt, fish blood stains or other kind of dirt.

This might take a long time. Consider cleaning each portion at a time and make sure that clean wood or metal surface is exposed. This also helps in removing bad smells.

Step 5 – Clean Hull and Propeller

These parts are crucial in the operation of a boat. They are located on the lower part of the boat. Put on protective gear and a snorkel. Make sure that the boat is secure and the engine is locked.

Start with the hull and use a plastic scraper to remove the dirt, dead seaweed and other materials on its surface. A stiff brush can also be used. Make sure that the surface of the hull is well exposed and free from any form of dirt once the job is done.

Use the stiff brush and plastic scraper to get rid of the material built up on the hull. Apply pressure as needed. A chisel can be used to remove hardened material.