By Joshua Bremmerer, CEO at Komodo Covers
Let’s be honest, when you think about boat protection, your thoughts are likely to turn to keeping safe on choppy waters or sailing at a serious rate of knots. This is natural as we are an adventurous breed of adrenaline junkies. However, protecting your boat from the sun is just as important. Your sailboat requires proper sun protection in a climate increasingly facing sweltering heat and relentless sunlight.
Most boat owners primarily think about protecting the battery and motor of their vessels, believing that the sun will only cause minor imperfections. This could not be further from the truth. Every single element of your boat might potentially suffer from sun damage. From wearing internal components to creating cracks in the hull, the sun can brutally impact a vessel.
Luckily, there are plenty of relatively easy solutions to keep your boat in tip-top shape and out of harm’s way from the Sun’s UV rays.
How can sun damage affect a boat?
Most boats are covered in a protective gel coat, which is the first point of attack for the sun. Over time, if exposed to the Sun’s UV, this coat will dry and potentially crack when combined with unwashed seawater when the boat is moored.
This is where the risk for internal components comes from—if cracks lead to leaks, the electrical mechanics inside will be in trouble. The sun can also ruin the vinyl of your seats, requiring restoration or replacement of the upholstery. So, what can you do to stop these issues from happening?
Boat covers and wax to the rescue
Covers are the way to go to protect your boat. They are available in various sizes, designs, and forms to fit numerous vessels, depending on your specific needs. For example, a full-body boat cover would be suitable if you want to park on your lawn in either a shaded or un-shaded location. But a top cover will suffice if you’re just leaving your boat on the water for a day or two.
Boat wax is an additional measure to keep your boat well-protected. Think of it like suncream—the sun will damage a boat the same way that it would your skin. But depending on how often you use your vessel, you won’t need to wax it every time you take it for a spin on the water—applying a coating a few times a year should do the job.
First, you will need to clean the hull with some basic soap and warm water. This step is crucial because if you rub the wax into a dirty hull, you can damage it and leave an undesirable color. After your hull is sparkling clean, use a dry washcloth to apply a small amount of wax at a time to the entire hull. Your washcloth will become coated with resin quickly, so it’s crucial that you have several different cloths to be able to cover the entire boat. A boat’s gel coat is far more durable than a car and is designed to be water-resistant, so don’t confuse the two types of coating. You should also ensure you buy wax made specifically for sun protection, which will be indicated on the packaging.
It may seem unnecessary, but given that this kind of maintenance does not require a significant time investment, you should not hesitate to purchase both boat wax and an appropriate cover to keep away those harmful UV rays.