Summer is finally here, and the last thing you want to think about is boat maintenance. But in order to fully enjoy the season, take a break from warm-weather fun for an occasional inspection and minor maintenance of your Sea Ray.
Start at the bottom and work up. If you see a layer of algae and scum beginning to build up at the waterline, give it a light scrubbing. For copolymer paints like Micron Extra or Micron CSC and ablative paints like Fiberglass Bottomkote ACT, simply taking the boat out for a spin around the harbor will clean off any waterline scum. For hard paints like Ultra or Fiberglass Bottomkote, use a soft Scotch-Brite.
If you boat in saltwater, rinse your gelcoat and painted and varnished finishes with freshwater to keep salt from drying on the surface, which will concentrate sunlight and cause UV damage. Because of the intense sun in tropical areas, you may also need to apply an additional coat of wax during the summer season. Interlux UV Protectant and Teflon Wax Sealer will help the wax last longer.
You may see a moustache or a yellowish-brown stain developing above the waterline. Clean this before the end of the season with Interlux All-Purpose Boat Soap. If it's a stubborn stain, use the Heavy Duty Stain Remover and then apply the UV Protectant and Wax Sealer, which will make it easier to clean later.
Keep your varnish clean and repair any damage as soon as possible to prevent water from getting underneath, which can cause the varnish to lift. Store a can of varnish and brushes on board for immediate touchups. If you notice a nick or ding, give it a light sanding with 220-grit sandpaper and apply a couple of coats to the damaged area. This will protect the finish so you won't have to re-varnish at the end of the season.
Clean any teak and, when it begins to gray, scrub with Interlux Teak Restorer and apply another coat of teak oil. Clean across the grain to avoid removing the soft grain.
It's not just the topside that counts: Keep your engine running efficiently and check the lower unit of the outdrive or underwater running gear to make sure they're free from fouling. Clean with a soft Scotch-Brite pad if necessary.
Check any thru-hulls or exhaust ports for signs of staining. Use Interlux Heavy Duty Stain Remover to remove the staining and apply Premium Marine Wax with Teflon or wax sealer. A little preventive maintenance means even more good times this summer on your Sea Ray. For more information about Interlux, visit www.yachtpaint.com or call (800) 468-7589.
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