Talking About Storage Facility Options

Time To Send Your Boat To Storage? Protect It From Mold With These 6 Tips

The air around you is loaded with microscopic mold spores. These spores linger about until they find the perfect trifecta of moisture, heat, and food, and then they land, digest the food, and multiply rapidly. Outdoors, this process is welcome, as mold only feasts on organic material, breaking down old leaves, dead bugs, and fallen trees. On your boat, though, this feeding frenzy is the last thing you want, as it can lead to stains, odors, and a variety of health hazards

If you're about to place your boat in storage, keep it mold-free with these 6 tips.

1. Clean All Surfaces Thoroughly With Vinegar

Your first step in protecting your stored boat from mold is to clean all of its surfaces thoroughly. A lot of boaters turn to a solution of bleach and water as their all-purpose cleaner, but bleach doesn't penetrate the surface of porous materials, so it' actually pretty ineffective at preventing mold. Instead, stick with a spray bottle filled with undiluted white vinegar when cleaning the interior of your boat.

Working in sections from top to bottom, wet each area of your boat to be cleaned down, spray thoroughly with vinegar, and then use a medium-soft bristle brush to scrub away any stains or debris. Allow the area to sit for 5 minutes or so and then rinse it with clean fresh water and towel dry it.

Don't forget to wash your windows with the same vinegar solution, and if you've got a carpeted cabin, now is also the time to vacuum it out really well.

2. Leave Compartments Ajar

Before placing your boat into storage, leave all of its cupboards, lockers, and hatches ajar. This will allow air to circulate within, thus preventing mold growth by limiting moisture buildup.

3. Absorb Moisture

To help absorb any moisture that does happen to make its way into your boat, leave a few boxes of baking soda or some clay discs scattered around your boat. Both are non-toxic and effective.

4. Clean The Bottom Of Your Boat Immediately After Your Last Venture

Algae and grime are far easier to remove from your boat if you tackle the job while they're still wet. Don't wait until storage day to clean the bottom of your boat. Instead, scrub it thoroughly with a medium-soft bristled brush and vinegar immediately after emerging from the water on your last boating expedition before storage. By doing so, you can remove the buildup while it's had plenty of time to soak. 

Once clean, dry the bottom of your boat thoroughly and then apply a wax or sealant (consult your boat owner's manual for the best option for your craft) to the area.

5. Remove Your Bimini Top To Clean It

Moisture can get stuck around and under the hardware that fastens your bimini top to your boat. When preparing to place your boat into storage, remove your bimini top before cleaning it. You can use the same vinegar cleaning method that you used on the rest of your boat to clean your bimini -- just make sure it's thoroughly dry before securing it back on your boat and wrapping it in a storage boot.

6. Don't Wrap Your Boat Too Tight

Another crucial error made by good-intentioned boaters is to seal their boat up way too tight before putting it in storage. Shrink-wrapping your boat in plastic may seem like an effective means of keeping mold out, but if even a tiny bit of organic matter and moisture is contained within that shrink-wrap, you're creating the perfect environment for mold to flourish.

Use standard vinyl tarps to cover your boat and leave space between the tarps and the fastening surface. If you must aim for a tighter fit, purchase special vented tarps from a boating supply store.

It's impossible to find an area to store your boat that doesn't contain mold spores. In fact, every building in the world has at least some mold in it. The trick to preventing mold from ruining your boat during storage is to make sure it doesn't have what it needs to grow. To do so, follow the above 6 tips for preventing mold growth on your boat during storage.\

For more information about properly storing your boat, contact a local boat storage company.