How to Properly Maintain Your Vessel

Ok, you invested in a vessel, now it’s time to protect your asset!


If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You have your favorite juices/lubes/soaps/anti-fog, and so do I. So here are some products that I have tested, and which I recommend:

– “Shurhold” telescope handle, hard-bristle brush, soft-bristle brush, microfiber hand mit, squeegee and Chamois (“double material”)

– “Absorbers” = two-handed, large chamois used to get those hard to reach areas (on a boat and to your body)

– “Smoove” = the ULTIMATE brand for Boat soaps, waxes, and other external products. (I like this brand so much I almost named my dog Smoov)

– “Winks” = product to be used ONLY on metals that are starting to rust. Using this on painted surfaces will remove the protective wax and expose the paint to sun damage.

– “303” = great fabric protector and multi-purpose cleaner

– “Formula 88” = Degreaser

– “Flitz” = Finished metal polish

– “210 Plastic Cleaner” = Isinglass cleaner

– “Starbrite Power Cable Cleaner” = Shore-powered cord cleaner and protectant.

– “AquaTech Water Spot Remover” = Glass-window cleaner with special compounds to remove water spots

– “RainX” = Glass-window cleaner and water repellant, should be used in conjunction with the product above


Weekly Duties (and if you don’t know what I mean, ask! – Wash Down, A/C Strainer, Run all major systems (Main Engines, Generators, WaterMakers, Electronics, Heads, Safety Equipment etc). During wash downs, I use a separate chamois for each surface. Example: Chamois with green electrical tape(Non-Skid, Teak and Floor) Chamois with white electrical tape (Gloss paint ONLY) Chamois with blue electrical tape (Isinglass). This helps to keep the vessel in its best condition, and to prevent surface scratches that would be caused by a dirty chamois. The “soft-bristled brush” should be placed on only the gloss paint. Meanwhile, the “hard-bristle brush” should be placed on only non-skid surfaces.

Bi- Weekly Duties: All duties listed in “Weekly Duties.” Bi-Weekly duties require more attention to detail. These steps will be more labor intensive. Start with the “Winks” product I mentioned above! Grab a rag, apply Winks to any metals showing signs of rust, simply wipe the product on the surface. Post-Winks application, grab the “Flitz” and apply the product like a wax-on-finished-metals. Use the “201 Plastic Cleaner” with a micro fiber rag: spray first and wipe down all isinglass enclosures. Then, grab the “Starbrite Power Cable Cleaner” and a rag, and wipe the product on shore cords before wiping off.

Every 3 Months: Full Wax with “Cloud Smoove” Wax. By applying layers of this wax over time, you give the paint a chance to outlive its projected life. This is also a good opportunity to get face-to-face with every inch of your vessel’s paint. And you might even be able to prevent an issue from becoming a problem. Apply “AquaTech Water Spot Remover” to all glass windows. Easy-on-and-off just like the wax. After the “AquaTech” treatment, apply the “RainX” to those same surfaces.

Every 6-8 Months: Full Wax with a two-spot process. This requires a high-speed buffer with “Smoove Pro Cut” or Smoove Bubble Gum” depending on the paint’s condition. Then, apply “Smoove Cloud” to finish. Because of the detail and attention required, I suggest using professional help with work on compound surfaces. Finally, apply “303 Fabric Protectant” to all outdoor cushions and vinyls.


These steps focus on upkeep of a new/near-new vessel. But, if your vessel is “chalking,” you will need to apply more elbow grease and TLC to return the paint to a good condition. And, if your vessel’s finished metals have any “pitting” you may need to have the metal “rechromed.” Feel free to call me (386)295-4668/ email to discuss all options. These tips come from what has worked for me, but keep in mind that each boat has a soul of its own!

Capt. Paul Denton JR


“A Guide to Fun & Unnecessary Expenses”

Paul Denton Jr

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