Your boat is probably one of your prize possessions. Keeping it looking great involves time and money. One of the simplest ways of keeping your boat protected from the elements – when you’re not out on the water with it – is by covering it with marine fabric. But one thing we don’t really think about when it comes to our boats is how do you take care of the fabrics on your boat? Like the vinyl seats and covers?
Simple Steps for Easy Marine Maintenance
Taking care of vinyl fabric involves some simple steps. But remember, you can always purchase cleaning kits online or at your local marine supply; prices vary. That being said, remember it takes consistent cleaning to keep your boat’s vinyl fabrics looking good and like new.
If you choose not to use a premade solution or cleaning kit purchased from a store or manufacturer, then you can always make a cleaning solution of your own by using a mild soap and water. When cleaning vinyl marine fabric routinely remember to do the following:
- Try to clean your boat’s fabrics every few weeks when it’s not in storage.
- Use mild soap and avoid harsh detergents. Do not use bleach; this can deteriorate the fabric and its stitching.
- Use a soft cloth or sponge. Never use anything abrasive as it can damage the surface of the fabric.
- Once you’re done cleaning the vinyl, wipe the soapy solution off the fabric using clean water and a soft cloth.
- Dry your vinyl with a soft material.
- Use a boat cover to protect your boat’s seats.
Remember, vinyl is also naturally resistant to moisture and humidity and is strong and durable. This plastic fabric is also recyclable.
Stain and Mildew Solutions
For stain or mildew removal, use specially formulated solutions that you can purchase at your boat shop or online. Remember, don’t scrub your boat’s vinyl with anything abrasive as this can scratch the surface. And, don’t use bleach or ammonia or other cleaning solutions that are not specially made for boats.
Keep in mind that vinyl naturally has a long lifespan and you can extend it and keep the material looking new by applying ultraviolet ray protection products. UV ray protection helps keep your vinyl from drying out, cracking, and fading. Use a spray that is specially formulated for the marine industry. (Check online or ask your local canvas shop for a recommendation).
Also, keep in mind that you can purchase vinyl marine fabrics already manufactured with UV resistant coatings, mildew resistant, and made colorfast and waterproof. Herculite Inc. offers a line of marine fabrics – including its Riviera Marine Fabrics – with the aforementioned qualities and more. Herculite’s marine fabrics can also be made heat, cold, and abrasion resistant. Herculite’s Weblon Regatta ® Marine Fabrics come with a five-year limited warranty and are great for bimini tops or boat covers
To learn more about marine fabrics, download our free eBook, "What You Don't Know About Custom Boat Tops/Covers Can Be Costly"