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Brian Needham

Glass Boat Hull Care

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I been thinking about making the jump to a fiberglass boat.

what is the daily weekly monthly yearly care needed for the fiberglass hull??

also how easy or hard is it to scratch? ding up? knock a chunk of gelcoat out? knock a hole on the hull? crazy questions but things I fear.

thanks

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It's easy to scratch if you are not careful. Sand on the bottom of your footwear can easily scratch it if you step on the fiberglass and slide or twist your foot. At a dock, it's easy to step onto the carpet. If you beach your boat, and have to climb aboard be careful. I usually sit on the boat, and swing my feet over the side, onto the carpet.

Keeping the topsides of the boat vacuumed will not only keep grit off the bottom of your footwear, but will prolong the life of your deck carpet. Get a good wet or dry vac. If your carpet gets soaked from rain or spray a good vacuuming with a wet or dry vac will remove just about all the water.

Speaking of beaching, I'd advise getting a keel guard, particularly if you launch and load at a concrete ramp without a dock. Even with a keel guard, run the boat onto the ramp as slowly as possible. You should take it out of gear, and give it a bit of reverse, just before the guard contacts the concrete.

The major environmental enemy of your boats finish is the ultra violet rays from the sun. Be sure to use a wax or other protectant that has UV inhibitors in it. Carnauba wax will inhibit the sun's rays. One of the best things you can do to protect it from the sun is to keep it garaged. A carport is a good second choice. Keeping the boat in a shady place will protect it from the sun, but that usually means keeping it under a tree. Trees, and the critters in them will drop stuff on the boat that can damage the finish. A boat cover will protect from the sun and other natural enemies of the finish. However, it does restrict ventilation which can result in mold and mildew. If you do opt to cover the boat there are forced air ventilators which work well to prevent the mold and mildew problem. When not using the boat, raise the bow using the trailer jack, and pull the drain plug. It doesn't take much water in the bilge to feed mold and mildew. I take my hitch out of the receiver and put it on a piece of cardboard on the stern deck. That reminds me to unplug the battery charger, and to reinstall the drain plug.

I keep mine garaged with all the hatches opened.

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What Tom said. I do all the above, plus if/when I do scratch it with dirty shoes, I use polishing compound to rub the scratches out. I also use BTS protectant all over the boat. It has 100% UV protection.

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ha .......I didnt even think of sand grit.......I was more worried about a tree limb dragging down the side of the boat.......

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A regular wash, carpet vacuum and an annual wax job. If you ding it then patch it. I've had a FG boat for years and out side of wash and wax I can't remember spending any time on it at all.

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Sliding along a tree limb is not likely to scratch it, at least not to the degree that it cannot be rubbed out by hand. Exposed hardware on docks, rocks, etc., will easily scratch it. When you tie up to a dock make sure to check for cleats, bolts, screws and the like that are not protected by the bumpers along the edges. Better yet, do not trust the protective cushions on the dock to do the job for you. Hang a couple of fenders over the side for extra insurance.

Some careful observation, and diligence will go a long way in protecting the finish and condition of your boat.

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Cool.......makes me feel better and opens up the choices if I decide I really want a different boat........I have heard guys say they wont take their glass boat to any lake that is "stumpy" or any chance of wood in channel or any of that.

yall have made me feel much more comfortable with the idea.

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Get a keel guard. i would recommend this kind. I have it on my boat and it's been intact for 4 seasons now without a problem. Apply it right, take your time and you will have a long life from it. It is well worth it especially if you fish shallow often or ever beach your boat.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_11151_10001_37207_-1?cid=chanintel_google&ci_src=14110944..#.UH1uXm_A9DQ

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