Because of its fiberglass hull and solid teak woodwork, your boat has a finish that fortunately requires less care and maintenance than a wooden boat. However, there are definitely ways to help prevent any need for extra work before getting it out on the water again come spring.

Classic Whitehall Spirit 14 Sail Slide Seat Boat-min

When putting the boat away for several months, first wash the interior woodwork and hull inside and out with water or a mild solution of soap and water to remove any grime or grit. Once the surface of the wood is thoroughly dried, apply a coat of teak oil making sure to wipe the teak dry afterward. Also check for any oil drips on the hull’s sides that may have occurred because these will dry with a sticky residue and dirt will stick to them. This can look quite messy. You can wipe these oil runs on the hull off with Methyl Hydrate, a type of solvent that’s available at the hardware store, or just give a good rub with a soapy rag. Methyl Hydrate is also great for removing tar or oil deposits on the hull exterior.

Waxing the cleaned hull at least once or twice a year is a good plan to keep the finish glossy. Car wax works well for this as it has UV inhibitors.

Classic Whitehall Spirit Rowing Boat blue hull-min

Always make sure the boat is dry before putting the cover on, whether for long or short term storage, especially in humid or damp environments. This will prevent the growth of mildew on the wood surfaces. Mildew starts out as small gray-black spots so checking for this is the first step in eliminating them; if you catch this early you’ll avoid doing a lot of work because sanding is usually required once mildew gets established. You can also use products such as Dry-Z-Air for extracting moisture from the air under the cover.


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Keeping the boat covered even while in storage in the garage or basement will eliminate dust and dirt accumulating inside over the months it’s not in use. You might want to check now and again to see if rodents have found a new nesting ground under there, if the cover isn’t on tight enough!

Following these steps will ensure your boat will be in top condition and ready to go again each spring.