Sailo Guidelines - How Clean is Your Bottom?

Hull Maintenance is vital to overall boat performance, growth on the bottom of hulls of yachts can be prolific, especially in tropical waters.

Owners need to know that a yacht in tropical waters should really be lifted on a yearly basis. Then it would also be advisable to come up every 6 months come up for a pressure wash to clean all surfaces.


What most people don’t know is the negative effect on fuel consumption and load caused on engines, which in turn has negative effects on the fragile marine ecosystem. Although owners may be apprehensive to lift for a clean because of the perceived cost they think they are saving, in actual fact they might be burning much more in fuel, whilst also unnecessarily increasing their carbon footprint. Yacht drags through the water losing performance and putting further load on the main engines also putting wear on the engines. Growth can also affect cooling intake restricting amount of water entering the cooling system.

Some tips for looking after your hull would be:

* Regularly having a diver going under and wipe down all area’s every two weeks to clean with a “Scotchbrite Pad”

* Every 6 months lift and pressure wash.

* Don’t wait any longer then a year for an annual clean and paint.

* Use quality coatings on all your surfaces.

When you’re coating Props, Shafts & Rudders there are many different products. If you need to use a scraper to remove barnacles then you’re damaging the coating which will encourage quick return of growth.

You shouldn’t need anything more than a scotchbrite to rub over surfaces.

There are many brands of coating with various levels of protection. We would recommend going with International Antifouling Paints and check what type of hull the application is for.

Then on the props and shafts we have used many different types of products but we have now found a product that is superior to the others, “Ceremtech” this coating is basically a ceramic coating applied by spray gun. It’s harder than the others such as prop speed and has proven to us that because of its strength, stands up to cleaning better than the others. Simply run a scotchbrite over the surface every two weeks and if there is any growth there, it will wipe off. No need for any paint scrapers damaging the coating.

Though this coating is more expensive, the savings from fuel economy and load on engines far outweighs the additional costs of the lift and clean. Ceremtech can also be used to protect gelcoats, car paint, stainless works and many other applications.

Additionally, a few simple tricks can also be used to create home-made environmentally friendly cleaning products for day to day use (spoiler alert: baking soda is your new bff):

  • Hard water stains: mix one tablespoon baking soda with one tablespoon toothpaste. This can also be used to clean vinyl

  • Hull cleaning/polishing: mix 1-cup baking soda and one gallon water

  • Chrome polishing: rub straight apple cider vinegar on your chrome pieces and wipe off with a clean, dry rag.  

  • Teak stains: rub baking soda on the teak and let it set for about 20 minutes, the same as for fuel oil stains, and then rinse.  

  • Window cleaner: mix one cup of white vinegar and one quart of warm water. Apply it with a damp cloth and buff dry.


As a fellow boatie, on can only assume that you love the water as much as we do. Here at Sailo we love putting smiles on our customers’ faces and we are certain that you will feel much better about yourself knowing that you are not contributing to an increase in water pollution or risking your own health by using toxic gunk.

Check out some of our yacht charters in Fort Lauderdale, boat rentals in Key West and Los Angeles yacht rentals all of which have extensive options perfect for water sports.

Happy Sailo-ing!