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This article is not one of those articles that is a ton of fun to write and probably less fun to read but I need to put this information out on paper so everyone knows how to deal with it.  What I am talking about is the dreaded boat scum or hard water buildup spots on your boat.  For anyone that has owned a boat there is no such thing as a magical product, but I am here to tell you that there are a couple of products that get the job done well without breaking the bank.

For the past 15 years I have owned aluminum boats.  Right now, I have the pleasure of fishing out of a Tracker Targa.  This boat is not one of the big-ticket item boats out there but I have a lot invested in my Tracker and it hasn’t let me down so I try to keep it as in good as shape as possible and one of those things is keeping the exterior clean.  In my personal situation, I get out on the water about 50 times a year and I truly believe that keeping your boat clean is a vital part of owning a boat but I don’t want to spend endless hours cleaning it as I know that this time would better be spent on the lake wetting a line.

I have read many articles on keeping your boat clean and tried many different products.  Some say that you should clean your boat every time that you get off the water while others say have a cleaning regime and make it a ritual as to when you clean your boat.  Well if you are anything like me that all sounds good but easier said than done.  If you have the time and fortitude to clean your boat every time you pull it out of the water good for you but that’s not me.  I have good intentions but something always comes up that cuts into my cleaning time like staying on the water for one more cast, which will usually last about an hour of one more casts.  Anyway, what I am getting at is when my boat is dirty, I clean it.

Ok, now I am looking at my boat and I see that it’s dirty and I need to clean it.  What should I use that will clean the boat scum off without taking all day and killing my shoulder?  Then after it’s clean what do I use to protect it to keep the exterior smooth like silk to help prevent the hard water build up for as long as possible?  Well I am here to tell you I have found two products that are easy to use, cheap and non-toxic.

The cleaning solution that I use is CLR bath and kitchen foam action cleaner.  This product is biodegradable, non-toxic and contains no alcohol, phosphates, or ammonia.  It truly is one of the easiest products that I have used as it is spray on and wipe off with a rag.  There have been times when I have been a bit neglectful that I will have to put a little elbow grease behind my cleaning but that’s my own fault.  I have shown others this product and not one of them has ever given me a bad report or found anything that works better and all for under five bucks.


Your boat is now clean and for some that’s good enough but if you want to go the extra mile and put on a wax that will help protect your investment than I got one that seems to work as good as any others on the market.  Turtle wax and dry spray is my go to.  In the past I have used other products like hot sauce and I am here to tell you that hot sauce is a great product but it is going to put you back a 20 spot, so again for close to five bucks you are going to get a quality product in the Turtle wax and dry spray.  The Turtle wax and dry goes on quick, it’s easy to wipe off and it doesn’t streak.


There is not much more to it.  All you need is a little time, CLR bath and kitchen foam action cleaner, Turtle wax and dry spray and a couple clean rags and your off and running to making your boat sparkle. In closing I encourage you to do your own research on these two products.  Don’t just take it from me but go out and check the reviews on both products.  I didn’t look at any of the reviews for these products until I started writing this article but it’s funny that both products have a 4 ½ stars out of 5, not too bad in my book.  Thanks for reading and I hope this little bit of information keeps your pocket book a little fatter and gets your boat looking like new again.

cropped-214-copy11.jpg  By:  Brad Qualley