4 Kinds of Boat Surfaces and How to Care For Them

Different kinds of boat surfaces require different kinds of maintenance and care.

All of the materials on your boat are exposed to marine conditions which can end up causing damage if you don’t do maintenance. However, there are a few different common surfaces you’ll find on your boat, so you may need to use different approaches towards care for each one. Let’s take a look at four different kinds of boat surfaces and what you can do to keep them in the best condition possible.


Fiberglass is a common material thanks to the fact that it’s so easy to clean. Think of it as the outside of a car:  it needs regular washing and coats of wax to keep it in good shape. The right paint job can go a long way, too. Bottom paint may be needed to keep fiberglass protected and functioning how you need it to, however, it’s only required if you are going to keep the boat in the water. Bottom paint prevents the growth of marine organisms. If the boat is lift kept or trailered, it can just be washed and waxed like the topsides.


Wood is another common surface but it requires much more maintenance. Varnishes and other marine wood coatings must be regularly updated, which can prevent water from soaking into the wood and eventually causing structural damage to your vessel. Keeping wood covered, if possible, can help in preventing damage from rain or sunlight. However, this all depends heavily on the wood. Teak, for example, is very water resistant compared to something like oak.


Aluminum is incredibly easy to maintain and requires very little work. Galvanic corrosion is a bigger risk than anything else, however. In order to prevent this, be sure you’re not attaching any other metals to aluminum surfaces and that you’re using the right kinds of paint.  Your paint must be metal-free or designed specifically for aluminum hulls. Aluminum can easily be washed down with some freshwater after being used just to keep it clean.


The glass aboard your vessel is one of the surfaces that most likely will need to be cleaned off after you get back ashore. However, it’s easy to use and any of your typical marine rated cleaning products should work. You can also try marine rated glass cleaners specifically. Using a squeegee is the best way to get the surface really clean.

Reach Out to Tidewater Today!

If you’re in the greater Baltimore area and are in need of boat services, contact Tidewater Yacht Service at 410-625-4992 or by email at info@tysc.com. Our location is at 321 East Cromwell Street Baltimore, MD 21230. Get in touch with us today! Whether you need hauling, systems repaired, or storage, we have the experience and expertise to help. We’ve been providing our services to the Chesapeake Bay for over 30 years and know how to properly handle your vessel with care.


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This entry was posted on Friday, March 1st, 2019 at 12:39 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.