Ask Barry: How's your Bottom?


Barry Paulsen provides you with his tips for cleaning the bottom of your boat, any time of the year.

With November here, it's the end of boating season for some, and the midst of the season for others! No matter time of the year though, it's also good to take a look at your boat and check for maintenance issues.

If your boat is in a slip, how is the bottom? Have you checked it?

Whether you have a big boat or a small boat, keeping up on your hull is very important. I was at my marina in early October, and my ski boat was starting to get a dirty bottom.

I cleaned it earlier this year, so it wasn't as bad as some on my neighbor's.

When I clean the bottom of my boat out on the lake, I use suction cups with grips to hold me in place while I scrub. I use a brush attached with a sturdy pole. In the past, I've used cheaper poles and learned from experience, that a strong and sturdier pole is worth the investment. While cleaning, I'm also sure to use a diver to check on wear of the zinc anodes that protect my propellers, shafts, rudders, struts and other metal parts.

Always remember to give your trim tabs extra attention, even with newer boats. Additionally your outdrives and running gear need attention. I would suggest looking into some of the coatings your engine manufacturer offers.

My final recommendation is to keep a good coat of wax on the bottom of your boat if it's not painted. The wax will help to keep stuff from growing.

Every time I clean the bottom of my boat, I can't believe the stuff that grows on there! But, with a little extra maintenance and love throughout the year, your boat can stay protected and keep you on the water longer.

If you have questions about tips for cleaning your boat, you can contact Barry at or call 916-712-7500.

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