Chris Edmonston: Hi! I am Chris Edmonston, President of the BoatUS Foundation, and today we are going to talk about some environmentally friendly ways to help you keep your boat clean. The first thing to do is simply wash your boat frequently with fresh water, and keep a fresh coat of wax if possible to avoid the build-up of dirt and grime. This will save you time in the long run and minimize the need for harsh cleaners. Save the big cleaning jobs for when your boat is on the land, before launching it in the spring and again at the end of the season.
Runoff and cleaners has less of an impact when the boat is on land than if it were going straight over the side into the water. When cleaning your boat, follow the instructions on the packaging. If it says to wear gloves, you better listen to it, it is probably a pretty nasty substance, use it with caution and protection. Usually boat washes that are mixed in a bucket with water work well for general cleaning too.
Spray products and rubbing compounds are generally more toxic, so use these sparingly on troublesome areas. And always have a cloth on hand and wipe up any residue to avoid runoff. And finally, many cleaners these days make various green claims. The terms biodegradable and nontoxic while well-meaning are not regulated, so be a savvy consumer.
Remember, having a clean boat does many things. It lets people know that you care about your boat, it helps maintain the value of your boat, it's more inviting to guests, and it helps to protect the environment. So keep your boat clean!