How to Clean a Bowrider

Being a bowrider boat owner is great fun! It allows you to ride with your family and friends, whether for enjoyment or sports (fishing and wakeboarding are just two examples of many).

However, a clean boat does not remain as such for long. The bowrider will get dirty due to where it is located. For example it can be impacted by the water, dirt, insects and other items. So regular cleaning must be done to increase the longevity of your bowrider.

If you’re unsure where to get started when giving your boat a detailed clean, follow these simple steps.

Start with the Exterior

The first thing you should clean is the exterior surfaces of the bowrider. This includes the hull and bow. The tools and products you’ll need are:

1) Wash and dry

To begin, you’ll want to pre-soak your exterior with a pressure washer and clean water. This step is essential for removing any loose debris and dirt. Once you’ve sprayed down the boat, fill your spray cannon with warm water and a household cleaner.

I recommend using Dawn dish soap since it works great for removing wax, dirt, and other substances (such as fish blood).

Spray your boat with the soapy water mixture, then scrub using a wash brush. Afterward, rinse the soap off your pressure washer and fully dry the boat using a microfiber cloth.

If your boat has black rubber markings caused by the dock, the best way to remove them is to use acetone and a white cloth.

Using a white cloth is essential because the acetone can remove the dye from the cloth and stain your boat.

2) Wax

Once your exterior is washed and dried, you’ll want to go in with some boat wax. The ideal method for applying wax is with a hand-held polisher.

When using the polisher, use a side-to-side and up-down motion. It’s important to wax every inch of the exterior, including the motors. However, you’ll want to exclude the propellers.

Most boat owners wax their boats at the end of the season. However, if you use your boat more often than the average boat owner, you may want to wax your boat every 1-2 months.

Detail the Interior

Now that the exterior is done, you’ll want to move on to the boat’s interior. To do this, you’ll need the same cleaning tools listed above, as well as:

1) Seats and storage compartments

You’ll want to ensure that all the seats and compartments are cleaned thoroughly. It is also crucial to avoid using bleach on your leather or vinyl upholstery, as this can cause the material to degrade and crack.

You’ll want to use a degreaser to remove any stains or grime.

To begin, combine the degreasing solution with water in a spray bottle. Then, dilute the solution per the manufacturer’s instructions, and spray it directly onto your seats.

Use a magic eraser to remove any tough stains, and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.

For leather seats, it’s a good idea to finish with a leather conditioner and wipe clean using your microfiber cloth. The conditioner will prevent your leather from UV ray damage and drying out.

Once your seats are completed, it’s time to clean out your compartments. You’ll want to vacuum first if there is loose dirt and debris. Then clean the compartments with the same products you used to clean your seats.

The magic eraser and degreaser will do wonders for removing any black marks, fish blood, or rust stains.

2) Wax

It’s important to wax your interior after cleaning the seats and compartments to avoid getting any degreaser on your wax.

You’ll want to use your boat wax and polisher on your bow, stern, gunwale, and interior walls.

Use the same side-to-side and up-down motion when using your polisher.

The best way to clean all other areas, such as metal pieces, screens, radio, steering wheel, etc., is to use a spray-on wax and microfiber cloth.

3) Wipe off wax

Once the wax has dried, you’ll want to use a clean cloth to wipe the wax off all surfaces. This includes the exterior as well.

You want to wipe until all wax is removed to avoid having leftover residue.

4) Floors and final rinse

The final step is to clean off the floors. Begin by spraying down the floor with the diluted degreaser and scrub with the wash brush. If you have tough stains or stubborn dirt, the magic eraser can remove them.

Lastly, rinse the floors and interior surfaces with your pressure washer, and you are done!


Washing a boat is not a simple task. You will find many places on the bowrider to clean, which will take some time to complete.

It’s essential to use cleaners that won’t damage the material on your boat, and be sure to apply a fresh coat of wax when you clean the bowrider.

Also, use a pressure washer if possible. This will help speed up the cleaning process and ensure all cleaning products are rinsed off.

These steps should help keep your boat looking sharp and prevent costly damage to the paint and other surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions? Find the answers here!

How often should I wash my boat?

The frequency you should wash your boat will depend on several factors, such as how often you use your boat, what you use your boat for, the salinity of the water, and where you’re located geographically.

Generally, it would be best to clean your exterior as soon as you notice any algae or dirt building up. This can happen anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks.

Meanwhile, you should clean the interior every couple of weeks during the summer months to remove debris, bird droppings, and insects. You may need to clean your boat out more frequently if you use your boat for fishing.

You should always do a deep, detailed clean at the end of the season.

How long does it take to clean a boat?

The length of time will depend on the size of your boat, how dirty the boat is, and how detailed the cleaning is.

A deep clean (waxing and exterior included) can take up to 8 hours to complete. In comparison, a simple scrub and rinse can take 2 to 3 hours.

Should the bottom of my boat be waxed?

Of course! Waxing the bottom of your boat is essential for marine protection. Waxing will protect the hull from the corrosive and chemical effects of salt water.

Wax also prevents barnacles and other organic buildups from adhering to the hull below the water’s surface.

How can I keep algae from growing on my boat?

To prevent algae growth, you should clean your boat regularly. Cleaning removes any debris that could harbor bacteria and other marine organisms.

You can also apply antifouling paint to your bottom hull. Anti-fouling paints contain chemicals that keep algae from sticking to the bottom of the boat.

However, the best method for algae growth prevention is regular cleaning.