With spring rapidly approaching, you are no doubt looking forward to the chance of getting your boat back into the water. While the floating jetty of your new home does not need too much maintenance, it does have two areas that need cleaning after being exposed to wind and rain from the winter months. By paying attention to these two parts of your jetty now, you can protect both your boat and your family. It is time to set aside a couple of hours to attend to this checklist of chores before you start to use the jetty for the spring and summer.
The boat fender is the piece that hangs over the edge of the jetty. Beneath your jetty is a pontoon keeping it afloat. The boat fender protects the side of your boat when it is sitting alongside the jetty and its pontoons. Some fenders are made of carpet, while others look like hard plastic boxing bags. No matter what your fender is made of, it needs regular cleaning to scrub away the salt particles from the water. If left to build up, the salt can clump together and become harsh enough to scratch your boat's paint.
To clean the fenders, you can either scrub them with soapy water and a stiff brush, or you can waterblast them with a high-power washer to rinse the salt buildup away. Helpful hint: if you chose to scrub the fenders, make sure you do this with a stiff bristle brush rather than a wire bristle brush. A wire bristle brush is too harsh for the plastic or carpet that your fender is made of, and will shred the fender surface.
Another important area of the jetty that needs cleaning after the winter rain is the carpet. While your carpet now has a chance to dry out in the sun, over the winter, constant dampness will have caused algae to grow within the fibres. This makes the carpet slippery and dangerous to walk on, particularly for children who are not always sure-footed.
If you choose to clean the carpet manually, pour hot, soapy water onto the carpet, and then scrub it clean with a stiff bristle broom. You can then rinse it clean with a hose. You can also do this chore with your waterblaster; however, make sure there are no tears in the carpet before you start. The pressure from the waterblaster could cause further damage if the carpet is not in good shape to begin with.
If, during your cleaning chores, you notice an excessive amount of rust or wear on any part of your jetty, get it inspected by a professional jetty repairer, such as from Coastal Pontoon & Jetty Repairs, before pulling up your boat alongside. This way, you can be confident both your boat and your family can safely use the floating jetty during the summer months ahead.