How To Protect Your Boat From UV Damage — Sweetwater Fishing Blog

Rate this post

How To Protect Your Boat From UV Damage


Living in an area that doesn’t have a winter season can seem like a blessing to boaters. You don’t have to worry about winterizing your boat or protecting it from the snow and freezing temperatures. However, living in sunny climates can also be a bad thing for your boat. Constant exposure from the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to different parts of your boat, resulting in avoidable repairs and costs.

One of the costliest ways UV light damages your boat is by deteriorating the boat’s gelcoat. The gelcoat is a layer of resin that acts as the outer skin to your boat’s hull or deck and is often pigmented to give your boat its color. Its main purpose is to protect the fiberglass layers underneath from any water or moisture. Even the best gelcoats will require maintenance since they are the first layer of defense from the elements. UV rays will break down the pigment in gelcoats and cause your boat’s color to fade to a dull shade of its former self. They can also cause the outer surface to turn chalky and deteriorate your gelcoat over time. Unless your boat is stored indoors in a boat house, it is very difficult to stop UV light from affecting your gelcoat. Not only does the sunlight make direct contact to the surfaces of your boat, but the light also reflects off the water, hitting the sides and bottom of your boat. The best way to maintain and protect your gelcoat is by regularly cleaning and waxing your boat. Fiberglass boat waxes contain a mix of wax and silicones that act as a barrier between your gelcoat and the harmful UV rays. It is important to clean your boat before waxing; any dirt or grit that remains on the hull will cause scratching and abrasions that will do more harm to your boat’s exterior. It is worth the time and energy to properly maintain your gelcoat compared to the money it would cost to have it redone.

Sunlight and UV rays are also very damaging to your boat’s interior. The most common form of interior damage is discoloration. Nothing is sadder than seeing your once vibrant upholstery now look dull, faded or cracked. The light from the sun causes chemical reactions to the pigments in vinyl and fabrics, causing them to fade. Depending on what fabric is used for your upholstery (vinyl, leather, suede, etc.), the rate of fading will differ, but they all will eventually lose their vibrance after prolonged exposure to the sun. If you are using vinyl or leather upholstery, you must be especially cautious because the heat and UV rays from the sun can dry out the material and cause it to stiffen and form cracks. The best way to protect your interior is to use a boat cover when your boat is not in use. Empire Boat Covers offers covers for a variety of different boat types. Their covers feature a UV resistant finish that will prevent UV light from permeating the cover, leaving your interior fully protected. The durable marine-grade polyester will protect your boat from rain and other elements, and their strap and buckle system allows for secure trailering.

Owning a boat is a big investment, so it is important to take care of it as best as you can. Even though being out on the water on a sunny day can be a great joy, those sunny days can add up and become an invisible threat if proper maintenance is not performed. Regularly cleaning, waxing, and covering your boat will allow it to look as good on its fifth year as it did on its first. The time and energy you put into taking care of your investment will save you from having to burn cash on reupholstering or applying a new layer of gelcoat to your boat.

You are viewing this post: How To Protect Your Boat From UV Damage — Sweetwater Fishing Blog. Information curated and compiled by along with other related topics.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here