commercial fishing boats in  water

Saltwater fishing is loved by many. Out on the open ocean, there’s nothing like a fishing trip with your best friends. Catching your favorite fish, making sure it’s of size, and bringing it home to clean and fillet is a great feeling. When you’re out on the boat, there’s plenty of fun to be had, but some fisherman think the fun stops immediately when you get to shore because of the cleaning and docking processes. Saltwater fishing and cleanliness go hand-in-hand. Let’s dive in!

Cleanliness is Important
Because saltwater is, obviously, salt, when you dock from fishing for the day you have much work to be done in regards to cleaning. This is why some fisherman loath the end of the day. Though it may seem like common sense to clean after each trip, we often see boats covered in salt and white residue. When docking, you must tie up and begin your cleaning process immediately.

two commercial fishing boats

Spraying Down Everything
Spraying down the deck with water gets rid of all of the salt. Even if you don’t think you took water over the bow or the sides, the spray from the waves always comes on board. Fish guts and blood often get everywhere, so this will be common sense to clean this up. Spray all areas, inside and outside, on the bow, port, and starboard sides. An initial shower is the first step in the cleaning process.

The Cleaning Process
For a good cleaning process, it will take time. To get an idea, a 45-foot Sea Ray would generally take about 30 minutes to clean inside and out. If you’re doing anything less on a boat of this size or larger, you’re probably not doing enough. Do not forget to clean your engine, including the undersides. Do not use strong detergents or cleansers. These harm the outside layers of paint and materials. Let the water soak on your boat, and dissolve existing salt crystals. If you have one area that’s specifically dirty, try a wire brush at first. If that doesn’t help, seek a cleanser made specifically for boats, and be sure it’s non-chlorinated.

boats docked in marina

Make Things Easy for Yourself
Cleaning after every trip makes it easier for you the next time you want to go out on the boat. It also preserves the lifespan of your boat. Keeping things clean and washing the boat after each trip helps you maintain the paint job and material. When you pull out your gear for the day, there’s nothing more discouraging than dirty rods and tackle.

How Damaging Can Salt Really Be?
Salty residue on materials can cause corrosion and rust. It can also permanently stain windows and glass, and nobody wants distorted views through their windshield. Salt damages almost anything it comes in contact with, especially the finish or gel coating on the bottom of your boat. Cleaning doesn’t just happen inside the boat; it’s a complete process that envelops even the outsides, too.

old and dirty sail boat

If you learned something from this blog, share it with your fellow fisherman friends. Make cleaning a habitual process every time you dock, and remember to take the time and go at your own rate until everything is cleaned. It’s worth it! When you go to take out the boat and see that everything is clean and ready to go, you will thank yourself and really understand the importance of cleaning after saltwater fishing. If you don’t regularly clean, change your habits to watch the lifespan of your materials extend. You’ll ultimately be able to spend more time with your boat, doing what you love.

For over 65 years, the Zaffiro family of Channel Fish Processing (CFP) has provided the freshest, highest quality North Atlantic fish to wholesalers everywhere. Over the years, Channel has grown and developed from a processor of Cod and Haddock into a family-run company that conducts business globally and provides a wide variety of fresh and frozen seafood products. For questions or comments, reach out to us today at 617-464-3377.