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Sailing Through Salt – Strategies for Maintaining Your Yacht During Coastal Adventures

Picture it. The glimmer of the setting sun on the open water, the coast at your back, and the wide open ocean ready to explore. Travelling along the coastline is a wonderful way to see New Zealand. Whether you’re taking a simple day trip around a smaller region or dedicating weeks to looping larger sections, coastal adventures are the bread and butter of any yacht owner.

With the breaking waves and increased salt spray in coastal areas, it’s vital to protect your vessel from saltwater corrosion. Regular yacht maintenance will keep your boat in tip-top condition, preventing salt build-ups that are hard to remove and even harder to work around.

To prepare you for your coastal voyage, the team at Salt Attack have some helpful tips for saltwater prevention along the way.

Do Regular Freshwater Washdowns

As you journey along the water, ocean spray will carry salt from the tides onto the surfaces of your yacht. From the decking to the hull, salt can accumulate anywhere. It’s important to stop that accumulation in its tracks, as more salt increases the chances of damaging corrosion.

One of your first lines of defence is freshwater washdowns! Invest in a high-power spray nozzle to blast the saltwater off your deck, hull, and rigging. For short journeys, you can simply wait until you dock to spray down your boat before storing it once more.

However, long journeys can give salt too much time to build up. Rather than waiting until they’re over, regularly spray down your deck, rigging, and hull with freshwater from on-board jerry cans. If you can, use the high-power nozzle there too.

Choose a Great Salt Remover

While freshwater washdowns help to keep salt at bay, they don’t do the whole job. For places on your boat where salt has settled, you’ll need a salt remover, like our core product Salt Attack Salt Remover.

Salt Attack contains chelating agents that bind to salt molecules, lifting them seamlessly from surfaces to be rinsed away. It also contains corrosion inhibitors like glycol antifreeze that treat metals like stainless steel, aluminium, and others that can fall victim to saltwater corrosion.

You’ll want to use the salt remover after the journey to help remove the salt before it can bind to your surfaces and accelerate corrosion.

Keep an Eye on your Rigging

Many first-time sailors don’t think about the impact that saltwater can have on their rigging. Your rigging is a vital piece of your ship, helping you catch the wind just right as you sail.

However, ongoing exposure to salt, sun, and surf can lead to wear and tear. While you’re out on the water, keep an eye on signs of wear and tear. Look for discolouration, large twists, broken fittings, fraying, or worn threads.

It’s best practice to keep spare rope on board in case a section of rigging starts to give out on you.

Investigate Your Engine

Your engine is as vital to your journey as you are. Therefore, it’s important to keep it as healthy as possible! Long-term exposure to saltwater can invite severe salt blockages or corrosion in your yacht’s engine block if it isn’t properly flushed after the journey.

Our saltwater prevention product Salt Attack is ideal for hot or cold engine flushing as well as surface washdowns. Make sure to thoroughly flush your engine as per manufacturer instructions once your journey is over. For shorter journeys, you might be able to wait for a longer period of time.

Routinely Inspect Your Yacht

Away from the sunlight, dampness, mould, and corrosion can blossom in the hidden corners of your vessel. This is particularly true below deck, but it’s also common in tight corners aboard the yacht.

Every day you’re out on the water, conduct a visual inspection of your yacht. Look for signs of salt build-up or corrosion. These include discolouration, crusted salt, or rust in any part of the vessel. Remember to check everywhere, as routine inspections are a big part of saltwater prevention.

If you find any, immediately scrub it away and treat it with an appropriate solution – Salt Attack works as a preventative measure and a spot treatment, making it ideal for this purpose.

There you have it! With the right tools and know-how, you can safely set out on your coastal voyage while knowing your yacht will return in the best possible condition. Remember to carefully plan your route, always let someone else know the route you plan to take, and have emergency measures on board so you can enjoy your journey safely.

Most importantly, enjoy the sunshine and the ocean air! For boating enthusiasts like us, there’s nothing better for the soul than a day out at sea.

Salt Attack works hard so you don’t have to.

Keep your yacht in great shape from stem to stern with Salt Attack, the leader in saltwater prevention and yacht maintenance. Browse our range of products to protect your vessel from saltwater corrosion.