At Canvasworks in Cokato, MN spring is one of our favorite times of year because it means we’ve got plenty of summer fun just ahead on the horizon. With warm weather right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about breaking out our boats.


If you love boating as much as we do, you want to do everything you can to keep your boat looking great. Not only does a clean boat look better, but it also helps to extend the lifespan of your boat and keeps it in good shape if you ever want to sell it and upgrade to a new boat.


In this post, we’ll give you the short version of what you need to do to keep your boat looking great. For best results, follow this guide and then give us a call to order your custom boat covers from Canvasworks in Cokato, MN!

Cleaning Your Boat’s Interior

Take a look inside your boat, and you’ll most likely see marine carpet, vinyl, cushions, and fiberglass. No matter what type of boat you have, it’s important to realize that different components and materials require different cleaning methods and tools. Whatever you do, you don’t want to go with a one-size-fits-all approach and you NEVER want to power-wash your boat.

●      Marine Carpet

Whether your boat is carpeted from stern to bow or only in the cockpit or cabin, you’ll need to give it a good cleaning fairly often. Start by using a vacuum cleaner to remove any surface debris or dirt. A shop vacuum is your best bet and you can use it later on to remove excess water too. 


Next, you’ll need to attack the ground-in dirt. Fill a bucket with soapy water using a gentle cleaner like Dawn dishwashing soap or Simple Green. Harsh cleansers and bleach should never be used as they can damage the specialized coating on the carpet. Use a soft bristle brush or a sponge to scrub the carpet gently , working in small sections with the grain of the carpet. Never power-wash or use a hard scrub brush on your carpeting. Both will strip away the protective finish of the fibers leaving the carpet susceptible to mold and mild.



Next , rinse the entire area with water thoroughly. Soap residue will attract dirt, resulting in carpeting that gets dirty faster. Lastly , use a wet vacuum to remove any remaining water and then dry the area with a fan or by letting the boat sit out in a warm, sunny area.

●      Boat Upholstery

Avoid using homemade cleaners, bleach, or other household cleansers to clean your vinyl boat seat upholstery. These can damage the material’s protective coatings as well as degrading the stitching. The same goes for cleansers made for use in automobiles. Instead, use a dedicated marine upholstery cleaner. There are several gentle and effective products on the market. Never power-wash your upholstery! The force of the water will strip away the protective finish of the fibers leaving the upholstery susceptible to mold and mildew.


When cleaning you should use soft cloths and soft brushes and avoid scrubbing harshly as you can abrade the upholstery surface. The goal is to be as gentle as possible when cleaning your upholstery. That is why we recommend lightly wiping your boat seats down after every use. Also, using towels to protect the boat cushions from sunscreen and other chemicals can go a long way towards protecting your upholstery.


And lastly, be sure to invest in a good boat cover to protect your boat upholstery from mildew and mold damage. That is the number one, most important thing you can do to protect your boat’s upholstery.

●      Fiberglass

Avoid using wax on the non-slip fiberglass inside your boat as this will reverse the non-slip quality of the fiberglass. Instead, use a gentle cleaner mixed with water and a stiff brush. Many experts swear by Soft Scrub, but it is hard on fiberglass, so be sure to use it sparingly, rinse thoroughly, and make sure it doesn’t get on any carpet or upholstery. Of course, as always, your best bet is to use a dedicated marine fiberglass cleaner.


Last, but not least, always follow the material manufacturer’s cleaning instructions if you can find them. And NEVER POWER-WASH THE INTERIOR OF YOUR BOAT!

Order Your Custom Boat Upholstery Today

If your boat upholstery  is looking worn out from years of adventures or you’re looking to upgrade your style, our team at Canvasworks in Cokato, MN can replace it with beautiful custom boat seats . We also manufacture custom boat covers to protect your boat’s interior from the elements and can replace your marine flooring with carpet or vinyl flooring.


To check out examples of our work, visit our online gallery. Then call us at 320-559-0165 to order your custom boat upholstery or contact us online to learn more!