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How to Prevent Boat Mold With 4 Easy Steps

Prevent Mold on Your Boat

Learning how to prevent boat mold can mean the difference between a squeaky-clean hull at the start of the season and hours spent cleaning and disinfecting before you can get out on the water. Check out these four tips that should help to keep your boat mold-free.

1. Keep Everything Dry

Once your boat is out of the water for the season, make sure all the water is out too. To prevent boat mold both the interior and exterior must be kept as dry as possible, at all times. This means draining the bilge, if necessary, as well as tracking down any pools or small puddles of water that might be inside the hull. Any time you might have to spend drying out the boat will be repaid by hours not required to clean up mold in the spring.

2. Choose the Right Cover

Boat storageA boat cover that protects your hull from the elements is important, but you don’t want it to trap moisture or condensation underneath it. To prevent boat mold, make sure to select a boat cover with vents capable of releasing any air that may build up in the hull over time. If vents are not an option, then try to find a boat cover that uses breathable fabric.

3. Add a Fan

Ventilation is such an important part of mold prevention that you may want to consider adding one or more small fans inside the hull in order to keep air moving and eliminate moisture completely. Combined with a vented cover, a small fan (or two, for larger boats) will circulate air just enough to prevent mold from forming on any interior or exterior surface.

4. Use a Desiccant

Silica gel is a desiccant, meaning it dries out the air immediately around it by absorbing moisture over time. You can often buy small pails or hanging satchels of silica gel — or other desiccant products — that you can strategically place throughout your boat in an effort to fight moisture. This is especially helpful if you can’t run power to a fan in your storage spot, or if the area you live in sees heavy rain or snowfall during the winter. Make sure to read the instructions carefully before deploying any water-absorbing material.

Far from being unavoidable, boat mold is something that can easily be controlled as long as you take the right steps before storing your vessel.

Check out all the marine & boat products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how to prevent boat mold, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Morguefile.


Benjamin Hunting View All

Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time.  I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

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