protect your boat from saltwater corrosion

How to Protect Your Boat from Saltwater Corrosion

Written by Boatsetter Team
March 7, 2023

Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Written in partnership with the WavesRx Team

Boats often exposed to saltwater and the marine environment are at increased risk of corrosion due to salt in the water and in the air. Saltwater is a highly corrosive substance that can quickly cause damage to the metal parts of your boat, including the hull, engine, and electrical system. Salt deposits can also form on non-metal areas and damage those surfaces over time. Fortunately, there are six simple steps that you can follow to protect your watercraft from saltwater corrosion.

1. Wash Your Boat Regularly with a Salt-Neutralizing Detergent
Wash Your Boat Regularly with a Salt-Neutralizing Detergent

One of the most important things you can do to prevent saltwater corrosion is wash your boat after each use. As saltwater dries off, it leaves salt crystals behind on your boat’s surfaces, quickly promoting corrosion if left untreated. Washing your boat with a high-quality marine detergent will encapsulate and remove these salt deposits and prevent corrosion.

When washing your boat, be sure to pay extra attention to the areas where saltwater tends to accumulate, such as the hull, engine, and deck. Use a soap dispenser attached to a garden hose or a soft-bristled brush and a bucket to clean your boat, then rinse it thoroughly with fresh water when you’re done.

2. Protect Your Boat with a Ceramic Sealant or Wax

In addition to washing your boat regularly, you can protect it from saltwater corrosion by applying a ceramic spray coat or wax. This hydrophobic barrier can help to seal the boat’s surface and prevent salt particles from coming into direct contact with the finishes on your boat. As an added benefit, it will improve the overall look of your boat by rejuvenating colors and adding a glossy shine.

Before applying ceramic or wax, ensure your boat is clean, dry, and cool (ideally out of direct sunlight). Apply the ceramic coat by spraying a small amount onto the surface and then wiping it off with a microfiber towel using a circular motion. Work in small sections at a time and ensure that all the excess product is wiped off completely before moving to the next area.

3. Use Corrosion-Resistant Materials and Accessories

Another way to protect your boat from saltwater damage and rust is to use corrosion-resistant or corrosion-free products and materials whenever possible. For example, you can use stainless steel, aluminum, or plastics instead of other materials that are more susceptible to corrosion.

When choosing accessories for your boat, be sure to consider their corrosion resistance and durability. Investing in high-quality, corrosion-resistant boating products can help to prevent corrosion and extend the life of your boat.

4. Flush Your Engine(s) Regularly
Flush Your Engine(s) Regularly


The engine is one of your boat’s most critical parts and is also one of the most vulnerable to saltwater corrosion. To protect your engine from corrosion and extend its lifespan, flush it after every use. We recommend using a specially formulated marine engine flushing solution that inhibits corrosion and helps your engine run cooler and more efficiently. 

Use a flushing kit to circulate the mixture through your boat’s engine and cooling system, then rinse it with fresh water. Be sure to rinse the entire engine, including the exhaust system and the cooling system. 

5. Store Your Boat Properly

Store Your Boat Properly

When your boat is not in use, it’s important to store it properly to prevent saltwater corrosion. If possible, store your boat in a dry, covered area to protect it from the elements.

If you must store your boat outside, be sure to cover it with a tarp or boat cover to protect it from rain and salt spray. You can also use a dehumidifier or moisture-absorbing packets to prevent excess moisture from building up inside your boat.

6. Perform Regular Maintenance

Finally, one of the best things that you can do to prevent saltwater corrosion is to perform regular maintenance on your boat. This includes inspecting your boat’s hull, engine, and electrical system regularly for signs of corrosion.

When inspecting your boat, pay attention to any areas that are particularly susceptible to saltwater exposure, such as the propeller, the waterline, and the hull fittings. Look for signs of corrosion, such as rust, pitting, or discoloration. If you notice any signs of corrosion, it’s important to take action immediately to prevent further damage.

Regular maintenance can also include applying anti-corrosion products to vulnerable areas, such as the engine block or the fuel tank. These products can help to prevent saltwater from coming into contact with the metal and protect your boat from corrosion.

By following these 6 simple tips, you can help to protect your watercraft in harsh marine environments and extend its lifespan.

About WavesRx

At WavesRx we are redefining the boating and jet ski products industry with our relentless pursuit of quality and innovation. We take great pride in creating the highest-quality marine products that are not only functional but also long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing. Our innovative products, which include dock lines, anchors, boat care, and transportation accessories, are all meticulously designed to exceed your expectations. Whether you’re a seasoned boater or just starting out, WavesRx has the products you need to make your boating experience enjoyable and worry-free.

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