Be careful when cleaning your boat

By: George deVilbiss
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It doesn’t matter the size of the boat. They are an investment and for some people, a very big investment. You do almost daily upkeep and maintenance on your home for both pride and to maximize its value for a potential sale at some point in the future. You should do the same with your boat in order to maximize what you can get for it when you’re ready to sell it. What many boaters don’t realize is that many products you use in and around the home can actually do damage to your boat when you think you’re cleaning it up. The biggest victims are fiberglass boats. 1. Don’t use household dish soap to wash down your boat. It may work well for washing dishes but it can strip a boat’s wax and degrade the waterproofing on marine fabrics. 2. Are the mirrors and windshield on your boat actually glass or plastic? If you use Windex or other similar glass cleaner types, which uses ammonia, it can cause plastics to yellow and crack. 3. Paper towels may seem soft but they are actually quite abrasive. Wiping your boat down with paper towels will ultimately leave small scratches on a boat’s surface. Multiply those scratches with each use and before you know it, the nice, shiny surface is completely gone. 4. Something like Pledge may work great on wood in the home but it is not good on your boat as it contains solvent. If you have wood on your boat, more than likely it’s teak. Use teak cleaner and teak oil. If something like Pledge gets on plastics, it will become brittle and yellow. 5. Soft Scrub and bleach are harsh cleansers. While it seems like a great idea to take care of tough scuffs and stains, it’s way too abrasive. Fiberglass and gelcoats will lose their protective coatings, along with discoloring fabrics and will eventually break down their integrity. Nothing will degrade your investment more than procrastination and using products not designed for your boat. You put out a lot of money on that watercraft. Use the right materials to keep it looking like it just came from the showroom. Current fishing Folsom Lake: With the marina now closed and most schools now packed with the youngsters, boating traffic is down. A good many people can and will still visit the lake on weekends so your best bet is to hit it during the week if you want the best quiet water for fishing. While there are a ton of shakers to wade through, a five pounder can be culled. As usual, hit the rockpiles with plastics and jigs – slow. Early, early mornings and just before dark, you might whack some nice bass with topwater gear and even a buzzbait or a crank will work. Sierra: A reader emailed me saying he’s headed for Stampede Reservoir and wondered what the fishing was like. Well, it’s not exactly the peak time. Mackinaw are possible, 100 feet deep and you’ll only find water that deep around the dam. It’s getting close to kokanee spawning time when the jaws will hook and jut and they turn red, but a few can still be found around the island and more closer to the Sagehen and Little Truckee arms. Trout fishing, boat or shore, is overall slow. Not much action at Boca Reservoir as most activity at the lake involves water skiers and jet skis. Early in the morning, though, you might find some action at the upper end where the Truckee River enters the lake. Trout fishing is slow at Prosser Reservoir. Better bass fishing there. Some decent rod-bending action can still be found at Jackson Meadows. Trollers are finding trout. Drift in the big cove in the south portion of the lake, and I’ve done well picking up some nice ‘bows there. Lake Pardee: Trout plants still continue but with warm waters, they don’t stick around in the Rec Area Cove for very long. Unless you’re there when the truck plants, there’s not much action. Trollers find fish in the Narrows, the river mouth and heading up the river to the Rock Wall. It’s pretty much downrigger trolling, though, having to go down up to 60 feet to find ‘em. Lake Camanche: Trolling deep around the dam can still produce a limit of trout if you stick with it. Drop down 25-40 feet. Anchor or drift a crawler, Power Eggs or Power Bait and you can put trout on the stringer in the Dike 3 region but work the water 35-feet or more. However, catfishing is your best bet and there are some really nice, big cats at this lake. Head upriver around the highway bridge and even the action is good midday. One angler fishing regularly has caught numerous big cats in the last couple of weeks, one which topped the scales at 15 pounds and the smallest, about five pounds. Rocky areas in 20-25 feet of water with cut bait works for him. Lake Amador: Action is overall slow. Trout plants of their infamous cutt-bows won’t begin until we get a good rain and the weather cools considerably. Even their big bass are in the doldrums and you can beat the water to death trying to get bit. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, contact George directly at