Keep It Clean When Preparing Boats for Summer Boating Fun | Ohio Sea Grant

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Keep It Clean When Preparing Boats for Summer Boating Fun

12:00 pm, Thu May 26, 2011 –

Sandusky, OH The start of the summer boating season is just around the corner and boat owners can help keep the environment clean by adopting a series of best management practices developed through the Ohio Clean Marinas Program.

Sanding and painting, for example, is a labor-intensive preseason maintenance chore that many boater owners are faced with this time of year as they prepare their boats for a season on the water. The traditional methods of removing paint from a boat hull followed by an application of varnish or paint often introduces toxic chemicals into waterways. Improperly removed debris and old paint chips from a boat may find their way into waterways, which violates state and federal regulations, but also is unhealthy for waterways that are enjoyed by millions of boaters, anglers, and swimmers.

Here are some best management practices that boaters can adopt easily when sanding and painting their boats before launching them for the summer season. Additional clean boating techniques and best management practices are available online from the Ohio Clean Marinas Program at

  • Work in a controlled area: When sanding and painting your boat at a marina, use a designated work area by checking with the site manager.
  • Use of vacuum sanders and grinders that collect and trap dust will help prevent it from entering the water. Use a drop cloth to catch paint debris and sanding dust. Be sure to clean all debris when work is completed by using a vacuum or manually sweeping and not by hosing down an area with water. 
  • Use water-based paints and solvents when possible. Be sure to avoid spills and properly dispose of any old and unusable product. Follow product usage directions on the label.
  • Get informed. Taking the time to learn and to utilize best management clean boater practices will help reduce the likelihood of environmental contamination.

The Ohio Clean Marinas Program and Clean Boater Program is a proactive partnership among the Ohio Sea Grant College Program, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and their boating partners designed to encourage marinas and boaters to use simple, innovative solutions to keep Ohio’s coastal and inland waterway resources clean.

For more information, contact:
Colleen Wellington, Ohio Clean Marinas Program
419. 609. 4120

ARTICLE TITLE: Keep It Clean When Preparing Boats for Summer Boating Fun PUBLISHED: 12:00 pm, Thu May 26, 2011 | MODIFIED: 1:12 pm, Tue April 28, 2015
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Matthew Forte
Authored By: Matthew Forte
Associate Editor, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

Matthew Forte is a lifelong fan of U.S. history. When he isn’t renovating his house or playing with his two infant sons, he is reading history books or substitute teaching.