Most boat and watercraft owners have (or certainly should have) a regular vessel cleaning routine.  COVID-19 however, has meant that more care should be taken when out on the water to ensure the health and safety of all on board.  This support article outlines some effective steps you can take to help keep yourself and Crew safe on trips.

COVID-19 Health

The first simple check you should be doing before anyone steps on board is a general check of people’s overall health.  While this may seem obvious, it can easily be overlooked.

Basic signs you should be checking for before allowing Crew to join you:

  • No visible signs of illness
  • Simply take the time to ask if everyone has been feeling well
  • Remember social distancing and give people space

This may mean that you cannot take as many people on board your vessel for the time being.  This is a small sacrifice to make to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Disinfecting and cleaning are two different things. 

Cleaning is physically removing dirt and organic matter from a surface.

Disinfecting is using chemicals to the kill germs on surfaces.

They are equally important to keeping your vessel COVID-19 safe and you will need to do both.  Start by cleaning all surfaces with a detergent based wash to remove dirt, grime and grease.  You can then follow up by washing these surfaces with any disinfectant wash – such as Pine O Cleen disinfectant for example.

COVID-19 Pine o Cleen disinfectant boat cleaning

You don’t have to use expensive washes and chemicals to keep your vessel clean and safe. 

COVID-19 boat cleaning high touch points

Apart from your normal routine vessel cleaning, you should be paying attention to high touch areas such as: 

  • Controls
  • Radios, navigation and audio equipment
  • Door handles, latches, eskies, live bait boxes
  • Seats and handrails
  • Fishing equipment if you are allowing others to share

In addition to cleaning the above-mentioned areas thoroughly after each trip, you should make the following available on your boat:

  • Alcohol hand sanitiser
  • Hand wash
  • Ensure adequate potable water for frequent hand cleaning
  • Disinfectant wipes

Remember to let Crew know that you have these available and where they are located. 

COVID-19 boat cleaning disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser

Carrying these items will allow you and your Crew to ensure you can spot clean any areas or items during your trip and keep your hands clean.  Remember that if you are sharing control of a vessel to wipe the console and controls with disinfectant wipes between people.

Unless Government restrictions state otherwise, COVID-19 does not mean we cannot get out on the water and enjoy our hobby.  It is however, a great time to stop and take note of your vessel cleaning routine and think about how you are ensuring you and your Crew stay safe and well while you enjoy boating and fishing.