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Do I Need to Clean the Algae Off My Boat?

We’ve all seen that green scum on the water. Algae blooms are becoming more and more common for lakes and reservoirs, and that can lead to a few problems. You’ve probably heard that certain types of blue-green algae produce toxins, so it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to swim in those areas. But can algae in general really be that bad for boats and docks?

Potential Issues with Algae

As with any ecosystem, waterfronts have a specific food chain. Algae are a key part of these systems. Rivers, lakes, and even oceans all rely on algae to feed small invertebrates like zooplankton. Those organisms are then eaten by fish, and on and on the food chain goes. The problem, though, is that sometimes algae start to upset the food chain. When too many algae blooms spread out across the water, the dissolved oxygen levels can get too low and make the conditions bad for fish.

In a different vein, algae can also be problematic for boats and docks. Ignoring it can lead to ugly staining, like a green ring around your boat or slimy lines along the edges of your dock. In addition to these cosmetic issues, some marinas will also decide to tag watercraft that have excessive boat algae. Contaminated boats just end up carrying algae outbreaks to other sites, which makes the problem even harder to manage. Each waterfront has to protect their own site and work to keep their ecosystem balanced.

If you don’t stay on top of cleaning boat algae, you could be dealing with other problems down the road too. Your boat’s maneuverability can dramatically decrease when you have too much algae on the hull. The algae can also add drag, which will lower your speed on the water and increase your fuel usage and costs. In extreme situations, the algae could even cause corrosion. Keeping your watercraft clean helps you avoid these problems so you can enjoy your time on the water without any setbacks.

How to Manage Boat Algae

It’s normal to want to clean your boat or dock to take care of any ongoing algae issues. You can get rid of those algae lines and help your boat function like it should. Just remember: algae blooms thrive on nutrients like phosphorous and ammonia. That’s why it’s important to use a phosphate-free cleaning agent. Something with a neutral pH and a biodegradable label is usually best. This will help prevent more algae from showing up at your waterfront.

You’ll need to take your boat out of the water to clean it completely. Ideally, you’ll be able to use a boat lift. But if not, you can move your boat onto a trailer. Then you can either use a boat algae cleaner or tackle the problem with a good power washing. It might take a lot of work the first time around, but the effort you put in now can help protect your boat. If you want to avoid cleaning boat algae in the future, then you’ll want to consider getting a boat lift.

Protect Your Watercraft with a Boat Lift!

The longer your boat spends time in the water, the more likely you’ll be dealing with an algae problem. When you can use a boat lift, you’re giving the hull space from the water—and the algae. This helps it stay cleaner from season to season, so you don’t have to mess with extensive cleaning.

When you’re ready to get set up with a new boat lift services (or if you need boat lift repair to start using yours again), know that our team at Deaton’s Waterfront Services is here to help. Being able to prevent algae from sticking to your watercraft in the first place is so much easier in the long run. It also gives you the freedom to visit other sites without fear of getting turned away because of an algae problem with your boat. Send us a message to learn more about our boat lift dealers and installation process. We’d be happy to answer your questions!