Boat Care

General Care and Cleaning

Always rinse your boat with clean water after a row, then open the inspection port and pull the drain plug. If you see water inside the boat, turn the boat upside down and lift the bow to drain out any water that may have gotten in during your row. Sometimes it helps to tilt the boat on edge to provide a clear path for water to flow along the gunnel inside the boat. Even in the cleanest bodies of water it’s a good idea to wipe the boat with a sponge or rag while you are rinsing it to loosen any algae, slime or oil that may have accumulated on the surface of the hull during your row.

General clean up can be done with hot soapy water. You can use gentle dish soap. Do not use Scotchbrite or anything similar for general clean up – a soft rag is best.

If washing with soap and water is not successful and a more aggressive method is needed, try the following (these are listed in the order of the least aggressive/abrasive to the most, it is best to start with the least):

-Some marks will come off with denatured alcohol on a soft towel.

-If something stronger is needed then you can try acetone or lacquer thinner on a soft towel or paper towel.

-Finesse-it (a 3M product available through marine hardware stores) or similar polish – use on a damp sponge with a bit of elbow grease.

-If hand rubbing is not sufficient then use a power buffer – remember to not over work an area as you can “burn off” the gelcoat.

Stubborn stains can usually be removed with a product called FSR (fiberglass stain remover) by Davis Industries – available from most marine hardware stores such as West Marine. Other proprietary hull cleaners are also available. The common ingredient in these cleaners is Oxalic acid. Use these products sparingly as the acid opens the pores of the gelcoat making it a better sponge to soak up more stains. If you find it necessary to use these cleaners, apply one or two coats of a high quality wax or polish to seal the pores of the gelcoat after cleaning.

Waxing or polishing your shell: It’s a good idea to keep your shell in top shape, to prevent staining from brackish waters and protect from sun damage to wax or polish your shell once a year. We prefer that you use a finishing polish on the deck, hull and cockpit. We use Finesse-It II by 3M (but you could use any product that you would use on a fiberglass car or bath tub – be sure and check the label to confirm it can be used on fiberglass). Also, VERY IMPORTANT – be sure to leave a small area between the seat tracks un-waxed so that you won’t slip while getting in and out of your shell.


The following list of tools and supplies is all you’ll need to keep your shell in shape:

Large Phillips screwdriver

7/16 inch open end or box wrench 9/16 inch open end or box wrench 5/8 inch open end wrench*

Pitch meter or small level for rigging winged boats

Bottle of liquid Teflon based lubricant Tube of clear silicone rubber

Small can lacquer thinner

Small can of acetone

Fiberglass cleaner

Fiberglass wax or polish

*An adjustable wrench can do double-duty for most of the listed wrenches.
Make sure to get two of them since it takes two wrenches to remove the pins.
A socket set makes your work even easier, but you will still need a wrench in
addition to remove the pins.


Make sure your seat is placed in the boat correctly, with the U-shaped cutout behind you to accommodate your tail bone. To take the seat on and off, slide each axle out from under the seat top as you pull that end of the seat over the track stops. Always make sure that the keepers that ride under the tracks to keep your seat in the shell are in place and not sliding on top of the tracks.

High Performance or Single Action seats - take special care to rinse the wheels after each row, especially if you row in salt water.

The seat tracks can be cleaned out with a soft, damp rag. If they seem particularly gritty, use a rag moistened with Acetone.


If you bought your boat new from the factory or a dealer, your footstretcher will be properly installed. However, if you bought your boat used, then it is possible that it is not installed correctly so be sure to double check it. The notched tabs on the underside of the footstretcher plate should be indexed properly into the notches on the channels in the boat. There should then be a stainless steel flat washer and a wing nut on top of the footboard threaded onto the square bolts in the two notched channels. The bottom bolt slides into the bottom channel and then the order of associated hardware is as follows: the bolt in the channel, the footstretcher plate onto the bolt, then a stainless steel flat washer, a phenolic spacer (about 1” long), then a second washer, then a stainless wing nut. Make sure all 3three wing nuts are tight.


The bailers as they come from the manufacturer are quite loose, so you may need to gently push out the walls of the bailer to provide a little more friction. It doesn’t take a lot of pressure but it makes a big difference in the operation of the bailer. Reverse pliers are an excellent tool for the job, but lacking reverse pliers one could use a pair of needle nose pliers and again gently push out the walls. Keep the bailer clean of sand, grit, and salt; rinsing with clear water after beach launches or salt water rowing is always recommended.

Other Hardware

We use 306 or 18-8 stainless steel for our hardware. Even though stainless steel is rust resistant, it is not 100% corrosion proof.  Your best protection is vigilance in completely cleaning and rinsing your shell after every row, especially if you are in a salt water environment. We recommend a regular application of LanoCote to help protect your hardware, and replacing your hardware when it is worn. Never use non stainless hardware on your shell.