Although fiberglass boats are nearly maintenance
free, they do require periodic attention in certain areas. A well maintained
fiberglass boat can look as good as new after five years as it did when
it was bran new.
A. STANDING RIGGING
1. The standing rigging should receive a yearly inspection particularly
around the swage fittings and nico-presses. Check for bent or broken
strands. Since moisture runs down the twisted wires, it can get trapped
in the middle of the wire and inside the swage fittings. The resulting
rust will expand and crack the fitting. If defective strands are found,
replace that piece of rigging immediately.
Check all of the cotter pins, rivets, and nuts and bolts.
Stainless steel does not show fatigue, so it requires close inspection.
Check halyards to see that they are running on the sheaves properly. Oil
the sheaves if needed. It is important that they not run on dry axles which
would cause deformities on the sheaves.
2. It is recommended that the standing rigging be cleaned regularly
to prevent rust and dirt stains on the sails. The rigging can be cleaned
by lowering the mast and wiping down with paint thinner. The mast and spreaders
should also be wiped off.
3. The turnbuckles should be kept clean. Salt water often builds up
on the threads and makes adjustment very difficult. Adjusting the shrouds
without clean , well lubricated threads will gall the threads, destroying
them. This also reduced the strength of the turnbuckles. Turnbuckle boots
are available to help keep them clean and to reduce chafing on lines and
4. The mast and boom are anodized aluminum and should never be cleaned
with abrasive material which would scratch the anodizing and cause aluminum
oxide to form. Dust, dirt, smoke and salt all stick to the aluminum oxide
causing a dull and unsitely corrosive look. The mast and boom can be cleaned
with fresh water and an automotive polishing past wax. This will provide
a protective coat which will last about six months. In order to prevent
unnecessary chafing against the mast and spreaders, tie the halyards off
away from the mast when you leave the boat.
B: FIBERGLASS SURFACES
1. If the boat is kept in salt water, it should be hosed off after
each sail to remove the salt from the hull ad deck. To be sure that all
of the dirt is removed, a nonabrasive detergent can be used. Be sure this
washing is followed by a thorough rinsing with fresh water.
2. The luster of the non-skid surfaces can be restored with a solution
of fresh water and liquid detergent such as Mr. Clean. Use a heavy scrub
brush and be sure to rinse the surfaces thoroughly to prevent streaking.
Tidy Bowl is another effective product. Both contain an acid, so it is
imperative that no solution be left on the deck or topsides.
3. Be sure to avoid any metal filings on the deck since they will leave
small rust marks. Any rust marks that do get on the boat can be removed
with oxalic acid or Teak Brite. Test a small portion first to check the
4. Small scratches in the gelcoat can be polished out with different
weights of polishing and buffing compounds. Bigger scratches may require
filling with patching paste. This paste is gelcoat which has been thickened
to a putty consistency. It comes in the standard gelcoat colours but should
be tested against the fading of the boat. Gouges may need to be filled
with a plastic auto body putty and then sprayed with gelcoat. Any major
damage should be professionally repaired since the application is quite
5. It is a good idea to keep the boat covered when not in use to protect
C: BOTTOM PAINT
1. The smoothness of the bottom is just as important as is the the
cut of the sails. If the bottom paint is in good shape then scrub the bottom
prior to racing to remove any trace of growth. The difference is running
with the pac or just pointing a little above them.
2. If your doing a bottom job, be sure to carefully read the directions
for the paint you have selected. Different geographical locations will
require different anti fowling performances. Check with other boat owners
in your area.
3. The bottom must be thoroughly sanded and etched before being painted
to assure removal of all wax, dirt, and film and to assure excellent mechanical
D: DECK HARDWARE
1. It is very important that all deck hardware be kept clean . it is
made of either anodized aluminum, stainless steel or chrome plated brass,
and can be cleaned with either metal or chrome polishes. A coat of wax
after polishing will provide a protective coating. Again, stay away from
abrasive materials that would scratch the surface.
2. The chain plates should receive an annual inspection. The holes
where the clevis pins are installed should be checked to be sure there
has been no elongation. The chain plate covers should be removed to check
for any electrolysis that may be occurring underneath them. If any cracking
or fatiguing is detected, the chain pates should be replaced. Be sure to
reinstall the chain plate covers with bedding material such as silicone
RTV or Dolphinite to prevent leaking.
3. Winches require regular cleaning and oiling with a light weight
lubricant on the pawls and springs. Use a good quality grease on the gears
E: DECK LINES
1. All lines especially in salt water should be soaked periodically
in a bucket of fresh water to remove all salt. This will keep them more
2. Keep your lines stored in a dry area to prevent mildewing.
3. The ends should be properly whipped to prevent fraying.
4. Check the lines when you go out to detect any fraying before the
line breaks. A new $15.00 line is a lot less than repair to the boat
1. All of the woodwork on the Santana 525 , with the exception of the
tiller , is teak. This is a low maintenance wood but should not be ignored.
If ignored, it will check and crack.
2. The interior woodwork should receive a good oiling at least once
a year. We recommend Watco Teak Oil.
3. The exterior teak should be oiled every three months or so. It should
be sanded first to remove all dirt and salt. If you prefer the lighter
appearance of teak, use Teak Brite. It cleans the teak and polishes it
to a lighter color. If you prefer darker more natural look, use teak oil
such as Watco.
4 The tiller is oak and requires regular varnishing. An un-varnished
tiller will crack and weaken substantially. It is a good idea to cover
the tiller when not in use to protect it from the UV rays and from
G: LIFELINES AND STANCHIONS
1. The plastic coating is best cleaned with paint thinner applied to
2. The stems should be cleaned with a polish.
3. Check the bases and all other mechanical fastenings for water leaks.
1. The rudder has a stainless steel post and backbone and is made of
high density polyurethane foam with a fiberglass covering. When the boat
is out of the water, the rudder should be covered with a light colored
towel or white paper to prevent it from absorbing too much heat when exposed
to direct sun light. The heat can cause the foam to expand and crack the
outside covering or can cause large blisters to form on the surface.