Some people may find the question ‘will rain hurt my bass boat?’ a bit funny owing to the fact that boats are supposed to get wet; they are made for staying in the water. But in reality, letting your bass boat get all soaked in water on a rainy day is bad news.
If you live in a place that receives heavy rainfall throughout the year, then your bass boat might be susceptible to damage.
Why and to what extent can rain affect your bass boat? What measures do you need to take during the rainy season? Read on to find out the details.
Rainfall And Bass Boats
Bass boats are commonly made of fiberglass and have unique carpeted interiors to provide fishermen with a more stable and comfortable platform.
Like all boats, bass boats can handle water that splashes in from the sides, the water that comes on board when you reel in a fish or climb in your boat with wet boots.
All this makes the carpet a little wet, which can easily air dry within a short period of time. The real trouble sets in during a heavy pour or even a few minutes of constant rain. But you can always leave the boat to dry off in the wind or out in the sun, right? Nope.
Your bass boat needs special attention after the rain, or you would be facing some undesirable consequences, including making your boat’s value go downhill faster than usual.
Why Is Rain Harmful?
Everything wears out over time. So does a boat. Since bass boats are made of fiberglass or aluminum, they are prone to damage from water. Fiberglass goes through water ingress, osmosis, and delamination on repeated water exposure.
On the other hand, aluminum is prone to galvanic corrosion. This type of damage can be prevented by maintaining your boat well. But if your boat faces heavy rainfalls frequently, the rate of water damage increases dramatically.
Since fiberglass is not completely waterproof, some water droplets penetrate the gel coat, the resin, and fiberglass mat and reach inside the laminate. The water droplets react with water-soluble chemical molecules, like emulsion binders, and become large acidic higher concentrate molecules.
These large molecules become trapped within the laminate. These higher concentrate acidic molecules attract lower concentrate water molecules, which builds up pressure that leads to blister formation. Blisters can expand over time and ultimately result in cracking and breakage of fiberglass hulls.
In the case of aluminum boats, a layer of paint keeps the aluminum safe from corrosion. But, rain can peel off the boat’s paint, which exposes aluminum alloy beneath, making it prone to corrosion.
When dealing with rain, you need to know several dos and don’ts when taking care of your bass boat.
Don’t Let Your Bass Boat Stay Wet
Leaving your boat all by itself after it got soaked in rainwater is the worst thing you can do to your boat. The next day you would find some grayish-white or gray-green fuzz on the carpet, which is mildew(a fungus), and the mold( fungi again) will be sitting right beneath, inside the carpet as it tends to dig into deeper layers.
Plus, your boat will have some unpleasant musty smell, too, thanks to Mr. and Mrs. fungi. Fungi can grow on the boat’s carpet within 24 hours because all they need is some damp, dimly lit, warm environment to grow, and that’s what a carpet becomes after staying in the rain.
So if rain has made its way to your bass boat by any chance, make sure you bring it indoors to dry it yourself.
Don’t Sun Dry Your Bass Boat
A bass boat should never be dried in the sun if it got soaked. Why? Because the fiberglass hull of bass boats is sensitive to ultraviolet rays in the sun. UV rays can remove the shine from the gel coat top layer of fiberglass and make it look faded or discolored.
Moreover, UV rays cause mechanical damage to the fiberglass, making it look gritty in texture.UV rays oxidize the fiberglass, which results in ‘Fiber Blooming.’
The fibers that bind the fiberglass together become exposed to the surface, so a grainy, brittle surface replaces the fiberglass surface’s smooth glossy appearance.
Therefore, it’s necessary to store your boat away from the sunlight.
What to Do After a Rainfall?
So it rained unexpectedly for almost two hours, and your boat got entirely drenched. Now that the rain has stopped, you need to follow a few steps to clean and dry your boat.
The first step is to open the drain plugs and empty your vessel.
Secondly, remove any fallen leaves or sticks that may have blown into the boat with the wind. Make sure all the drains are clean and free of debris. Next, wipe the hull dry with a towel making sure you leave no water droplets behind.
The third step is to open all the storage compartments, including front and rear deck lockers, livewells, rod lockers, ice chests. Check to see if any rainwater seeped in and also the console and dashboard for any damage.
Next, open the bilge and check the batteries and the wiring for water seepage (they remain dry, but no harm in just checking).
The fourth step is to dry your boat. Make sure all the hatches are left open. If you have a wet vacuum, use to suck out water from the carpet and all compartments.
But if you don’t have one, a pedestal fan can come in handy. Although it may take quite a while, just place the fan to face your boat and let it do its job to dry the interior. When the boat is completely dry, don’t forget to close the drains.
Preventing Rain Damage
As per the saying, prevention is better than cure, it is always a good idea to prevent damage from taking place, rather than letting it happen and then deal with it. The first step to preventing damage is protection. Here are a few ways you can protect your boat:
Keep It Indoors
Do you want to save your boat from rain? Easy. Just hide it from the rain. Keep it indoors, the best storage place being your garage.
What if you don’t have a garage that is big enough to keep your bass boat? You can always keep your boat outside with the trailer by covering it with a mooring cover and a tarp.
Ventilate Your Boat
To avoid stale air build up in the covered boat, do install a ventilating system. Any cowl style vent or solar vent is good enough.
Wax Your Boat
Applying a wax layer to your boat twice a year not only makes your bass boat shine, but it also acts as a barrier to keep other stuff from adhering to your boat’s surface. So waxing your boat protects it from the damage caused by water and ultraviolet rays.
I am sure you have come across the line, ‘store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight’ when using everyday items. Well, the same instruction goes for your fishing vessel. It’s always easier to add just a little more effort in cleaning and storing your boat properly than watching it getting towed and repaired.