The Cleaning and Sanitation of Boats

May 1, 2020

Fishing charters will continue at Charter Boat Shark until or unless we are ordered to no longer do so. We believe fishing is the best way to socially distance, and we wish to continue offering this diversion. Those who call often ask if our boats in Sarasota, FL are cleaned and sanitized, and the answer is an enthusiastic yes! We were doing this before COVID-19, and will continue to do so for the health and safety of all we serve. Here are six methods on how to sanitize a boat so it remains a COVID-free zone:

  • Hot water: This is more effective for equipment than the boat itself, since it can be difficult to get water hot enough to kill viruses. Most tap water can be as hot as 130 degrees Fahrenheit, but water does not gain disinfectant properties until it reaches 140 degrees. This can be possible, but it requires extra steps that we may not have time to complete before the next charter. For this reason, hot water is usually combined with other disinfecting strategies.
  • Bleach: There is a reason bleach is flying off the shelves of most U.S. grocery stores—it works! It whitens whites and disinfects drinking receptacles, but also disinfects our boats after a charter. We have to be careful with it, though, because it can corrode fishing equipment and we do not want anyone’s fishing pole to break the minute you hook a catch. Bleach can be used as a spray on the decks and hull or as a soaking solution. It often depends on how much area we need to cover and how quickly.
  • Disinfectant wipes: Another hot commodity throughout the nation, disinfectant wipes made by Lysol and other cleaning product companies are a godsend to anyone who still works with the public. We can use them to wipe down smaller surfaces like seats, counters and even fishing equipment. If there is limited access to soap and water or hand sanitizer, crew members may also use them to disinfect their hands.
  • Potassium chloride: Often used as a water softener, it is a popular substance in the boating community to combat invasive species. It is a good cleanser because it does not corrode like bleach, and it does not take much to make an effective cleaning mix. However, it is a bit less convenient because it needs to be special ordered.
  • Flushing: Flushing bilge and water holding compartments before each charter is a good precaution. That way, there are no more germs on board than necessary.
  • Personal hygiene: Keeping boats clean is a good idea, but it will not do much good if crew members are not equally careful with themselves. All staff have access to soap and water and hand sanitizer. Those who feel compelled to do so wear masks, and we all avoid coming to work sick. It is recommended that you wash your hands after handling fish anyway, so this is yet another hygiene habit that has long been established.

Charter Boat Shark assures our customers in Sarasota, FL that we know how to sanitize a boat. We will never take offense if you ask, “Are your boats cleaned and sanitized?” because the answer is yes now, and it’s been yes always! Contact us today if you want to how fishing and social distancing work together.

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