Boating is essentially a cleaning and maintenance activity. Gelcoats lose their luster and crack. Decks are stained with rust and bird droppings. The cabin is a dank grotto on the driest day. Every boater wants his or her craft to be a thing of beauty and a pleasure to inhabit. But cleaning and maintenance is more than simply cosmetic on the water. Quite a few boats have been lost to grease fires and clogged bilge pumps. Routine maintenance prevents most problems and detects others early on. Every boat owner has also been faced with a bewildering array of products in a marine store, most with uninformative labels and breathtaking price tags. Boat Maintenance is a comprehensive survey of every conceivable cleaning, cosmetic, and routine maintenance project on a boat, and the best products and methods for tackling them. The book does not address maintenance in the sense of rebuilding a winch or a diesel. Rather it covers the general care of a boat, where cleaning and maintenance overlap–removing stains from the deck, inspecting and protecting standing rigging, restoring teak, cleaning the bilge. It is ongoing maintenance of this sort that devours the most of a boaters time and has filled the shelves of marine stores with competing and conflicting products.