Nowadays we can have a fortune tied up in electronics on our watercraft and I came on some sound tips for cleaning valuable marine electronics recently that I thought I would pass on to you folks who have a need for such.
Whether it’s a portable fishfinder, color Thin-Film-Transistor (TFT) stereo display, or a large multi-function display, with touchscreens and rubberized buttons are as commonplace on boats as they are on any of our other computers. Over time weather elements, saltwater or freshwater spray, grime, fish slime, catfish bait, and fingerprints can make the displays look shabby, make them hard to see and read, and may lead to premature deterioration of displays. Shurhold, who makes all kind of cleaners for our boats, RV’s, and automobiles has come out with a clean and simple tip, and products, for detailing these valuable electronics.
The first step is to power-down the devices. This will avoid unintentionally changing a setting. It’s also a good time to check the manufacturer’s manual before you start to see if they recommend any specific cleaning or maintenance routines. In other words read the manual.
We all learned in school that the most perfect solvent is water so if almost anything needs cleaning you can hardly go wrong by starting with water. If your electronics are all-weather rated, a light misting of water will remove dirt, scum, and salt residue; never use a hose with full pressure because it may damage seals and cause moisture to be forced into areas that can damage or even ruin electrical components. After a light spray of water use a synthetic PVA chamois to wipe the surface clean and remove any contaminates left on the equipment or stains from water drops before they dry on the screens. For large dashes on your boat work from the top down and in sections, the key is to dry the devices quickly before water spots form.
Next, lightly spray the area with a high-quality, one-step detailing product like Shurhold’s Serious Shine with a strong emphasis on “lightly.” It doesn’t take much and this quick spray product will clean, polish and protect almost any surface, without leaving an oily, artificial residue. It contains UV inhibitors and anti-fingerprint/anti-static properties. It’s perfect for touchscreens, glass, frames, buttons, chrome, gauges, fiberglass, and even Isinglass on control centers or dashes on your boat.
After spraying lightly buff the surface with Serious Shine and a clean microfiber towel. Then, flip the towel to its dry side and lightly polish everything to a high sheen. Screens will be clean and the surrounding accents gleaming like new and they will all be better protected. If you want to see how it works a video of the entire process is available from Surhold at bit.ly/2dOiCRs.
From what I have seen Shurhold Industries’ PVA Towel costs $16.98; a 14 oz. aerosol can of Serious Shine runs $17.98; a 3-variety pack of Microfiber Towels is $18.98. I think it is a good investment toward maintaining the ever expanding high tech electronic equipment on my boats. I use it primarily to clean my fish finder and the entire dash, gauges and switches. I also include my steering wheel when I get into a cleaning frenzy.
Larry J. LeBlanc – CLM Contributing Writer
Photography by Larry J. LeBlanc