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Understanding the Significance of a Boat’s Beam

A boat seen from above cruises on the open ocean with dark blue water.

When it comes to understanding the anatomy of a boat, the term “beam” is often mentioned. But what exactly does it refer to, and why is it significant? In this blog, we’ll delve into the concept of a boat’s beam, its purpose, and why it holds such importance in the world of boating.

What is a Boat’s Beam?

In nautical terminology, the beam of a boat refers to its maximum width at its widest point. Essentially, it’s the measurement across the boat’s hull, from one side to the other, at its broadest part. While length is typically measured from the bow (front) to the stern (back) of the boat, the beam is measured perpendicular to the boat’s length, providing a crucial dimension for understanding its overall size and stability.

What Part Does a Boat’s Beam Play?

The beam of a boat serves several essential purposes:


The wider the beam, the greater the stability of the boat. A wider beam means a larger footprint in the water, which translates to improved stability, especially in rough seas or adverse weather conditions. This stability is essential for ensuring a comfortable and safe boating experience for passengers and crew alike.

Interior Space

The beam of a boat directly impacts its interior space and layout. A wider beam allows for more expansive cabins, saloons, and deck areas, providing greater comfort and convenience for those on board. It also enables the inclusion of amenities such as galley kitchens, bathrooms, and sleeping quarters without compromising on space.

Carrying Capacity

The beam of a boat influences its carrying capacity and buoyancy. A wider beam allows for increased weight-bearing capacity and buoyancy, making it possible to carry more passengers, cargo, or equipment without compromising on performance or safety.


The beam-to-length ratio of a boat is a critical factor in determining its seaworthiness. While a wider beam generally enhances stability, it’s essential to strike a balance between stability and maneuverability to ensure the boat handles well in various conditions, from calm waters to heavy seas.

Why Understanding the Beam of a Boat is Important

Understanding the beam of a boat is crucial for several reasons:

  • Safety: A properly proportioned beam is essential for maintaining stability and preventing capsizing or swaying, particularly in adverse weather or sea conditions.
  • Comfort: A wider beam provides more interior space and stability, resulting in a more comfortable and enjoyable boating experience for passengers and crew.
  • Performance: The beam-to-length ratio impacts a boat’s performance, including its speed, maneuverability, and handling characteristics. By optimizing the beam, boat designers can achieve the desired balance of stability and performance for a given vessel.

The Long and the Short of it

The beam of a boat plays a fundamental role in its design, stability, and performance on the water. From ensuring safety and comfort to influencing carrying capacity and seaworthiness, the beam is a critical dimension that boat owners, designers, and enthusiasts must understand. By appreciating the significance of boat beam, boaters can make informed decisions when selecting, operating, and enjoying their vessels, ultimately enhancing their overall boating experience.

When it comes to keeping your boat clean, look to Captains Preferred Products boat cleaning supplies. Find everything you need to keep your vessel squeaky clean all season — always at the best prices.

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Beginner’s Guide to Waxing Your Boat & Protecting Your Investment

A man kneels on a boat deck to wax the boat's surface.

Maintaining your boat isn’t just about keeping it clean – it’s about preserving its integrity and ensuring it remains seaworthy for years to come. One essential aspect of boat maintenance that often gets overlooked is waxing. Waxing your boat not only enhances its appearance but also provides protection against the harsh marine environment. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of waxing your boat, including why it’s important, the products you’ll need, and the steps to achieve a professional finish.

Why Wax Your Boat?

Waxing your boat serves several critical purposes:

  • Protection from the Elements: The marine environment exposes your boat to UV rays, saltwater, pollutants, and harsh weather conditions. Wax acts as a protective barrier, shielding the gel coat from damage caused by oxidation, fading, and corrosion.
  • Enhanced Appearance: A well-waxed boat shines with a deep luster that not only looks impressive but also reflects your pride of ownership. Waxing removes oxidation and restores the glossy finish, making your boat stand out on the water.
  • Ease of Cleaning: A waxed surface repels dirt, grime, and salt deposits, making it easier to clean and maintain your boat between waxing sessions. It also prevents stains from penetrating the gel coat, ensuring a pristine appearance.

Products You’ll Need

Before you begin waxing your boat, gather the following supplies:

  • Marine Wax: Choose a high-quality marine-grade wax specifically formulated for fiberglass or gel coat surfaces. Look for products that offer UV protection and long-lasting durability.
  • Microfiber Applicator Pads: These soft, non-abrasive pads are ideal for applying wax evenly and avoiding swirl marks or scratches on the boat’s surface. We recommend these wax applicator pads from Captains Preferred Products.
  • Cleaner or Compound (Optional): If your boat has heavy oxidation or stubborn stains, you may need to use a cleaner or compound before waxing to restore the surface.
  • Polishing Machine (Optional): For larger boats or to expedite the waxing process, consider using a dual-action or rotary polishing machine with a soft foam pad attachment.
  • Clean Microfiber Towels: These are essential for buffing and removing excess wax residue to reveal a smooth, glossy finish.

How to Wax Your Boat in x Steps

Follow these steps to wax your boat effectively:

  1. Clean the Surface

Thoroughly wash your boat with a mild boat cleaner and water to remove dirt, salt, and debris. Rinse the surface and allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

  1. Inspect for Damage

Take this opportunity to inspect the boat’s surface for any signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or gel coat blistering. Address any repairs before waxing.

  1. Apply Cleaner or Compound (If Needed)

If your boat has oxidation or stubborn stains, apply a cleaner or compound using a clean applicator pad. Work in small sections, following the product’s instructions, and then wipe away residue with a clean microfiber towel.

  1. Apply Wax

Shake the wax bottle well before use and apply a small amount of product onto a clean wax applicator pad. Spread the wax evenly onto the boat’s surface using circular motions, working in manageable sections.

  1. Let it Dry

Allow the wax to dry to a haze, typically for 5-10 minutes, depending on the product’s instructions and environmental conditions.

  1. Buff the Surface

Using a clean, dry microfiber towel, buff the waxed surface in circular motions, applying light pressure to remove the haze and reveal the glossy finish underneath. Repeat this process until the entire boat has been waxed.

  1. Inspect and Touch-Up

Once you’ve completed waxing your boat, inspect the surface for any missed spots or uneven application. Touch up any areas as needed for a consistent finish.

How Often Should You Wax Your Boat?

The frequency of waxing your boat depends on several factors, including environmental conditions, usage, and the type of wax used. As a general rule of thumb, most boat manufacturers recommend waxing your boat at least twice a year – once at the beginning of the boating season and again before winter storage. However, boats that are exposed to harsh conditions or frequent use may require more frequent waxing to maintain optimal protection and appearance.

Protect Your Boat with Regular Waxing

Waxing your boat isn’t just about aesthetics – it’s a crucial step in protecting your investment and ensuring its longevity on the water. By following these simple steps and using the right products, you can achieve a professional-grade finish that not only looks great but also provides durable protection against the elements. Make waxing a regular part of your boat maintenance routine, and you’ll enjoy years of smooth sailing ahead.

When it comes to keeping your boat clean, look to Captains Preferred Products boat cleaning supplies. Find everything you need to keep your vessel squeaky clean all season — always at the best prices.

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The Complete Guide to Using a Foam Cannon

How to use a foam cannon with a hose for car washing.

Foam cannons are invaluable tools for achieving a thorough and efficient wash on various surfaces, including cars, boats, and more. With their ability to produce thick, sudsy foam, foam cannons make the cleaning process easier and more effective. 

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using a foam cannon, including the steps to setting one up, how much soap to use, compatibility with garden hoses, filling instructions, and tips for maximizing foaminess.

Captains Preferred Products foam cannon for hose.
This foam cannon is designed for use with a standard garden hose.

How to Use a Foam Cannon

Foam cannons make distributing soap a breeze, and they are really fun to use! Let’s take a look at the basic steps to follow to use your foam cannon:

  1. Attach the foam cannon handle to your hose by screwing the end of the hose into the foam cannon nozzle.
  2. Fill the reservoir with water, leaving some space at the top for soap.
  3. Add the appropriate amount of car wash soap or boat cleaner to the reservoir.
  4. Adjust the foam cannon settings to achieve the desired foam thickness and spray pattern. There is usually a dial at the top of the foam cannon for this.
  5. Spray the foam onto the surface to be cleaned, starting from the top and working your way down.
  6. Allow the foam to sit for a few minutes to loosen dirt and grime.
  7. For sensitive surfaces like the body of your car, use a wet microfiber wash mitt to wipe the areas where you have applied soap. For tougher areas like tires, use a scrub brush to loosen dirt and grime.
  8. To rinse, unscrew the foam cannon reservoir section from the hose nozzle. Spray clean water over the entire surface from top to bottom. 
  9. Repeat the process if necessary for caked on dirt or heavily soiled areas.
  10. When finished with the foam cannon, disconnect it from your hose, and rinse it thoroughly with clean water.

Common Foam Cannon Questions

How Much Soap to Use in a Foam Cannon?

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the amount of soap to use. This could vary from model to model. As a general guideline, start with 1-2 ounces of car wash soap per gallon of water in the reservoir. Adjust the soap concentration as needed to achieve the desired level of foaminess.

Can You Use a Foam Cannon with a Garden Hose?

Yes, some models (like this foam cannon) are made to be used with garden hoses. These foam cannons are easy to use and hook up to a standard hose you might have at your home or dock. 

How Do You Fill a Foam Cannon?

To fill a foam cannon:

  1. Remove the reservoir (the tank part) from the foam cannon body.
  2. Fill the reservoir with water, leaving some space at the top for soap.
  3. Add the desired amount of car wash soap or boat cleaner to the reservoir.
  4. Reattach the reservoir to the foam cannon body by screwing the top back on. Make sure it’s attached securely. 
Finger pointing to a foam cannon's sud dial to make more foam.
The sud dial at the top of the foam cannon controls the amount of soap used and can be used to produce more foam.

How Do You Make a Foam Cannon More Foamy?

To maximize foaminess with a foam cannon:

  • Use a high-quality car wash or boat wash soap
  • Try adjusting the soap concentration in your foam cannon
  • Use the foam setting dial at the top of the foam cannon to adjust for more or less foam

Get Washing Today

By following these steps and tips, you can make the most of your foam cannon and achieve professional-quality results when cleaning your car, truck, boat, and more. Happy foaming!

When it comes to keeping your boat clean, look to Captains Preferred Products boat cleaning supplies. Find everything you need to keep your vessel squeaky clean all season — always at the best prices.