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Detailing Tips: Boat Detailing 101

Your boat is subjected to harsh conditions daily. Over time, these conditions can dull fiberglass, cause paint to fade, and cause the shine of the metal dim. Boat detailing can help protect your boat from being damaged by these conditions.  It’s even more important to detail your boat heading into spring after having stored your boat for the winter. In this article, we’ll walk you through boat detailing: how to detail your boat, what to avoid, and where to find mobile detailing.

What You’ll Need

  • Two Large Buckets
  • Sponge or Wash Mitt
  • Applicator Pads
  • Microfiber Cloths
  • Boat Soap
  • Rubbing Compound
  • Safety Equipment – gloves, goggles, protective clothing)
  • Hose with Plastic Nozzle
  • Electric Buffer (Optional)
  • Absorber
  • Wax
  • Polish
  • Sealer
  • Spray Wax
  • One Soft Brush
  • One Medium Stiff Brush
  • Squeegee
  • Cheap Bristle Paint Brushes or Foam Roller
  • Glaze (Optional)

1) Rinse and Wash Your Boat Thoroughly

The first step in boat detailing is rinsing your boat thoroughly to remove any loose grit and grime from the surface. Start at the highest point on the flying bridge or cabin top and work your way down, taking care to move from the bow to the stern to ensure the water drains out naturally. Fill a bucket with the appropriate amount of soap/water solution and wash the surfaces of your boat using the wash mitt, sponge, or brush, again moving from top to bottom. Be sure to rinse your sponge, wash mitt, or brush in the bucket frequently to ensure you aren’t just pushing around the dirt.

Don’t let any soap dry on the surface of your boat during this process. This can be done by keeping your hose nearby to rinse frequently with water. For the final rinse, remove the nozzle from your hose, allowing the water to fall off the surface in sheets. The less water you use, the faster it will dry. Be sure not to scrub too hard as it forces contaminants into the surface, scratching the finish. Let the cleaning products do the hard work for you.

2) Choosing the Right Soap

It’s essential that you use boat soap and only boat soap when detailing your boat. Avoid using household soaps on your boat. They may seem to be effective, but they can damage the gel coat if left to dry on the surface. You can get soaps in granular form or in concentrated form. For your first cleaning after winter, you’ll want the stronger soap, but dilute it for regular cleanings.

3) Choosing the Right Brushes

You’re going to need a variety of brushes to take on the job of detailing your boat. These should be high-quality brushes. You’ll likely need two types of brushes: soft bristles for cleaning gel coat and painted topsides and stiff bristles for cleaning canvas, cushions, teak, non-skid decks, and scrubbing waterline stains. If your boat has windows, you’ll also need one with very soft bristles to clean those.

4) Having a Spot-Free Finish

Don’t fall for the lie that allowing your boat to air dry is sufficient. If you don’t want all your hard work to be ruined by spots, dry your boat like professional detailers. Using a PVA cloth (absorber) or a squeegee, wipe down all the surfaces of your boat to get a spot- and streak-free finish.

5) Finish Off with Wax

You should always finish off your boat detailing with a coat of wax. Not only does this look better, but it also protects the finish on your boat and your paint. It’s an incredibly important step that far too many people skip. Polishing and waxing your boat is essential to maintaining all the hard work you put into detailing it.

What If Boat Detailing Sounds Like Too Much for You?

Boat detailing is quite the undertaking for the average person. If you found this article to be stressful and the described task too daunting, call Mobile Detailing Pros today to handle all your boat detailing needs. We offer extremely convenient, effective, and reliable services at a reasonable price. You can count on our expert technicians to detail your boat with care. Our mobile boat detailing services make it so your boat doesn’t even have to leave the docks! We’ll come wherever you request at your convenience and expertly detail your boat.

Boat detailing can be a difficult and tedious task to undertake yourself, but it’s not impossible. If you find it to be too much for you, book an appointment with Mobile Detailing Pros for their convenient, expert mobile boat detailing services. Protect your investment and resale value with regular boat detailing services.


1 thought on “Detailing Tips: Boat Detailing 101

  1. I thought it was interesting when you explained that boat owners can protect the finish of their vessel by coating it with a layer of wax. In addition to that, I would think that it would be a good idea to have a cover to place over it when it isn’t being used. That way the interior can be protected by the harmful rays that come from the sun.

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