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Boat Detailing: All the vital information you need to know revealed! 

Boat Detailing: All the vital information you need to know revealed!  2

After using your boat for a long while, you will start to notice some changes. The color begins to fade, contaminants from the water will stay glued to the body like a leech among other undesirable things you don’t want to see on your boat. 

When all these and more happen, it means you need to do what is known as boat detailing to make it look brand new just like when you first bought it. 

Boat Detailing


Doing Boat detailing for the first time can be a job considering ecological factors like water (freshwater or saltwater), wind, and other climate components in the consideration, assurance, and cleaning of your boat.

In this piece, we shall be sharing what boat detailing is, the purpose of boat detailing, the purpose, and how you can go about it without any complications whatsoever. So if you have been wondering how you can make your boat look brand new, you have come to the right place. 

What is Boat Detailing 

It’s the process of restoring the bare surfaces of the boat to work on their appearance. The process in some cases has to do with cleaning, waxing, sanding, cleaning, and painting different spaces of the vessel.


Boat Detailing: All the vital information you need to know revealed!  3

 The activities performed during the exercise varies since boat surfaces are produced using different materials like fiberglass, gel coats, hardened steel, material, and mahogany wood. The outcome of this cycle is that the surfaces are perfect, smoothed, and renovated with a new and elegant look.

Benefits of Boats Detailing 

  • Boat detailing improves the appearance of the boat
  • It also extends its usable life. 
  • Due to environmental changes and UV radiation, the furnishing on the surface of the boat starts to recede and wear off over time. Metal elements and surfaces can deteriorate as well and this will most likely take a negative effect on the performance of the boat. However, With boat detailing, the surfaces are renovated, and this improves their resilience to severe environments.

How to do Boat Detailing 


  • Rinsing 

Use a sprinkle of clean water to wipe out any dirt or loose debris from the surface. Go from the top of your boat and work your way down until you get to the base. This is just to remove the loose bits of dirt that are on the surface of the boat, this won’t give it a comprehensive clean.


  • Soaping 

After removing the loose pieces of grimes and debris, then you will have to work on the more stubborn dirt on the outer surface of the boat. With the use of a specially-made liquid boat formula, scrub the outside of the boat to peel off the dirt. Make sure you don’t allow the soap to dry on the boat surface because you will be at risk of destroying the finish and leaving horrible stripes on it. 

As you soap small spots at a time, rinse the soap off immediately before moving onto the next spot on the boat. You will also need to apply protective treatments later, but the quality of that protection will depend on how well you cleaned your boat. 


  • Waxing 

Using a wax that’s compatible with the brand of cleaner you applied, rub the boat with a substantial amount of pressure, ensuring that you spread it evenly. As you do this, you should notice a slight change of color as you add the wax to the surface of the boat. Do a little at a time and then remove it after a short while to dry. If you’re working in hot climatic conditions, you’ll need to peel off the wax sooner than usual.


  • Interior Cleaning 

This is another vital part of your boat detailing process. Exterior detailing is only the first part of the operation. You still have to address the inner part of the boat.  Use a cleaner that will work on numerous surfaces. The cleaner that you pick should do a terrific job of cutting through filth and dirt but mild enough so that it doesn’t damage any of the interior areas. Any metal appliances in an interior can be cleaned and polished with the use of metal polish. In order to keep the metal surfaces shiny, you can add a coat of wax to them, as well. 



  • Finishing 

After going through the first four steps, your boat will definitely look like a brand new one but there is still one more step to go and it is as important as the others. 

You need to apply Apply protectants to any boat areas that will most likely have direct contact with the sun. For example, you can use aerospace protectants to coat plastic, rubber, and vinyl surfaces while  Gel coat surfaces can be cleaned up with a speed detailer. You should also use a special protectant on fabric surfaces to protect them from mold, mildew, and vapor.


Boat Detailing Products

Using the right product will make your boat detailing procedure easier and you will get your desired result. There is quite a handful of boat detailing products but here are some of the most important ones that should be in your toolbox: 

  • A blower or vacuum for carpets or debris removal;
  • Degreasers and cleaners;
  • Waxes and polishes;
  • Gel coat protectant (fiberglass boats);
  • Stain removers;
  • Water spot removers or power washers (optional)
  • Microfiber towels and/or chamois cloths;
  • Brushes and applicators for various surfaces and cleaning needs;
  • Mops and sponges;
  • Waxing and polishing tools or Clothes

Boat Detailing Tips

You will do your boat a lot of good if you follow these steps religiously:

  • Cover boat for long period storage, preferably with shrink-wrap, which provides better safety, it lessens chafe and keeps the boat appreciably cleaner;
  • Read the application and first aid instructions on the back label before using any product. 
  • When doing boat detailing in a mooring or a slip, ensure to use a biodegradable, environmentally friendly soap;
  • Begin rinsing and cleaning at the highest point and work your way down;
  • When cleaning a dusty boat, use a second large bucket filled with clean water to rinse the wash mitt or brush often to eliminate grime and dirt;
  • Lessen soapsuds so you can see what you’re cleaning;
  • For the final rinse, remove the hose nozzle and reduce the water pressure so water sheets rather than beads on the surface;
  • Dry surfaces after rain or heavy dew;
  • Shake product bottles vigorously for a few seconds before opening;
  • Apply rubbing compounds in a back-and-forth motion. Add polish or wax in a circular motion;
  • Apply polish to everything onboard, including painted finishes, metals, and plastics, for a shiny, easy-to-clean protective layer.

How often should one do Boat detailing

Try as much as possible to at least rinse and dry a boat after each outing, particularly if you’re in the saltwater area, and make sure you keep the vessel on a trailer. 


You don’t have to make use of soap each time because it could break down any wax you applied. A wax job should last for three to six months, and a high-quality paint sealant could protect the boat for a year or so. The other cleaning procedures can be done if the need arises. 

Cost of Boat Detailing 

It depends on your location and how much you can afford to pay for a quality job. A professional boat detailer will charge between $15-$40 per foot depending on the size, condition and quality of service to be rendered. 

Read about Bayliner Deck Boats here 


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