Here is a complete guide to boat detailing, how to clean boats, boat painting, boat care and maintenance, products to use for your boat’s various needs.

Owning a boat is an absolute and exclusive joy that not all men are bestowed on, but keeping her in good shape can be quite challenging as well. Boat detailing is different from detailing other land vehicles. When the boat sails in water, it encounters multiple pollutants such as organic buildup, animal droppings, alkalinity of the water, and prolonged exposure to UV rays. A combination of these factors damages the boat’s exterior and causes a discoloration of the gel coat.

To extend the life of the boat and to maintain its appearance, boat detailing should be performed after every 6 months or so. In this article, we will explore the basics of boat detailing and how to perform it.

Equipment Needed

The following supplies are needed for cleaning a boat in detail:

  1. Tow buckets – fill one with detergent water and the other with clean water. Rinse the Wash Mitt or brush in the clean water to remove all dirt before dipping it back into soap water.
  2. A Wash Mitt for cleaning purposes. Wash Mitts are soft and non-abrasive cloths that clean the boat’s exterior without leaving any marks.
  3. A water hose with a nozzle for high-pressure spraying of water.
  4. Two types of long-handled brushes; one with stiff and the other with soft bristles.
  5. The Absorber – A highly absorbent drying towel for wiping moisture off the surface after the boat has been detailed.
  6. A paint-safe boat soap for cleaning the boat.
  7. Boat wax, sealant, applicator pads, and chrome polish.
  8. Buffing balls and buffing drills to polish chrome and other surfaces.
  9. Detailing wipes that contain cleaners and waxes for adding shine to metal structures.
  10. Microfiber cloth for cleaning the instrument panel.

After gathering the necessary equipment, it is time to detail the boat step by step.

Boat Detailing Performed Step by Step

  1. guide to boat detailingTake the hose a spray a generous amount of clean water on the boat’s exterior. Start at the highest point so that all dirt will be removed in one go. High pressure of the water will remove all embedded mud.
  2. In one bucket prepare a mixture of boat soap and water.
  3. Take a clean Wash Mitt, dip it generously in the soap water, and start cleaning the boat’s exterior surface in small sections. You can also use a soft brush for gentle scrubbing of the exterior. Rinse the small sections immediately with the hose because if the soap gets dried, it hardens and is hard to remove. Rinse from the top down.
  4. Use gentle movements while scrubbing the exterior surface, to avoid scratching the paint or embedding contaminants onto the surface.
  5. Give a final rinse after the entire exterior has been cleaned.
  6. Use The Absorber to dry the boat thoroughly. This highly absorbent towel removes all moisture and prevents watermarks as well as residues from appearing on the boat’s surface.
  7. Fix the buffing balls on the drill and buff the surface. Follow with wax or sealant.
  8. After cleaning the exterior, wash windows and windshield with a brush and dry with an absorbent cloth.
  9. Remove dust by vacuuming floors and seats.
  10. Polish the rails, horns, ladders, and cleat – all the parts made of chrome.
  11. Clean the vinyl seats with a vinyl cleaner that contains a UV blocker.
  12. With a microfiber towel, clean the instrumentation gauges.

These are the most important steps of boat detailing. To get better results, we recommend getting the help of professional detailers. Empire Auto Spa provides boat detailing and auto detailing services in Orlando, Florida. To get a free estimate of our services, call us at 407-574-8381.