Boat Detailing Like a Pro: The Complete Guide to a Spotless Boat

How to detail a boat

Every year, there are nearly 300,000 new boats built and sold.  

The boating industry has remained popular in the United States for decades. If properly maintained, your boat will look great and last a long time. 

One aspect of proper maintenance is boat detailing. Boats get dirty all the time. They get dust from the road, mud from the shore, and grime that builds up over regular use. Depending on where you are, your boat may get salt and lime build up as well. 

Boat Detailing

When you detail a boat, you’re going to get all that dirt, mud, debris, and grime off of the boat. A few things that will make your boat detailing job easier will be a power washer, good cleaner, and a good chamois that will make the hull of your boat shine.

If you don’t have a power washer, a good hose nozzle for cleaning a boat will work just fine. You can’t skimp on the cleaner though. It’s going to have a lot of work ahead. 

Whats the best way to clean a boat

1. Start With the Rinse

This is where a good nozzle or power washer comes in handy. You need to make sure to rinse the boat down, blasting away any of the grime that has built up on the outside. Good boat detailing starts with making sure that the hull of your boat is ready for cleaning. 

2. It’s Time to Soap and Scrub 

The next step you are going to take is to soap down the hull of the boat and scrub it. Make sure that you use a good soap made for boat hulls. This will help you get through the built-up layer of grime that accumulates on the outside of your boat. 

A great brush will make a huge difference in getting your boat detailing done right. As good as water and cleaners are, nothing replaces a good scrubbing. At this point, your boat should look immaculate. Between the water, chemicals, and scrubbing, the exterior will have been completely cleared. 


3. The Wipe Down 

Once the boat has been soaped, scrubbed, and cleaned, it is time to wipe it down. The goal here is to buff the outside. Some people use powered cleaners, but your elbow grease is all that is required to get this step done. Once the boat has been wiped down and buffed, you are ready to go to the next step. 

4. Marine Polish and Wax 

To make the outside of your boat really shine, it’s time to get some marine polish and wax. This will make your boat shine like brand new again. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when applying the wax and make sure you get a nice even layer. 

How to clean the inside of a boat

5. Move It to the Inside 

The outside of your boat needs to be cleaned regularly, but the inside is where you need to put a lot of time. Boats get wet all the time. It’s their job. That water can cause mildew and mold to grow on upholstery and vinyl. 

Use a good mildew stain remover to get your interior looking great again. Once you get all the mildew, mold and grime scrubbed out of the inside, make sure to vacuum the interior. Remember that polish and wax doesn’t just happen on the outside of the boat. Once you get the grime removed, go back through and make the inside of your boat shine. 

There are a lot of products for use in the interior of a boat. Depending on what is inside your boat, you may need upholstery brushes or other specialized tools. If you are serious about keeping your boat beautiful and clean, make sure that you invest in some task-specific tools to help. 

6. The Final Inspection

Once you have finished, go back over the boat. Look for any spots that were missed or anything that doesn’t seem as clean as the rest of the boat. Take time here to make sure and polish and spot clean anything that needs it. 

This is the final step before you cover your boat. A boat cover will help to keep your boat clean, but it will also protect it. The sun breaks down the interior of a boat over time, and keeping it covered will greatly extend the life of your boat. Even marine vinyl can be damaged by the sun. 

Using the Right Tools

Using the right tools will cut down on the time you spend on boat detailing. In the end, they’re a big convenience to have. Boats can be made of a lot of different materials. If you have a wood hull, you will need different supplies and chemicals. 

No matter what kind of boat you have, the first few times you detail your boat expect to spend a lot of time. Work out a routine for yourself that helps you to get the job done in an efficient manner. Once you improve your routine and get used to detailing with all the chemicals and tools, the amount of time you spend detailing your boat will decrease. 

The Cost of Having It Cleaned

If you choose to have a professional clean your boat, you will likely spend hundreds of dollars on the boat detailing. Doing it yourself will not only save you money, but it will give you time to go over your boat carefully. You can spot any damage that needs repaired and even do safety checks on your boat. 

How to extend the life of your boat

Boat Detailing Is Necessary for the Life of Your Boat

Keeping a boat clean and waxed is essential to the longevity of your boat. Going out for a day on the water in a dirty boat is not a fun time. Don’t risk the damage that comes with not having a boat that is waxed and polished. Proper boat detailing will keep your boat looking nice, and your family happy for years to come. 

For any of the products you have seen, turn to The Better Boat. We sell only high-quality boat products that will make your job a lot easier.

Contact us today to find out what boat care products we can offer you.

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