Boat Detailing 101: What You Need to Know

You’ve always wanted to be a boat owner, and your dream finally came true! You’ve docked your new baby at the marina, and now you’re wondering what exactly you need to do to keep it shiny and clean.

Heading to the marine supply store is likely going to overwhelm you. You will see aisles and aisles of specialised cleaners. It seems like every surface on your boat requires a particular type of cleaner, many of which may have a hefty price tag. Do you really need every cleaner? And should you even try this yourself?

Don’t panic! We’re here to give you the information you need to know about keeping your boat clean and detailed if you choose to do it yourself.

What is Boat Detailing?

Just like there is a difference between cleaning and detailing your car, the same goes for your boat. When you clean your boat, you’re using soap, working it up to a nice lather, then rinsing it off. Detailing, on the other hand, means you are giving it a deep clean, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies, finishing off with a nice coat of wax to seal it in.

Supplies You Need for DIY Boat Detailing

Here are some of the supplies you will need when detailing your boat.

  • Long Garden Hose – White garden hoses used for potable drinking water are the choice of most boaters. You’re going to need these hoses to fill your tanks, so it makes sense only to have to deal with one hose. They can be found in marine supply stores, but you may be able to save some money picking one up at an RV supply store.
  • Spray Nozzle – Most spray nozzles that you find in a garden centre will corrode quickly in saltwater, so look for a sturdy plastic one.
  • Soap – Keep in mind that the soap you use will be washing off into the water. So using an environmentally friendly, biodegradable soap is essential, and it works just as well as regular soap.
  • Long-Handled Brush – You can choose between a fixed length handle or an extendable version. Many have snap-on heads that allow you to attach other accessories such as different cleaning brushes, mop heads, hooks, fishing nets, etc.
  • Wax – Paste wax is the best choice, but it can be challenging to use. If you need to restore shine to a dull gel coat, you’ll want to turn to compounds that include grit to give you the shine you’re looking for. You may also want to invest in a power buffer or polisher to save you time and get professional-looking results.
  • A Towel or Chamois – Use a highly absorbent towel or chamois to dry your boat after you wash it for a streak-free finish.

How to Detail Your Boat

Now it’s time to get down to business. Here are the steps you should take to make your boat look new again.

  • Rinse your boat from top to bottom to remove loose dirt.
  • Fill a bucket with soapy water and wash small areas at a time, rinsing as you go.
  • When you do a final rinse, remove the nozzle to help avoid beading and water spots.
  • Use a towel or a chamois to completely dry where you washed. Use this time to inspect the boat’s surface as you dry it.
  • Buff the surface to prep it for waxing or sealing.
  • Wax the boat per the directions on the product.
  • Wash the windows and the windshield.
  • Vacuum the floors and seats.
  • Scrub teak and nonskid flooring with a stiff brush.
  • Polish chrome railings, horns, ladders, etc.
  • Apply vinyl cleaner with a UV blocker to all vinyl seats
  • Clean the instrument gauges.
  • If you use a canvas cover for your boat, scrub the underside of the canvas to prevent mildew and mould.

When You Should Turn to the Professionals

Extensively detailing your boat can be a lot of work and will take at least a few hours to complete. If you have the time, tools, energy, and desire, detailing your boat on your own can be rewarding. However, if you just want your boat clean and shiny again and you don’t have the time, but have the extra money, dealers, boatyards, and mobile services provide professional boat detailing services.

Trust Your Boat’s Appearance to Corleone Marinas

Keeping your boat clean and detailed is key to improving its appearance and adding to its longevity. And while it’s not hard to detail your boat, it can be time-consuming, so it may be something you want to leave to the professionals.

The shipwrights and marine mechanics at Corleone Marinas provide a full range of services, including antifouling, boat detailing, hull, deck, and topside repairs, and diagnosis and repair maintenance of all marine engines.

Corleone Marinas has four marinas in Sydney Harbour located in Balmain, Drummoyne, Elizabeth Bay, and Long Island. Not only does Corleone Marinas provide luxury and convenience at each location, but each marina is managed by some of the best, most experienced individuals in the industry.

Contact us today if you’d like to see one of our stunning marinas. We’d love to hear from you.

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