Top 5 Tips for Boat Detailing - Beyond the Foam Flooring

Boat detailing can be challenging due to the gel coating applied by the manufacturing company on its exterior. Manufacturers apply gel coating to make the surface smooth and weather resistant. However, the gel coating gets faded and discolored due to sun exposure, pollution, corrosion, and organic buildups. So, boat detailing professionals and DIYers need to follow proper steps while detailing a boat from the foam flooring to the exterior surfaces.

Boat Cleaning

There are many techniques of professional boat detailing, but they all start with a thorough initial cleaning of the external boat surface. The first step is to wash the boat with clean water to remove all the dust and debris on its body. A garden hose with a pressure nozzle is best to wash your boat. Another way to do it is to use a pressure washer system,  as it has more cleaning power than your standard garden hose. 

To effectively wash your boat, It’s good to start at the highest point on the cabin top or flying bridge and work your way down. Move from the bow to the stern to drain the water out naturally. Use a marine-grade soap to make a soap water solution to wash the surfaces. Use a sponge or wash mitt to effectively remove all the dirt and debris while applying the soap water solution.

Use the Right Soap

It is essential to use the right soap specially made for cleaning boats. Avoid using household soaps on your boat like dishwashing detergent. Instead, use marine-grade soap for cleaning the dust and dirt from your boat. The marine soaps are also available in granular and concentrated forms.

Also, choose the right brushes for the detailing of your boat. Use a soft-bristled brush designed for cleaning boats. Never use a brush with hard bristles, as it can put scratches and swirl marks on your boat’s surface.

Buffing Your Boat

After washing your boat, dry it with a soft cloth and proceed toward the next step - buffing your boat. Use a buffing cloth or a rotary buffer to prepare the boat surface for waxing. Buffing also removes any oxidation left after washing. A rotary buffer is easy to use, and it can buff your boat faster than a manual buffer. It may take 30 to 45 minutes to buff a standard-sized boat.

Wax Your Boat

After the buffing process is finished, now it’s time to wax your boat. Always use marine wax for waxing your boat, and never use car wax. Marine waxes are specially formulated to protect boats and yachts from saltwater environments that are impossible with conventional automotive waxes. Waxing your boat with high-quality marine wax ensures that it will protect its surface from saltwater and sun for a specific period, after which you need to re-wax your boat.

Apply Ceramic Coating

The ceramic coating offers great protection to automobiles, boats, and yachts. It offers better protection against hard water, salt water, algae, oxidation, and UV radiation. Moreover, the protection duration is longer than standard polish or wax. Boat detailers use ceramic coating, especially on boats with glossy finishing. Boat Ceramic coating also offers water beading, which means the water does not “wet” or erode the boat's surface.

Interior Detailing

The interior compartments of the boat can be washed and cleaned like the exterior. Before beginning with the interior cleaning, remove all the carpets and other accessories to access all the areas covered by these things. Then wipe off the water drops with a soft cloth before beginning the cleaning process to avoid the water spots on the glass or seats.

Deep Clean Seats and Compartments

If you clean your seats regularly, you can clean them with a vacuum cleaner. However, if you have not cleaned them for a few months, you need to wash the seats and compartments for a thorough cleaning. After washing, you can wipe them with a sponge or soft cloth and leave them for drying before waxing or polishing.

Waxing the Interiors

Like the exterior surfaces, use a high-quality marine wax coating to wax the interior surfaces. Use a soft sponge for waxing the interiors to avoid any lines or scratches.

A complete Inspection

Boat detailing is incomplete without a thorough inspection from the co-captain (wife, husband, partner, friend). Inspect all the surfaces carefully and the interior seats and compartments. Make sure the seals on your boat are not cracked or damaged due to sun exposure or wave impacts. If a seal is broken or cracked, you can seal it using a sealing product or replace it with a new seal.

Once the inspection is complete and everything is fine, you can take your boat for a ride in complete confidence and pride. You have a boat that outshines the rest!

To Sum it All Up

If the steps of boat detailing seem challenging, you can hire a boat detailer to get it done for you. Even detailing and cleaning your foam flooring. We know many great detailers if you want our recommendation.

Following the steps in this post can help boat owners and professionals to enhance the looks and performance of a boat.

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DEKit Fort Myers is not only committed to offering the highest-quality boat flooring products for boat owners, but we also enjoy sharing a few tips for the ultimate in boat maintenance and satisfaction. 

We are here to help answer your questions and offer guidance on selecting the best boat flooring and marine decking options.

Contact us today for more information at 239.851.6030.

April 02, 2022 — John TenBrink