We all would rather spend time enjoying our boats rather than cleaning and waxing them. With the extended boating seasons in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, more months can be enjoyed on the water than in our neighboring northern states. To keep the vessel looking beautiful and better maintain its value, its paint or gelcoat finish should be adequately maintained. The task of detailing a boat isn’t necessarily complicated, but it requires a significant amount of time. If you’re not into doing the work yourself, consider a boat detailing company.

Why should a boat be detailed?

A boat should be detailed for many reasons, but the end goal is to maintain the finish. A bright shining hull will not only have a better appearance but hold its value if it goes on the market for sale.

  1. Sun

The southeastern United States has a significant amount of sun exposure. Sun can affect the hull’s coloration, cause cracking on vinyl seating and make plastics brittle. Applying protective coatings will help reduce UV damage. 

  1. Scratching

Departing and approaching the dock can be challenging, especially when the wind and the currents are strong. Bumps and bangs against a dockage slip can lead to chips and scratches on the boat’s hull. Not only can small scratches be better avoided with a wax or a ceramic coating, but dock rash can often be buffed out with a buffer and compound. 

  1. Salt

Boating in harsh saltwater environments can impact every component of a vessel: paint, wiring, and stainless steel can all be affected by salt water. Keeping the boat waxed will help alleviate rust and keep salt from becoming embedded in soft finishes. 

  1. Washing

Just as crucial as waxing is washing. A boat should be cleaned throughout after use and especially if it was run in the saltwater.

Even without use, a boat should be washed. Whether it’s sitting in your backyard or at the marina, dirt accumulation can be hard to remove if not cleaned regularly. When the boat isn’t in use, utilize covers on seats, the engine cowling, and over the length of the craft. Using covers will save you time and help prevent dirt and sun from causing damage.

What type of equipment and supplies are needed to detail a boat?

The cost of buying the supplies and equipment can add up quickly. Weigh the cost to do it yourself versus hiring a detailing company.

  1. Hose/brush/cleaning agents

The vessel must be cleaned before applying any wax or other protective coatings for glass, vinyl, or any other. 

  1. Electric buffer

The gelcoat on the outside of the boat and the inside can be done by hand, but a buffer saves time. Also, buffing may be necessary to remove scratches with a compound that cannot be lifted by hand application. Rember the extension cords!

  1. Products

A multitude of products is needed to protect each type of finished surface. When you add them all up, it’s going to cost a pretty penny. And yes, boat soap is expensive too. 

  1. Time

Maybe one of the most important factors is time. Can you make more money in the time spent paying someone else to do the work for you? That’s a question to ask yourself.

How often should a boat be detailed?

Determining how often a boat should be detailed depends on many factors. Some of these factors include sun exposure, where it is stored, such as at a marina or a dry rack, and its use. 

While the craft should be washed after every use, it should also be cleaned when not in use at least once weekly.

Regarding the wax application, again dependent on many factors but at least once per year and likely more frequently. 

How do I find a local boat detailing company?

The best method is to ask around. Check with your marina or fellow boat owner. Care should be taken while doing the job, so a qualified person needs to be hired. Another option is to search the internet. Boat detailing near me will give you a list of local companies. Make sure you do your research, read reviews. 

The boat can be loaded up on a trailer and brought to a shop; however, look into mobile boat detailing. Many companies will come to you. Having them come to you is an excellent way to keep an eye on the work as it is being completed.

Conclusion Hiring a detailer or doing the work yourself

No matter what, the detailing work needs to get done either way. The task isn’t necessarily complicated, but it does require time. Also, keep in mind that the supplies purchased must be stored for use the next time. Most cities and towns situated on lakes or in the coastal area will have many businesses to choose from. It may just be best to utilize a boat detailing company to keep the craft in tip-top cosmetic shape.