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DIY Boat Detailing Guide

speedboat in water

There is a sense of pride that comes along with hitting the water in a beautifully detailed boat. When the sun is shining and your boat looks perfect, it’s hard to think of a better way to spend your time. Of course, your boat doesn’t just show up to the launch or dock in that condition. It takes some hard work, so we’d like to offer a few helpful tips in this quick DIY boat detailing guide.

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A Simple Start to Boat Detailing

Man holding hose

There are plenty of advanced techniques and specialized tools you can use to detail a boat, but it all starts by washing the boat off with clean water. Spraying the boat down with clean water is a great start to the detailing process and will make life easier later, as it removes a lot of initial debris.

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Spraying your boat down with water is pretty easy – but cleaning off some of the buildup is going to take a bit of effort. Once you perform a rinse, it’s time to use some cleaning products to attack the spots that didn’t come clean with the rinse. The right cleaning product for the job will depend on the type of boat you are cleaning and the areas that need to be addressed. For instance, specific products are available for fiberglass and aluminum, as well as general boat cleaner.

Wax Does the Trick

Wood bow on boat

When you think of a boat that is glistening out on the water, the reflections of light you are seeing off the hull are really a result of a boat wax. Properly applied boat wax can bring the luster you are looking for, and it only takes a bit of practice to get it right. Whether you opt for an electric buffer or just apply the wax by hand, keep it moving and don’t stay in one spot for too long. The goal is to achieve an even coat that will not only allow the boat to look great but will also help to preserve its condition.

Remember the Deck

teak oil

The exterior of your boat will get a lot of attention during this process, but remember to care for the deck, as well. Depending on the type of boat you own, that might mean caring for the teak decking, or it might mean cleaning the carpet. With teak, it’s important that you apply teak oil periodically to protect the finish. For carpet, a standard vacuum can work nicely when the carpet is dry, and a soapy water solution can also be used for particularly dirty areas.

Special Attention for Saltwater Boat Detailing

boats docked at marina

Boat owners who explore saltwater on a regular basis will need to take particular care of their vessels. Saltwater can break down the exterior of your boat and cause unwanted damage, so do your best to wash the boat off with fresh water after each trip out. It will only take a few minutes to point the hose toward your boat and wash away any lingering salt that was waiting to do harm.

A Careful Inspection

No boat detailing job is complete without carefully inspecting all of the seals that serve your vessel. Whether due to exposure to the sun or just from being tossed around on the waves, the seals on your boat are likely to crack and peel eventually. Use a product like Life-Calk to restore those seals and improve both the look and performance of your boat.

Get Everything You Need for Boat Detailing from BoatLIFE!

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We hope this DIY boat detailing guide assists you! To get started making your boat look spotless, shop for all the products you need from BoatLIFE.

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