Polishing An Aluminum Boat [Guide]

When you polish your boat, you’re not truly polishing your boat. It sounds counter-intuitive, but
it’s true: what you’re really doing is polishing a specific material on your
boat. If you want your boat to look its best, you should know that material
inside and out. For many people, that comes down to knowing what you need to do
to fashion an effective and clean aluminum polish. Fortunately, aluminum is
durable and withstands polishing easily—but you’ll want to know the proper
steps. Here is a complete guide to effectively cleaning and polishing an
aluminum boat.

Preparing to Polish
an Aluminum Boat

Aluminum Cleaner

It’s not as simple as taking a buffer to your aluminum and
hoping for the best. To adequately prepare your aluminum boat for a polish, be
sure to clean it thoroughly first. That means washing off debris and clearing
away any dust that might have gathered. Some boat owners will even strip off
old paint if they’re completely restoring their aluminum.

We recommend using Aluminum Cleaner.
This product will save you money by offering three uses in one: cleaning,
brightening, and polishing. Because it’s a low-micron cleaner and an
anti-oxidant, it’s effective even for treating old and worn out aluminum to
restore it as best as possible.

Before you move on, make sure that you’ve satisfied the
following requirements:

  • A free and clear aluminum surface
  • Debris removed
  • Thorough rinse
  • Time elapsed for drying

But even if you have the right product in mind, you’ll want
a quick and effective way of applying it. That’s where the buffing comes in.

Buff Your Aluminum to
a High Shine

Buffing simply refers to the act of applying and spreading
polish on the boat, rubbing it in so that the polish can do its work. At this
stage, boat owners go different routes. Some don’t mind hand-buffing their
boat. This is better if you have a small boat or don’t mind taking a long time
with this step. The drawback is that it’s labor-intensive, even on medium and
small boats.

We recommend going for the Power Buffer to make quick work
of your aluminum. Make sure to apply your chosen aluminum-grade polish with
consistency, never over-working an area or under-working another. It’s going to
be loud, and it’s going to take time, but you should notice immediate results
when reviewing the look of your boat’s aluminum.

Reviewing Your Work

If you’ve done the buffing effectively and consistently
throughout, you should have no more problems. Your boat should have a
consistent shine that you’d expect from a quality polish. But you should still take
the time for a full inspection. After all, you might spot little nooks and
crannies that you missed along the way—and if you’re renting a power buffer,
now’s the time to take care of them.

After inspection, give your boat time to rest before its
next use. Polishing tends to be the final step in a cleaning and restorative
process, so your reward will be a clean boat that looks years younger than its
actual age.

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