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Boat Detailing

by Ken Wilssens

When detailing your boat, you need to remember that you have to do a thorough job and each section requires specific attention. In this article, we will be going over each of these parts and the proper way to detail them.


The fiberglass on the boat needs attention from damaging effects such as UV rays, salt, dirt, and weather abuse. You need to thoroughly clean the fiberglass, and then use a Gel-coat to give it the proper finish.

Cleaning and Restoring your Teak

The wood on the boat is called Teak and it needs special attention due to the fact it is designed to withstand wet weather, and being on the water. The Teak has special oils in it and if these oils dry out, you will end up with a dry and cracked finish. To restore the Teak, you need to use high grit sandpaper and cleaners with ammonia. Once you have restored it, you can now protect it and keep it lasting by applying a high quality varnish. There are special varnishes for boats and you need to use one of them rather than what you might use in your home.


Next is your Canvas. When cleaning the Canvas, make sure there are no tears or holes in it. If there are any, now is the time to make repairs. Canvas uses a special type of thread, so do not go out and buy any old kind. Once you have made the repairs or there were none to start with, you can now power wash the boat from top to bottom. Boats have a special solution designed to clean them, and you need to use these soaps. When the boat is completely washed, you'll need to apply a waterproofing product to protect the fabric from rain and stains. You can also use a degreaser on those tougher spots, and I have found that lemon juice works very well. Make sure you do your chrome as well and put the proper wax on it. Use a towel, water squeegee, or water blade to dry the boat thoroughly.


You need to clean this with special cleaners and polishers. Don't forget the spiders and other insects from around the glass and any other hidden crevices. You also need to pay attention to the baseboards as water tends to sit there and can take away from the quality of the wood.


Remember safety is a very important for any time spent on your boat and cleaning it is an important time as well. You need to wear the appropriate gear while working with the chemicals, such as rubber gloves, life vest, aqua socks and not tennis shoes, since we all know that tennis slip. Also follow all of the EPA guidelines and directions when using and disposing of chemicals, since it is not only bad for you but for the environment as well.

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