If you haven’t noticed, boating season is upon us! We have several boats at the dock and the weather is finally allowing for some boating activity. If you are the type of person that likes to fiddle with your boat, this is the prime time to get the boat detailing done! The weather is turning, and you have the opportunity to get your toy looking in prime shape for your summer fun. We decided we would give you a few tips on the boat detailing front that can help you make you detailing journey easier.
Preparation is everything
The best way to make sure this is an easy process is to never let the boat get to far gone in the first place! If you have always kept your hull in tip top shape, you will have very little work in keeping it there. I strongly suggest that you detail your boat every Fall before it is put away and then again in the Spring before launch. If you do this, it will help keep your shine up for a much longer period of time! If you let your hull get too oxidized, it is going to make it much more difficult to detail. We strongly suggest a fall hand wax, and then a full wax in the Spring, for this reason. Normally the boat still looks ok in the Fall, but a quick coat of hand wax offers some winter protection and will make your toy look better in the Spring and save you some work.
Time for some wax
If you have a newer boat or have been keeping up on it, you will likely just need a coat of wax. There are several brands on the market, but I prefer Mequires Flagship Premium wax. http://www.meguiars.com/en/marine/products/m6332-flagship-premium-marine-wax-32oz/. I have used plenty, and this stuff has always done a great job for me. Even when applied by hand, it works very well. I suggest you use an orbital at a very low speed, but you have several choices for this. here are some choices for you if you don’t already have such a machine: https://www.google.com/#q=orbital++boat+waxer+polisher. You can also apply this by hand, but it is more work and doesn’t protect your investment as well.
All products are different and all can be applied in different ways. I have had good success by applying wax in small 2-3 ft sections and using the orbital to apply the wax. I then work my way all the way down one side of the hull (depending on the size of the boat), and come back with a rag and wipe the wax off. Anything over a 25fter I would likely not wait that long but you want to make sure the wax has had time to set into the hull. NOTE: Make sure when wiping this wax off, that you use several rags to ensure you get the excess wax off and don’t just spread it around. Also, do not apply the wax in direct sunlight or it will dry fast and become far less effective! Be sure to watch getting wax on your rubrail or other non-fiberglass parts. Just like on your car, it will make those parts turn white and you will spend some time doing tedious clean up work. Once you wipe the hull off, you should have a beautiful shiny hull!
I have some small scratches in my hull!
If your hull is shiny, but has some scratches in it, you will likely want to get those out first. If these are truly just small scratches, the can be removed very easily with a product called Finesse It by 3M http://seavalue.com/2015SV/?utm_source=pdf&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Sea%20Value%20Letter#68
. This product works very well on a lightly scratched hull and is best applied at a very low speed with a buffer, I prefer this one: http://makitatools.com/en-us/Modules/Tools/ToolDetails.aspx?Name=9237C. Again, apply it in smaller sections and follow the directions on the bottle! If you have some bigger scratches that won’t come out, it is time to call a professional to diagnose whether you need wet sanded, filled, sprayed, or some other type of fix. After the scratches are gone and you are happy, apply wax just like the step above recommends and you’ll have a beautiful scratch free, shiny hull again!
I bought a used boat that is chalky, what now?
If you bought and older used boat that is heavily oxidized, or you have an older boat that hasn’t been kept up on, this is where the work comes into play! I would suggest for most people to have this professionally done to save you the headaches of this process. The above two tasks don’t require a bunch of skill but this one can be pretty demanding! There are different stages of buffing and they can require a professionals touch to ensure it gets done properly and in a timely manner. A heavily oxidized boat generally needs a 3 stage buff which requires 3 types of compounds and usually requires removal of some parts on the boat to get it done properly which is a lot of work, equipment, and materials. We will save buffing for another blog as it has a lot more detail! We can help you with this, and feel free to call us for suggestions!
It is that time again, to get your boat looking sharp for the season. We hope the above tips shed some light on the subject for you and make the process a bit easier. If you have any questions on the process, feel free to call us and we can steer you in the right direction. If you need any detailing products, check out our online accessory catalog: http://www.clemonsboats.com/Page.aspx/pageId/159832/Accessories-Catalogue.aspx. Stop by and say “Hello” if you are in the area or stop to check on your boat. We would love to chat! Until next time…
See you on the water,
Clemons Boats - Life is better on a boat!