Boat Detailing?

Discussion in 'Detailing Bliss Lounge' started by pektel, May 6, 2009.

  1. pektel

    pektel DB Forum Supporter

    Hey everyone. I had a customer of mine ask if I did boat detailing too. I said I'd never done one before, but would just have to check to see if I needed anything special that's not already in my arsenal.

    What's everyone's thoughts/tips/pointers on detailing a boat. It's a fiberglass body I believe (I know it's not aluminum), some decals on it. I'm sure they are vinyl seats. and indoor/outdoor carpet.
  2. richy

    richy Guest

    I think the thing with boats is that it can be a real pita to get at some places and you'll probably work at some very strange angles...get ready to be stiff and sore. The polishing itself should not be bad. Auto int's ABC system supposedly works very well on boats to remove the black marks, etc. and DG 501 was designed for cleaning/sealing of boats. Like anything else, it's a matter of finding the tool/process to simplify it and make it as efficient as possible. Good luck with it.
  3. Reflect

    Reflect DB Forum Supporter

    Yea I was gonna say 501, might wanna pick up another bottle just in case. Boats and hoes.
  4. 911Fanatic

    911Fanatic DB Pro Supporter

    I do a few boats every season and as Richy said it can be a PITA. If the boat is in good shape, I mean not oxidized, its pretty straight forward. If it is oxidized and needs polishing things can go sideways in a hurry. With gelcoat or fiberglass, its hard to tell how much work it will require. I had to wetsand and polish the outside rail of a boat because it was too dull to polish out. Now I won't work on boats with oxidation unless I get a blank cheque. Boat interiors are quite easy as well. If you can get the carpet out, you can carefully wash down the inside with a hose and soapy water. 303 on the vinyl and DG 501 on the Gelcoat fiberglass. The transom can get a bit messy from the exhaust so bring along some undiluted APC in case. Soot can be a bitch to get off. Make sure you wash the entire hull ( a round brush on a pole is great for this ) and wax as far as you can reach. Most guys only do to the water line. Hope this helps.
  5. Reflect

    Reflect DB Forum Supporter

    Have you tried Collinite's gel coat cleaner? What about one of those electric wetsanders?
  6. 911Fanatic

    911Fanatic DB Pro Supporter

    Yes. I did a 27' Fountain with the cleaner and topped with 845. I'm anxious to try the Duraloss on a boat to see how it compares.
  7. sneek

    sneek Nuba Guru

    Lots of companies have Marine Lines. 3M and Meguiar's do for sure.

    Meguair's has a few polishes, washes, non abrasive waxes, compounds, vinyl cleaners...etc. I am pretty sure they even have a cleaner for inflatable boats. Some of the stuff is probably similar to the car line, but there are some other products that are clearly different.
  8. Al-53

    Al-53 Welcome to Detailing

    I have done a few boats in my time.....and give some good advice..if you get a heavy oxidized gel coat..walk 911 said..things go haywire in no will work your ass off correcting it....

    I would start with Meg's #4 heavy cut cleaner or #84..then move to a lesser product like #1 or #2 to get gloss coming back..then finish it with dg 501 the sealant....

    Now...pricing a should get 20 a foot on bad paint..from the rub rail down...above the rub rail 25 a foot....that's doing cutty and all rugs and trim...

    it is a lot of work..

    now if you get a good boat with just a maintenance detail...15 a foot and 18 above the rub rail...

    now use marine products for dressings..they have more UV protection than auto products...

    I also found that a sealant works best over a wax....except collinites...but the sealants stay slicker and retard scum lines I said..501 worked best for me....even 105 works.....or even zaino..but more expensive cost wise

    PS....wool and a buffer is all you use....and have a few wool pads as they clog real fast with any oxidation...use cut pads and polish pads.....

  9. Reflect

    Reflect DB Forum Supporter

    Sounds like a job for foamed wood since it finishes down nicely, M105 maybe with a few drops of finishing polish.
  10. Reflect

    Reflect DB Forum Supporter

    LMAO, sorry.
  11. Al-53

    Al-53 Welcome to Detailing

    you will tear up a foamed wool in no time on a boat..unless its in good condition....boat oxidation is nasty...gets very gummy when built up on a you need to change pads quit a bit....I use the 3m woolies for boats...and a edge for final polishing

    I have used M105 on paint on cars...and the work time is sorta need a longer lasting product that will work thru the stages to cut the gel the ones I listed have done good in that can even use DACP as your finisher....after you got the gel nice...

    after polishing wash the boat with a strong a citrus soap...that gets all the oils for and really cleans will have splatter all is a messy worth it if you get your price...20 a foot rub rail and below..25 above....

  12. reefer_bob

    reefer_bob Obsessive Detailer

    I did a 26' Chaparrel, black for my neighbour a year ago. I've got pics, as I've been saving them to post on a rainy day...

    I ended up using SIP on Green LC pads (Flex DA), Colonite cleaner, and then Colonite liquid boat wax (I'd have to look up which numbers of colonite I used, I can't remember off the top of my head). The SIP finished down really nice on the gelcoat.

    It really came out quite stunning. But as others have said, you'll really use up the pads. I think I went through 8... 4 per side. I'll share some pics tonight.

    One thing that's key, is sectioning the sides out in equal sections... It's really easy to lose track of where you stop and start...
  13. pektel

    pektel DB Forum Supporter

    Thanks so much for the responses guys. But the 20 per foot below the rub strip, and 25 above. I would add those together for 45 per foot for the full boat right? You aren't saying 25 per foot for the whole boat...
  14. Buddy

    Buddy Getting to know Detailing

    Al, Thanks for taking us all to school and teaching us about detailing boats. I'll bet that new bass boat you just got will always look like it's never been in the water...Thanks again...:thumb:
  15. mb43

    mb43 Obsessive Detailer


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