detailing boat

Ultimate Guide To Boat Detailing

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Detailing a boat can be hard work and having the correct tools will save a large amount of time.

For example, imagine working in a detailing product into the hull of the boat without a boat buffer and doing it all by hand.

This would not take hours but more like days of hard work. Besides, you will not achieve the same finish either.

Improving the appearance of your boat with simple detailing products that are designed for the marine environment can make a big difference.

Both the exterior and interior of your boat will require detailing at some point. Having the correct products for the job makes the job far easier. This is why we’ve put together this ultimate guide to boat detailing.

Boat Polish

Before you begin to wax your boat, it’s important that you have removed any defect in the hull or gelcoat beforehand.

The UV light can cause deterioration and fading of the fiberglass. You’ll need an abrasive boat compound to restore the fiberglass body back to the factory finish.

Using the best boat polish, you are able to remove heavy oxidization, fading, and other defects fairly easily.

Using a buffer will result in easier and better results. But if it’s only a small portion, there is no harm applying the polish by hand.

Depending upon the defects, you may want to choose a more abrasive polish in some cases.

For example, if you are moored up to the dock, collisions between boats are fairly common and paint can rub into your boat hull.

This may require a stronger polish to remove completely. Some polishes can even be used on various other surfaces but be sure to check the instructions beforehand.

boat detailing

Boat Wax

To reduce the damaging effects of the marine environment and UV rays, we highly recommend you use the best boat wax you can buy.

This will provide adequate protection and improve the shine of your boat.

As with the polish, you can apply it via a machine buffer or by hand but depending upon the size of your boat, you may want to choose the buffer option.

In terms of the wax, you can opt for various types that include synthetic, paste and a quick spray with some being more effective than others.

Deck of the Boat

Just like fiberglass, the deck of the boat can become weathered over time due to general wear and tear and the UV rays.

By using a durable, non-slip deck paint, you are able to revive the deck and ensure it is capable of withstanding a large amount of foot traffic and general wear and tear.

You will also have the option of choosing various different colors that may suit your boat decor more than the original paint that was on the deck.

Upholstery and Interior

Dirt, debris, mold, and mildew can completely ruin the appearance of your boat’s upholstery.

Simply investing in a boat cleaner will safely remove even the toughest of dirt effortlessly.

There are many bleach-based cleaning products available but we highly recommend that you take caution when using these.

When used on vinyl upholstery, bleach can cause the deterioration of the stitching, which can cause expensive repair.

When mixed with direct sunlight, the bleach-based cleaner can even thin out the vinyl thus making the upholstery look and feel worn.

We highly recommend you to use boat cleaning products that are designed for marine graded interiors and are not simply repackaged automotive alternatives. It’s very likely some vendors market them for use onboard your boat.


By detailing your boat on a regular basis you protect it from the harsh marine environment and of course look great on the water.

Faded fiberglass and dirty upholstery do not do any favors but you can easily improve it when using the right boat detailing products.

You can view all our boat detailing articles that will give you various choices when it comes to cleaning your own boat.