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Boat Detailing Equipment Checklist

Planning to clean out your boat just before you take it out for its first ride this spring? You have to prepare the right boat detailing tools to get the job done right. Even if you don’t call in a professional detailer, your boat deserves no less than the best products for a thorough clean.

Choosing the right boat detailing cleaner

Before you start cleaning your boat from top to bottom, remember to rinse it properly with fresh water to get rid of the superficial dirt and mineral deposits clinging to the surface. Afterwards, inspect the boat for certain problem areas that might need special attention or equipment.

Most commercial cleaning products designed for marine use should be useful for your detailing purposes. Keep away from household cleaners because these are not specially formulated to clean your boat without damaging the gel coat or the paintwork.

Boat detailing tools

Once you have chosen the right boat detailing cleaner, you can start ticking off these other items in your boat detailing checklist to find out if you have everything you will need for a good DIY detailing job:

  • Hard water spot remover: while you can scrub away at the mineral deposits sticking to boat’s hull, you can never completely remove the stains without using a hard water spot remover. This will get rid of these unsightly marks on the boat’s hull and improve its overall appearance.
  • Isinglass cleaner: your boat’s isinglass, fenderboards, and other accessories deserve a thorough clean from special chemicals that won’t harm the material.
  • Marine cleaner: a good cleaning agent that’s made for marine use will bring back your boat’s sparkle in no time at all.
  • Degreaser: grease and grime can cause icky stains in the engine bay, so be sure to apply degreaser liberally to get all the metal parts working properly.
  • Glass cleaner: the glass parts of your boat need special care, so be sure to include a glass cleaner in your shopping basket to keep the reflective surfaces clear and shiny.
  • Brushes: having just the right length and stiffness brush can help you a lot as you scrub every inch of your boat. Keep a variety of brushes with long and short handles as well as soft and stiff bristles so you can use the appropriate one for different surfaces.
  • Wax: keep the gel coat shiny and glossy with a generous coating of marine wax.
  • Vacuum cleaner: whenever you find yourself confronted with tight, cramped, dirty spaces that your brush can’t get to, reach for the vacuum cleaner instead. A long, thin nozzle will help you take out the little dust bunnies that have accumulated in the crawl spaces, as well as pick up any other unwanted debris that may have found their way into these hidden corners of your boat.
  • Microfiber cloths: always use soft and non-abrasive cleaning cloths to apply the various chemicals on your boat. This will allow the cleansers to work into the surface of your boat thoroughly without harming the gel coat.
  • Hose with spray nozzle: a hose with spray nozzle is your best friend as you detail your boat. It will help you get rid of surface dirt quickly and efficiently, saving you effort as you strive to clean the vessel inside and out.

Tell us in the comments what else you include in your boat detailing tools!

2 Responses to “Boat Detailing Equipment Checklist”

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  2. […] these instances, there’s nothing you can do but take your tools and remove the tint on your own. For DIY tint removal, you can choose between using a steamer or […]


March 2013
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