Why you Want to Detail your Boat
Why you might want to detail your boat before you sell and even pay to have it done.
The act of wet sanding and or polishing the finish on your boat, to then add a beautiful protective layer of wax is magical. Those of us who are OCD love the process as much as the final result. Here’s why it is important to do a seasonal or at least annual detail of your boat.
By removing contaminants and making the surface smooth and ready for a protective sacrificial layer, you accomplish a few things. Your paint or gelcoat will be more UV resistant. UV inhibitors in high quality waxes and ceramic coatings help protect the finish and make the finish more resilient to fading. I always joke that to ensure your boat stays mint condition, just keep it out of the water and out of the sun. That is challenging for boaters, to say the least. A well detailed and waxed finish is easier to clean, defends against sun damage and fading. A slight protection against minor scratches is provided too.
The act of preparing the surface is key though. By removing contaminants, old waxes and scratches, you get to thoroughly inspect you boat. Any swirls, deep scratches or cracks can be addressed before you finish. With a wet sand or heavy duty polish, it is often amazing how much one can improve the color and shine of the surface. The sanding takes down the surface slightly, removing the unevenness, creating a more smooth finish.
A once faded, scratched and dull surface can become mirror like in short order. Gelcoat notoriously fades easily but gel is also usually quite a bit thicker than paint. Gelcoat can be polished quite aggressively, bring back the color. Careful not to take it too far though, and ensure you use a high quality protecting wax or ceramic coat after. Once you start losing the color in gelcoat, you can eventually over polish it, or lose the color if left to fade too long.
I have seen boats that look really far gone, faded, rough and chalky, made to look incredible after. You can absolutely do this yourself with the right equipment. Don’t hesitate to consult a professional. If you don’t have any materials and don’t have the time, a professional detailer will get outstanding results that are well worth the money. You can increase the value of your boat exceeding the cost in many cases.
Here is a link below to an article in Wave to Wave that does a more comprehensive look at the products, procedure and tips to do detail your boat.