Boat Cleaning and The Products
Updated: Mar 12, 2019
I'm part of a few boat detailing groups on Facebook with boat detailers from all around the world. It's an awesome community; where we share pictures of recent or past projects, ask questions, share techniques and talk about products we use to clean the boats.
Honestly, being a part of the group has challenged our team to step our game up. There are just some guys out there doing some phenomenal work when it comes to boat restoration.
In one poll, I asked how many of guys were transparent about the products they use to detail boats. The reason I asked is because when we're out on the docks we noticed a lot of detailers use generic squeeze bottles so people won't know which products they're using. Admittedly, I do the same thing at times, more so when I'm at a marina than when I'm at a customers home; in their driveway or private dock.
I guess there is the fear of someone finding out your trade secrets and ultimately the fear of being out of job. To my surprise most of the top guys in the industry, some of whom I have developed personal relationships with, are very transparent about the products they use to produce some of the most amazing results you'd ever see on a boat.
One Boat Detailer in particular, Shane, Spike On The Water, is light years beyond any detailer I have ever met. He would be like the Dalia Lama and Obi-Wan Kenobi reincarnated as a boat detailer in the boating community. Based out of Toronto, Canada, Shane spends a lot of time educating the boating community on becoming more environmentally conscious. Shane believes all boat detailers should use the same boat cleaning products and develop congruency when it comes to education and communication in the boating industry. If you have been around the industry for awhile, then you will agree people communicate differently and have different terminology and techniques when it comes to boat cleaning.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE BEST PRODUCTS ARE
I have discovered something about human behavior when it comes to arriving at "what is the best" at just about anything. The best can mean different things to different people. To some the best might be associated with cost and price rather than the quality. While with others, the best is associated with quality and outcome. Then there are those that will look for cost and quality of the product. Therefore, the best is often left up to interpretation.
Recently, I went to Fisheries Supply looking for particular product and I was told they didn't carry the product and also would not order the product for me even though our company spend a lot of money on boat detailing products with them. I asked why they didn't carry the product I wanted and I was told they never even heard of the product. Then I was told they have relationship with 3-M that's why you primarily see 3-M products on the shelf.
There is nothing wrong with 3-M products if you are one of these three individuals:
1. Just learning how to detail/clean a boat.
2. You work at boat yard where you clean/detail boats some time but you also do gel-coat repairs, engine work, bottom painting, and structural work so the focus isn't primarily on how to produce the holy grail of all shines. And you are not coming out of your own pocket for the materials so you use whatever is available when assigned work for the day.
3. You are a do-it-yourselfer and all the videos you watched on YouTube on how to clean a boat promote 3-M products.
Now let me say this, we--The Mobile Boat Guys--have produced some "very good" work that we are proud of with 3-M boat cleaning products. We have restored oxidized hulls with 3-M products and there are a couple of products we continue to use from the 3-M boat cleaning line. If you are professional or boat owner that truly values quality rather than making your decisions based on cost then you have come to the right place.
WHAT DO WE USE TO PRODUCE A BRILLIANT SHINE?
We fell in love with this boat cleaning product at first because of cost. But when we used this product while detailing a heavily oxidized hull the outcome was jaw-dropping. Immediately, I was taking pictures and posting them to Instagram. It was like I had unlocked the Omega-Code! (Look at the before and after).
The finished product on Aqua Buff is far above any result you will ever get when using 3-M to clean a boat or anything you will ever find on the shelf at WestMarine. Aqua Buff has two levels of compounds in this system, so you end up doing a 3-Step process (Compound, Buff and Wax) in order to get maximum results. Also it is water-soluble and there aren't any carcinogenics according to OSHA findings.
Heavily Oxidized Hull
The downside to this compounding system is you create a lot of dust. There have been times
after compounding on the deck where we will wash the boat and hand dry before applying a protective coat to our new shiny finish because it's just so much dust. But overall It's one of my go to products when encountering some of the toughest situations.
<<<<< Yes, that's the same boat as above. See what a little love will do?
A detailing buddy of mine and the guy who is responsible for me buffing my first boat introduced me to Farecla a couple of years ago. At first I balked at the product because it was only available at one location and because of the price. However, I kept seeing the results he was getting from using this product as compared to what we were producing and there was a huge difference.
The second to reinforce the idea was a the Obi-Wan Kenobi boat cleaning guy from Canada I mentioned above. He was producing some killer work and when I asked he said, "Farecla." It was like a spiritual wakening two detailers from two different countries who I admire are telling me the same thing, it must be a sign.
The work we've produced with Farecla is by far the best of any product we have experimented with in the past. Farecla is for the serious boat detailer that really cares about results above anything else. The individual that will go over the same area 10x to perfect that area to his liking; that's detailing. The boat detailer that is passionate about the industry and really cares about his work.
The ironic thing about Farecla is you don't have to go over areas 10x, it's water soluble so you can essentially compound a boat in the rain. And the the quality of the work is something that you are proud of at the end of the day. It's the material you keep in your trunk that you know will produce the shine you want every time.
I'm a perfectionist, If I'm not proud of the job I keep working on it until I'm proud of it. That's just our culture at The Mobile Boat Guys. With many of the other products, there are times that the product produced results the customer was pleased with but I knew could be better, because we are constantly educating ourselves and comparing our results with the results of others.
So to answer the question most boat owners ask in our initial consultation, "What products do you use?" I can honestly and confidently say we use only highest quality quality of boat cleaning products to deliver the best results we can to our customers.
*All pictures/media belong to The Mobile Boat Guys™. These are actual boats that we have worked on at Westake Ave, Dagmars Marina and the bottom picture is at Waypoint Marine Group.
We were not paid to speak about the products in this post. We just love what we do and enjoying being on the water and wanted to share some of our findings with our friends about boat cleaning products.
The Mobile Boat Guys™ are based out of Seattle, Wa. However, we are willing travel just about anywhere to make new friends and beautify a boat.