• The Mobile Boat Guy

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.


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.


Aqua-Buff Polishing Compounds