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Detailing Black Boats

Updated: Jan 9, 2018

Black boats are one of the hardest color boats to maintain. Every year we receive calls from boat owners who's black boats are oxidized. I also noticed there are a shortage of detailers that are skilled to address the oxidation on black boats and some detailers just would rather avoid the potential head ache.

Once a black hull is neglect on a boat you can almost guarantee that you will be doing some wet-sanding in order to restore your gel-coat. The mention of wet-sanding almost always scares boat owners. I get it, the thought of someone taking 80 grit sand paper and scratching up your gel-coat on purpose sounds horrific. Wet-sanding can cause some challenges; however, it's not that bad when you have the right sanding discs and tools for the job. The thing most boat owners don't get when it comes to process is that a detailer may spend an hour on one spot going over it several times until he gets the gel-coat to perfection. So that means the one detailing a 23 foot Cobalt might go over that whole boat potentially 5-6 times with his buffer and other tools meticulously grinding every inch of the gel-coat to eliminate oxidation, swirls and minor scratches.

Generally I want to know peoples expectations for the outcome of a boat, any color boat, that has been neglected for any amount of time. If you want a black boat that has been neglected for 10-15 years to look new again then you will want to make sure you find the right detailers to do the job.

I have heard some stories out there how people have got ripped off by detailers that did not perform the work the customer paid for. Valuable lesson for any detailer--know when to walk away from a job. Once you have committed to doing a job and you have begun the work, your name is on the product, you must deliver! even if you end up not making a profit. I know, boat detailing is hard work. But never leave a job undone like the detailer did in the video below. That's how difficult black boats are to detail once you let them go.

So my message is simple to the boat owner, "Don't let your boat get oxidized." With a black boat it is recommended to wax it every 2-3 months. I heard one boat owner say, "Owning a black boat will make you take care of your boat the way you are supposed too." There's a lot of truth to that, because if you want any color boat always looking in excellent condition you should at least:

a. Wash with fresh water after every use.

b. Get monthly washes

c. Waxing at least twice a year.

What are your thoughts on maintaining black boats?

How often do you detail your boat?

Do you practice a maintenance schedule to maintain the appearance of your boat? Why or Why not?

Oxidation Removal on a 1993 223 Cobalt. Daman, with The Mobile Boat Guys, removing heavy oxidation from a black 22FT Cobalt. The boat had been sitting getting oxidized for over 10 years.


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