Boat Cleaning Supplies to Consider for a Yacht Detailing Business

Let’s say you’d like to start a boat cleaning business of you own. It’s a service business that generally deals with higher-end clients, folks of means. Cleaning boats and yachts is a decent way to make a living, it allows you to be out at the marina and it is fun to be around nice equipment and make it shine. As a former franchisor in the yacht cleaning sector, I am often asked industry questions. Rather than merely answering the questions for one-single operator, I like to share these answers with others who may enjoy receiving the information. Recently I was asked the following very good question:

“Would you quickly be able to give me the names of some product you would recommend, I got the soap and brushes and poles covered. Just going through the types of wax gels, and what kind of polish or shiner to use in the cockpit as well and what specific product for the vinyl seats.”

Well, I would first recommend the Starbrite Line for gel-coat soaps, and also AutoMagic, has a car products line that has really nice soap that works killer on gel coats, but not so good on teak decks and wood, but it shines the hardware nicely. I love Seal It by AutoMagic, polymer solvent wax, it’s so easy to use and works nice, but you need another coat on top if you want it to last with saltwater around, better for lake boats. It’s great for first coat on any boat in any environment.

Met-ALL is good for aluminum polish, use with baking soda. For vinyl seats, it’s almost better to go with a Janitorial Product to save money, the kind they use on barstool seats or in fast casual dining type restaurants, just dilute it more for thinner boat seats. Zep Chemicals has a nice line for this, inexpensive too.

When you use quality products, your work will show and you will be able to charge more money and get better future referrals. So, it is worth the extra money to buy the best products.

Another boat cleaning entrepreneur asks:

“Would you charge a polishing and a wax on a boat as an additional service? For example the company I worked for would have some waxing on boats after compound jobs or randomly upon request. Now customers wanting boats polished after the weekly or bi weekly wash was more common, now is that correct? To my knowledge a boat shouldn’t be waxed as often as it is polished (to upkeep the gloss) and again these would be add-ons to they’re cleanings correct?”

From a customer’s perspective, a polish is when a boat is a bit oxidized, and a wax is to give it protection, but in reality today’s waxes each do a little of both, cleaning and waxing. A deep cleaning could be considered polishing, waxing is more of an upkeep. Yes, you should charge extra for polishing, and if they want a coat of wax with the washing, if they want spray wax charge a little more, if they want a light liquid wax a little more, and paste wax more, and polish and wax even more.

Thinking Outside The Baby Shower Gift Box

Baby Showers are thrown to “shower gifts” upon the mother to be. Adding a baby to the family requires adding a lot of new inventory to the medicine cabinet and food pantry. It also means you have to fill dresser drawers and changing tables with the many supplies that will be used in the care of the new baby.

The new baby will likely receive all sorts of baby bottles and tiny little one piece outfits with cute pictures on them. There will be bottle upon bottle of lotions and soaps to keep the new arrival smelling fresh and sweet. Then there will be the tiny socks in the soft pastel colors to make those little baby feet nice and warm.

Stop just for a moment, if you will, and think about mom. While I am sure that mom will be 100% grateful for all of the above-mentioned shower gifts, these gifts are technically for the baby and not for mom. It is time to think outside of the baby shower box and remember mom.

Mom’s bath time will now be cut by 80% (note: not a scientifically proven number) with the new addition so how about helping her enjoy that little time she does have by giving her a bath set of her own. She would love to have some bath salts and oils for the tub. When she gets out of the tub she would relish being able to enjoy some fresh body lotion that was in her favorite scent. Oh, that most comfortable feeling she could have being wrapped in a plush soft new bath towel after her relaxing bath.

Adult only time will be a precious commodity that will have a 97.8% reduction after the arrival of the new baby (note: once again not a scientifically proven number). You could be the one that helps the new mom enjoy this time the most by giving her a gift of a new set of wine glasses or cocktail glasses.

Kitchen help would also be a wonderful gift for the new mom. More than likely the time mom has to spend in the kitchen will not be reduced. In fact, there is a good chance that mom will have to spend and even greater amount of time in the kitchen. Why don’t you be the one to help her here? There are many outstanding baby shower gifts that could make kitchen time a breeze. A well-made cutlery set could save mom time and energy. There are a plethora of small kitchen appliances that can make mom’s life easier. Coffee makers, food processors, blenders, kitchen tool sets. The ideas are almost limitless

I have supplied you with some unscientific numbers just to prove another fact that very well may be scientifically backed up. 1000% is the increase in enjoyment that the new mom will get from baby shower gifts that are for her to enjoy in her new, limited mommy time. I don’t want you to forget about getting things for the baby but I do want you to also remember mom.

Sailboat And Yacht Detailers Companies Need To Think About Sail Cleaning Services

Sailing is the fun part, cleaning, well not so much. Still, if you don’t take care of your equipment, Murphy will take care of you. Luckily, for those of us in the sailboat and yacht cleaning business we can make money taking care of the challenges that go along with boat maintenance and keep repairs to a minimum by helping owners keep their vessels in ship-shape. I’d like to explain one aspect of boat cleaning that many boat detailers fail to take advantage of, and that is sail cleaning.

Why clean sails? Well, of course you want them to look good when you hoist them up, free from black mold and ugly salt marks. But that’s not the only reason, healthy sails will not chafe as easily, nor will their stitches come apart as much. Doubt what I am saying? Well, then let me recommend some required reading.

In the January 2017 Issue of Sail Magazine there was a relevant article titled; “Sail Care – Look After Your Sails And They Will Look After You,” by Peter Nielsen. The article talked about the fact that if you don’t clean the dirt or salt off the sails, then you will have abrasions from the dirt and rats will smell the salt and be attracted to it, then make their nests there and eat away at the sail. Cleaning the sails is not hard to do, but many sailors and yacht owners do not have the time or are too tired after a day of sailing to clean them properly.

The article and most professional boat cleaners recommend soaking the sails in warm water and detergent, something mild and approved by the manufacturer – always remember that sails have different amounts of material and stitches in them and the manufacturer knows what’s best to use to prevent deterioration. After soaking the sails you want to thoroughly rinse them, I recommend soft or RO water. The article stated to rinse until you could no longer smell any detergent and I’d suggest you don’t smell any salt either and if you’ve rinsed them properly you won’t. It might take a couple of rinses to be sure.

Charging $100 per sail is not unreasonable, but be careful if they haven’t been clean in a while, you’ll need to charge more for neglected sails or sails that are dirty or starting to come apart as you have to use a little elbow grease (lightly) and it will take you a lot longer to clean. However, if you regularly clean the sailboat for your customer, $80 to $100 for average sized sails turns out to be a nice add-on to your boat cleaning services, larger sails go up in price try $150 to $300. Think on this.