It is a proven fact that the better your boat looks the higher the value you will get at resale or trade-in. Proper boat care to include washing, rejuvenating (if needed), and polishing will not only make your boat look its best, but will help retain its value and make it last longer. For the purpose of this article we questioned numerous detailing experts and other similar professionals as to what works best. Here are their best boat care recommendations:
Start by using a shelter, garage or shaded area. The hot sun will make proper boat care and cleaning hard, if not impossible and could be detrimental to your boat's finish. Next thoroughly wet down the boat. This will remove dirt and road debris which will cause scratches if you skip this step and start using a sponge and soap on the boat. If it is a hot day, be sure to routinely wet the boat so it does not dry suds or cleaning chemicals on it.
Next use Captain Gary's BOAT SOAP; don't use general purpose detergents and cleaners that were never meant for boat care and boat washing. A solution of Captain Gary's BOAT SOAP will not dry out your gelcoat, paint or strip and possibly remove the protective coatings. A long armed, soft bristled wash brush will greatly reduce the time it takes to thoroughly clean your boat. It will also make it easier on your back and muscles. A good quality brush can be cheaply obtained for about $10-$15 - buy one, you will be glad you did. When you have finished washing the whole boat, use a terry cloth towel to dry off your boat. Routinely washing your boat will remove things like salt, bird droppings, dirt, bugs and industrial fallout which are all detrimental to your boat's gelcoat and finish.
It is a good idea to follow washing with the application of Captain Gary's FIBERGLASS REJUVENATOR. This will remove minor imperfections in the gelcoat caused by the environment and sun damage, remove minor scratches, and provide a good surface for boat polish. Basically you apply Captain Gary's FIBERGLASS REJUVENATOR as you would wax - in a circular motion and you treat one area at a time. Use modest pressure and then let dry to a whitish haze. Buff with a hand held buffer or a clean terry cloth towel and reapply as necessary. Captain Gary's FIBERGLASS REJUVENATOR will if used properly, remove any chalking that has occurred on the gelcoat, restoring your gelcoat back to a much better condition. If severe chalking has occurred, you may need to apply Captain Gary's FIBERGLASS REJUVENATOR a second time to completely remove the chalked residue and to properly prepare the gelcoat surface for a polish. In most cases, when Captain Gary's FIBERGLASS REJUVENATOR has been used properly, the boat will look as if it has been polished. This is because the FIBERGLASS REJUVENATOR has completely removed the dead, chalky imperfect gelcoat and restored it back to near its original condition.
Then you need to decide which type of boat polish to use. According to the experts, carnauba boat polish has the deepest and wettest looking shine, but it is also the weakest protection for the harsh environment (UV, acid rain, extreme temperature ranges, bird droppings, etc.). Captain Gary's MARINE BOAT POLISH is carnauba based. It is very easy to apply, just wipe on, and wipe off. This is the same type polish that is found in Captain Gary's ALL-PURPOSE BOAT SOAP with POLISH. Captain Gary's MARINE BOAT POLISH will give you that new boat look. For best results, two or three coats should be applied. However, Captain Gary's PREMIUM GRADE BOAT POLISH is also easy to apply and requires little effort to remove. It will last much longer and is polymer based. Captain Gary's PREMIUM GRADE BOAT POLISH requires only one coat for great protection. Both products should be used in the same manner. Apply in a small circular motion same as with the FIBERGLASS REJUVENATOR. After allowing it to dry to a haze, buff it off, but use a microfiber towel as it will leave a smoother finish quicker and without any lint.
The above recommended steps are for properly washing, rejuvenating and polishing your boat. It will leave you with the best shine, maximum protection, make your boat last, and maintain its highest value. Remember, a little proper boat care can and will go a long way.