How to Detail a Boat’s Interior

It’s hard not to feel a sense of pride watching others stare at her as she floats by, seeing how they admire her, knowing she belongs to you. Yes, we are talking about one of your greatest treasures … your boat. Owners of expensive sports cars know this feeling too. A car needs regular detailing to keep it looking sharp. Boats are subjected to much harsher conditions than automobiles including salt water, UV rays, algae and more. Consequently, regularly scheduled detailing is even more important. Maintaining your vessel’s appearance is not just a matter of aesthetics. If ignored, dirt, dust and even bacteria can damage your boat. Although often an afterthought, the interior also requires attention. Detailing the interior of your boat will keep it looking great and functioning properly. 

Is Interior Detailing Really Necessary?

Perhaps you haven’t considered your boat’s interior while spending large amounts of equity, both sweat and financial on the exterior. Many owners fail to realize how important interior detailing is to protecting value. Your boat might be flawless on the outside but if the inside doesn’t match up, your efforts are falling short. Depending on the size, cabins may be filled with kitchens, sleeping areas or sitting areas. Salt air and lack of ventilation create an environment that encourages dirt build up, corrosion and possibly mildew. Properly detailing the interior is paramount to keeping your boat in top condition. Unsure how to perform the job or lack time or space to do so? Leave it in the capable hands of experts. Pensacola Shipyard has on-site contractors to handle every aspect of detailing inside and out with tedious perfection.

How Often? 

You may know the importance of a through boat detail, but how often should it be done? The answer is not the same for every vessel. There are variables that come into play including how often the boat is used, is it in dry storage or a wet slip and what is the climate, size and type. While a good cleaning is non-negotiable after every outing, detailing should be done at least twice a year with 3 to 4 times being more typical. Again, this is not applicable to every boat like the post-voyage clean is, but rather a guideline. For a more precise answer regarding your personal boat, turning to the experts is highly recommended. Working with a pro allows you to set up regularly scheduled meticulous detailing that can prevent small issues from becoming large and potentially damaging ones.

Exterior Detailing 

Every detailing job done right will actually begin with a thorough rinse and wash of the exterior before moving to the interior. When washing your boat, go from top to bottom making sure to rinse soap before it has a chance to dry. Keeping it wet will help avoid streaks and damaging dried soap residue. Buffing is the next step and a crucial one to get rid of oxidation. The finale of exterior detailing is applying a wax or sealant to achieve that sought after shine. Some owners think they are the same product and the confusion is understandable as they do essentially perform the same function. Both safeguard your vessel from damaging substances and materials. Historically, sealants have a reputation as wax’s more abrasive relative. Modern sealants are no longer harsh and difficult to work with. The preference is up to the individual but if choosing sealant, make sure it is gelcoat friendly. Regardless of which product is chosen, work in small sections and follow the sage advice of Mr. Miyagi, wax on … wax off.

Interior Detail Checklist

Your boat’s interior needs love too. Use a quality multi-surface cleaner to remove dirt buildup. If your vessel has a galley and/or head, pay special attention and give a thorough clean of each. Other items to include in a proper interior detail include:

  • Top to bottom dusting
  • Launder all linens/towels
  • Clean all glass and windows
  • Polish all surfaces
  • Vacuum floors and if able, steam clean annually
  • Clean any cushions/upholstery
  • If vessel has appliances, clean inside and out
  • Wipe down cabinets, blinds, hatches and doors

Detailing your boat can be an unpleasant chore. However, it is not something to let slide but rather something you want to stay ahead of to avoid problems later.  A well maintained and detailed boat (even the interior) will improve appearance as well as performance.

Call Pensacola Shipyard today. Our facilities coupled with on-site expert contractors make us the solution to all your detailing needs.