How Often Should I to Re-Polish to Keep My Boat Looking New?
Andrew Wilson asked:
This past weekend I cleaned & protected the foredeck & sidedecks of my Sea Ray (next weekend is the transom & cockpit). Each step was done by hand with brush, sponge or towel using Boat Clean Plus, Boat Scrub, Sure Step (for the non-skid) & Premium Boat Shine.
Wow, does she look good. My 2000 model looks as new as the 2005 in the slip next to mine!
(-1-) How do I incorporate labor saving devices (power tools) into this routine to make it less strenuous? (-2-) How often do I need to go through this process? And (-3-) Do I have to start all over again in six months or can I eliminate any steps by using Premium Boat Shine & Sure Step more frequently?
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Thanks for the compliments Andrew. We never get tired of hearing them. We take as much pride in how your boat turns out as you do.
The good news is that you have already done the hard part. Restoring and prepping the surface always takes most of the effort. Maintaining the finish is a lot easier.
The best way to maintain your beautiful new finish is simply to keep it clean. Wash as required with a solution of 1 part Boat Clean Plus to 15 or 20 parts water in a bucket. Rinse your boat first, and while it is still wet, wash it with the Boat Clean Plus solution, using a mop, sponge or soft cloth. For best results, wash it in the shade, early morning or at dusk when it’s not too hot. Start at the top, at the bow and work back and down. Work in sections and make sure that you rinse the solution off before it dries and dry with a Boat Chamois.
Regular washing should keep your boat shiny and new looking, however if you get scuff marks, dried on bird poop, black streaks or other hard to remove soiling, you may need some Boat Clean Plus, Boat Scrub, or Black Streak Remover, full strength, to clean those areas. After you clean and rinse, apply a coat of polish to the affected area. It will blend in with the rest of the boat so you will not notice the difference and your finish will remain protected.
Our polishes are quite durable and do a good job of protecting your boat for long periods of time, but like everything on Planet Earth, they do degrade over time. The good news of course is that it’s the polishes that are degrading instead of your boat. Keeping your boat protected can keep it looking new for 35 years or more. If you let it go it can look old and tired in a few of years. The length of time that our polishes last depends to a great extent on how and where the boat is used. If it’s kept in a covered slip in the northern climates, the polishes will last much longer than if it is constantly exposed to the sun in the tropics.
Our Sure Step has a practical life of 3 to 6 months, Premium Boat Shine and VS721 Bottom Coat 6 to 12 months, or longer. If your boat is kept clean then a simple reapplication of 2 coats of polish is all that is necessary to extend the protection for another period. You will be able to tell when the polish is starting to loose it’s effectiveness because it will become harder to keep clean. That’s when you should re-polish. The only preparation is a good washing with a stronger solution of Boat Clean Plus (1 to 4 parts water). I recommend using a Marine Power Mitt for this.
Our polishes are synthetic and do not build up like waxes, so stripping is not an issue. If you maintain your boat this way, you should be able to go two to five years before Aurora Cleaning it again.
I still like to Aurora Clean all the surfaces of my boat, once a year in the spring. When I remove the tarp in the spring, the boat is always extra dirty. If I’m going to go through the trouble of washing it, I may as well make the extra little effort and do it well. For this I rinse the entire boat with water to loosen up the grime. Then I mix a solution of 1 part Boat Clean Plus to 4 parts water, in a bucket. I dip my Marine Power Mitt into the solution add a bit of Boat Scrub to the mitt and quickly go over all the hard surfaces, deck first, then topsides and last the bottom. When I rinse and dry it, the fiberglass is so clean that my thumb squeaks when I rub the surface with it. Now it’s ready for polish. When the boat is properly cleaned, the polish goes on much easier. All of our polishes are “Self Polishing” so there is no hard buffing. Just wipe off the haze and you’re done.
Another excellent way to protect your boat, reduce hard work and keep your boat shiny longer is to clean and polish it in the fall before storing it for the winter. This will protect dirt from getting ingrained in the pores of the gelcoat and protect against staining from water that may accumulate and sit on your deck. Protecting the deck with Sure Step is the most important, especially if your boat is tarped or shrink wrapped and stored outside. The UV rays from the sun, even in winter will penetrate the covering and oxidize the deck of you boat. Another benefit of doing this is that all you have to do in the Spring is wash you boat, apply another coat of polish and you’re done. This can save you a lot of time and effort.
We are always looking for ways to make using our products easier and have found that in most cases, doing it by hand is just as easy, often faster and the results are better. This is because we use advanced technology to eliminate much of the hard labor of scrubbing and buffing. We get the products to do the hard work for you. Of course you still have to apply and remove them.
For example, some boat owners have reported that they tried using scrub brush attachments on the end of drills or polishing machines to clean and prep their non-skids, but after a short time reverted back to a deck brush, because it was easier and much faster. Boat Shine is self-polishing, just wipe off the haze and you’re done. Some insist on going over the final coat with a buffer, but the improvement in shine is minimal and holding a heavy buffer against the hull is hard work. Whenever we find a new product or tool that makes life easier, we will either make it available or post information about it on our Website.
Several items that will make your life easier are the Aurora Marine Power Mitt. It literally turbo-charges the cleaning action of Boat Clean Plus, Boat Scrub, Speed Clean and Black Streak Remover, cutting your cleaning time in half, and it won’t scratch. They are economical, can be reused and last a long time.
Another is the Aurora Boat Chamois. We import these synthetic, man made chamois from Germany because they are the best in the World. They are great for wiping down your boat after washing to eliminate water spots, cleaning up spills, getting the last few pints of water out of the bottom of your boat and more. Each Chamois will hold up to a quart of water. They stay soft and will not mold, mildew or smell and can be washed, if necessary.
We are working on a special buffing wheel that can be attached to a portable drill for buffing up Sure Step on non-skid decks. Getting the haze out of the nooks and crannies requires a brush but the new buffing wheel seems to do a better job and is much faster. So far the testing has been great. We still have some tests to do and if all goes well, we will make them available early next year.
Thanks for your question,