Boat Detailing Cost: Types, Size & Condition

According to estimates, 12 million Americans have a boat, and they all need regular cleaning. In such a case, boat detailing cost is one of the crucial questions, besides fuel costs, marina reservation, and berth booking. The final price you can expect will mostly depend on the boat size and the type of service you want. Let’s take a look.

 

What is Boat Detailing?

What is Boat Detailing

Boat detailing is the boat’s hull cleaning process and refinishing when necessary. It is essential to do this job regularly, no matter what boat type you own. However, you should be aware that models made of fiberglass are more demanding than others. Regular cleaning is the only way to keep them protected and shine.

The detailing process begins with washing and removing dirt accumulated on the hull’s surface. Then, it is necessary to remove oxidation by buffing the hull and restore the surface’s color by applying a protective finish. Additionally, the detailer will solve possible issues with canvas and wooden parts.

Interior boat detailing – This package includes topside interior cleaning, floor, glass, and seat cleaning and conditioning, and mildew removal. The average price is $10 to $40 per 1 foot (30.5 cm).

Exterior boat detailing – The average package focuses on a hand-wash of boat exterior with microfiber mitts and gel coat marine soap. It also includes oxidation removal, a buff and wax, and trailer wash. The total cost ranges from $15 to $50 per foot.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Detail a Boat?

Always check at least two to three different companies’ offers before making the final decision about the services you want.

Detailing type

Detailing type

Basic wash – It includes hull and topside washing, gutter tracks maintenance, and windows cleaning. You can expect to pay $2 to $4 per foot for this service.

Detailed wash – This service involves the basic package, plus polishing, compartment cleaning, and mildew removal. The typical price range is $8 to $12 per foot.

Premium wash – Besides detail wash service, this package offers seat conditioning, canvas cleaning, rust removal, and corrosion protection on the working parts. The package price is approximately $13 to $16 per foot.

Premium plus wax – This service includes wax and buff on the boat surface outside the water along with premium wash. It will cost you $16 to $21 per foot.

Premium plus wax plus compound – This package includes premium services plus additional compound on gel coats.

You have an opportunity to ask for premium add-ons as wish, but that will cost you more:

  • $1 to $3 for power cord clean
  • $1 to $4 for radar arch
  • $2 to $6 for bottom wash
  • $3 to $5 for the Scotch guard on caret
  • $3 to $6 for engine clean
  • $3 to $6 for carpet wash
  • $3 to $6 for canvas clean
  • $7 to $13 for hull detail

Extra costs include:

  • $8 to $11 per foot for compounding
  • $3 to $6 per foot for scum line treatment or acid washing
  • $5 to $12 per foot for chrome and stainless steel polish
  • $21 to $42 per panel for isinglass treatment
  • $105 to $355 for the bilge cleaning

Remember that you need to pay 20% to 40% more for a boat over 40 feet (12.2 m). Most professional detailers will also require to get a 50% deposit before beginning the work.

Detailing cost for various boat types

Detailing cost for various boat types

Dinghy boat – This boat measures 7 to 12 feet (2.1 – 3.65 m), so you can propeller it by an outboard engine, oars, or sails. Cleaning this little boat will typically cost you less than $10 per foot.

Deck boat – This model has a large deck, making it a comfy option for skiing and wakeboarding. Its average length is 9 to 23 feet (2.75 – 7 m). The detailing costs will be about $10 per foot.

Fishing boat – It is hard to determine the detailing price of this boat type since they come in various sizes and shapes. In most cases, they are 10 to 24 feet (3 – 7.3 m) long, and you should set aside $14 to $18 per foot for cleaning service.

Jetboat – This jet-propelled boat is 14 to 25 feet (4.3 – 7.6 m) long on average. Its cleaning rate will depend on use severity but is typically at least $15 per foot.

Bowrider – This versatile boat, long 16 to 28 feet (4.9 – 8.5 m), is an excellent option for light fishing trips and water sports. You can expect to pay $15+ per foot for its detailing.

Ski boat – People use this 16 to 28 feet (4.9 – 8.5 m) long outboard runabout for water skiing and fishing. It requires a comprehensive cleaning approach, so the average detailing price will be $15 per foot, plus $5 per foot for an acid wash.

Pontoon boat – This Class1 boat is 16 to 30 feet (4.9 – 9.1 m) long. In this case, the cleaning cost will also depend on the boat surface. Those with chalky or faded surfaces will require an entire interior and exterior detailing service at the rate of $15 per foot. The price will increase to $23 per foot when including add-ons.

Daysailer boat – This small sailboat is less than 25 feet (7.6 m) long and is suitable for daytime rides. The average detailing price for this model is $15 per foot.

Trawler boat (cruising trawler, trawler yacht) – This boat with an impressive length of 40 feet (12.2 m) is created for mid-to-large-scale fishing. Since its design is easy to maintain, you can expect to pay $15 per foot for detailing.

Cruising yacht – This sporty, comfortable, and sleek 25 to 45 feet (7.6 – 13.7 m) long boat type is an enjoyable choice for relaxed sailing. Its detailing will cost at least $20 per foot, but the final price will depend on the boat size and condition.

Powerboat – This high-performance model is well-known for its high power-to-weight ratio. Since it is built for speed, it is typically 25 to 60 feet (7.6 – 18.3 m) long and always has a steep deadrise and narrow beam. Its cleaning will cost you approximately $10 per foot.

Sailboat – Since you can find numerous varieties of this boat type, the cleaning price will depend on the job difficulty and the skills a detailer needs to finish the job. An average model ranges from 25 to 80 feet (7.6 – 24.4 m) in length, and its detailing will cost you $15 to $40 per foot.

Sportfishing yacht – You can use this 24 to 100 feet (7.3 – 30.5 m) long, elegant boat for saltwater fishing, hunting large fish, and overnight cruising. In most cases, you should pay up to $15 per foot for its cleaning.

 

What Affect the Boat Detailing Price?

1. Boat size

Detailers will charge you boat detailing per boat length, so the price will be higher if you have a larger model.

Detailing prices

Boat type Professional detailing price DIY detailing price
Pontoon $200 to $300 $100
Speedboat $200 to $350 $150
Deck boat $200 to $400 $150
Houseboat $300 to $450 $250
Motorboat $300 to $500 $200
Fishing boat $300 to $550 $200
Catamaran $350 to $550 $250
Sailboat $400 to $500 $200
Yacht $500 to $1,500+ $300

The average detailing costs for different boat types are:

Pontoon

  • $100 for small pontoons
  • $200 to $300+ for large pontoons

Speedboat

  • $150 for small speedboats
  • $200 to $350 for large speedboats

Deck boat

  • $150 for small deck boats
  • $200 to $400 for large deck boats

Houseboat

  • $250 for small houseboats
  • $300 to $450 for large houseboats

Motorboat

  • $200 to $280 for small motorboats
  • $300 to $500 for large motorboats

Fishing boat

  • $200 for small fishing boats
  • $400 to $550 for large fishing boats

Catamaran

  • $250 for small catamarans
  • $350 to $550 for large catamarans

Sailboat

  • $200 for small sailboats
  • $400 to $500 for large sailboats

Yacht

  • $300 to $400 for small yachts
  • $500 to $800 for large yachts
  • $1,000 to $1,500+ for superyachts

2. Boat condition

Boat condition

Regular boat maintenance means that you can expect lower detailing rates. You will pay at least $5 to $10 per foot more for the boat covered with salt, algae, and bugs.

3. Specialty service

Specialty service

This service type includes emergency cleaning after a party. You can request:

  • Stain removal
  • Air sanitation to get rid of bad odors
  • Pet hair removal

You need to pay extra for this, and the rate will depend on your demands.

4. Location

Location

The region where you live and distance from a boat detailing shop will affect the final bill. The reason is different taxes, insurances, and staff salaries in various states. Living near the sea or in a polluted area will require additional work and higher detailing prices.

5. Detailer’s license, skills, and experience

Detailer’s license, skills, and experience

Some expensive boats require highly skillful and licensed detailers. As you can expect, their rates are always higher. Those professionals typically use high-quality and costly tools, equipment, and materials, so it is fair to charge you more.

 

Summary

Detailing price can significantly vary, depending on your boat’s size, shape, and condition. You should also consider the detailer’s skills and license and your location. In most cases, the basic service will cost you $2 to $4 per 1 foot (3.5 cm), but you can expect a higher rate for additional requirements.

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