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.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these topics and gained additional insight into the boat cleaning business today.