FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you charge and what are your rates?
A: Effective communication and mutual understandings are necessary to all relationships in our lives. They promote trust and confidence going forward and satisfaction at the end of the day. That is why we avoid advertising “teaser” or “one size fits all” prices. It would be unfair to us and unfair to you especially if it will mean paying for services you don’t need. We prefer to first inspect your boat, furnish you with a written assessment of her condition, a description of the methods and procedures which should be undertaken and the prices.
Q: Will an owner perform the services?
A: Yes along with a great crew when needed.
Q: How often should boats be waxed?
A: We recommend waxing the hull 2 to 4 times per year. Dullness and shine loss will be more pronounced topside as it receives most of the daily Florida sun. Therefore, we recommend waxing your topside more often than your hull.
Q: What are the benefits of being on an ongoing maintenance program?
A: The benefits are many. You will receive our services on a discounted basis as opposed to having us perform them one time. It affords us the opportunity to learn and appreciate your boat’s unique requirements going forward, her nuances…her soul. A relationship with us is really a both a partnership and a friendship. We like nothing better than an involved owner who asks questions and shares ideas from product selection to finding the most efficient and cost effective options. We are boat owners, divers and fishermen too!
Q: What does a typical detail and wax involve?
A: Detailing involves the application of several procedures to maintain and protect the unique and various components and surfaces of any boat. A typical exterior detail and wax will include:
- Initial wash using surface appropriate soap, brushes and hand cloths
- Deck Scrubbing
- Chamois and hand towel dry
- One coat of cleaner wax or pure wax
- Compartment detailing
- Canvas cleaning and protectant
- Vinyl cleaning and protectant
- Metal and polishing and insulator wax
- Cockpit waxing
- Rub rails, rubber seals cleaned and dressed
- Carpets lifted, cleaned and mildew treated
- Fenders cleaned
- Lines are soaked in soap water bath
- Loose items wiped down
- Hard glass de-etching followed by a hydrophobic repellant to improve clarity and water sheeting
- Isinglass and plastic windows are delicately hand cleaned and Plexus protectant applied (optical clarity)
- Other owner requested services
- Footprints wiped, final inspection
Q: Do you wax the hull in the water?
A: We prefer to wax boats on dry land where we can reach the hull on a steady scaffold or ladder and in slips with lower docks offering access to both sides of the boat without having to turn it.
Q: Can you wax my hull if my dock is high?
A: We may need you to move your boat to a lower dock to permit greater access to the hull. Sometimes we can time the tide; a high tide lifts all boats while a low tide may permit us to stand in the water. Waxing from the rub rail up can still be done regardless of where your boat sits in the water in relation to your dock.
Q: Do you use a work raft?
A: Yes, but for hand waxing only when working on higher docks. Our electric buffers weigh 7 pounds and require two hand operation. Trying to wield a buffer and keeping the pad flat with the appropriate pressure against the hull while maintaining balance and body position on a small floating work raft is difficult and dangerous. Electrical cords can often go into the water. And we certainly prefer flat calm waters.
Q: How long will it take? What about the weather?
A: First it will depend on when we can get you on our schedule. The actual length of time to do the entire job from start to finish depends on condition, design, components, and the weather. Jobs done in 90+ degree heat in full sun will take longer. Should it even lightly rain then trying to buff off the wax will result in a hazy mess requiring a repeat. Moreover, some compounds and waxes are difficult to apply and remove in very hot weather and could affect job quality. Assuming dry weather and temps in the 70s or 80s, waxing will take between 2 and four days for most vessels.
Q: What do I need to do?
A: If your boat is at a marina or boatyard you will merely need to call to advise them we are coming and to place your boat on blocks or supports (shaded area if possible) with access to a hose bib and an electrical outlet. We will make available our insurance information and sign any forms they deem necessary. If you live in a gated community then you will need to call the guard or management company and place us on your vendor list. When your boat is on dry land for servicing is ideal to do hull compounding and gelcoat restoration.
Q: How is wax applied? What kinds?
A: We apply pure wax (without grit) by hand especially if your boat is new or has recently received a two or three step compound, polish and wax. Many waxes contain silicones which are easier to apply and buff. But silicones attract dirt. So we prefer pure waxes without silicones. We like 3M, Mequiars, Collinite products and use different rubbing compounds, polishes and glazes depending on the degree of oxidation or dullness. We do not wax non skid surfaces because of safety concerns and dirt attraction. For metal and hardware we use an insulator wax.
Q: How should I inexpensively prepare my boat for sale?
A: Wax just the topside, polish the hardware and detailing the engine compartment. Potential buyers spend most of their time looking at these areas.
Q: Do you wash the boat before you wax it?
A: We only wash the boat before we wax it if it’s really dirty or if we’re not using any compound. If we’re using compound in the form of a cleaner wax or a compound on it’s own AND the boat has a light layer of dust on it, we typically won’t wash it first because the compound is going to cut through all of that dust and the layer of oxidation anyway.
Q: What is a one-step, two-step and a three-step wax job?
A: A one-step wax process is where we use pure wax on a new boat (gel coat is still glossy) or cleaner wax on a very lightly oxidized boat. A two-step wax process would be used with light oxidation or where we machine compound first and then go over it again with wax. A three-step process would be used on gel coat that is moderately to heavily oxidized and where you want to make sure the wax job lasts for a long time. In this case, we would go over the boat first with a heavier cutting rubbing compound to cut through the oxidation then with a polish to remove swirl marks and light scratches. This achieves as flawless a surface as possible for the final wax.
Q: My boat has no gloss left. Can you make it look new again?
A: The most resourceful methods of bringing back shine and sheen, if not gloss, can be anywhere from aggressive wet sanding and lesser aggressive machine compounding to using a one step restorer wax or polish with grit. However, if a pass of the hand along the gelcoat produces white chalk on the fingers or a rinse down results in cloudy or milky water then your gelcoat will require aggressive intervention. Continued waxing over oxidation merely seals in the oxidation while the gelcoat itself will continue to degrade. The goal is to remove just the oxidized layer of gelcoat to achieve the most flawless substrate as possible so future wax applications will last longer and the most aesthetically pleasing appearance is achieved.
Q How do you select your products?:
A: In a word, “experience”. The factors which go into product selection involve understanding the composition of the various components and surfaces requiring cleaning and protection and then selecting the least aggressive most efficient chemicals and applicators. For instance one doesn’t use a scotch pad, bronze wool, etc. when a microfiber cloth and a little more rubbing will clean without leaving visible scratches to hardware, gelcoat and vinyl or remove the anodizing on aluminum. One doesn’t use a deck brush on isinglass or apply inappropriate cleaners or protectants which will degrade it. In fact, our protectant is used by the US Air Force, retails for $32 a can while a new set of isinglass curtains will cost thousands.
Q: We want to take our boat on a trip. Can you get to us before we leave?
A: Our best advice is to let us know when so we can calendar you in. Pray for dry weather as rain can really mess up our schedule!
Q: What other services do you offer?
A: Everything involving cleaning, detailing and protection including cars, docks, patios, barbeques and exterior home hardware. We pressure wash, paint, seal, protect just about any surface for our customers.