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Aluminium Boat Detailing Steps and Procedures

Blog | 06 December 2017

Isn’t that tinny at the end of the mooring line looking a little battered and beat-up? The aluminium boat in question is just well-used, you say. Okay, when the daylight hits it just so, the formerly pristine hull is looking dilapidated, but there’s a fix for that problem, isn’t there? Follow the sequence we’re about to set forth in digital ink. The guide will show you how to apply some essential detailing steps.

Cracking the Essential Detailing Steps

First of all, aluminium hulls oxidize, which means the original glossy metal finish has been replaced with a dulled aluminium oxide coating. Wash that burnished metal skin with soap and water, rinse off the cleaning agent, and wait for it to dry. Do you figure, judging by the results, you’ve earned the rest of the day off? Unfortunately, no, your work has only just begun.

Invest in a Dedicated Marine Cleaning Product

Make sure that tinny is safely berthed in a dry zone. Flipped upside down or supported on a cradle, your craft requires anchoring before you can move to the next stage. Incidentally, don’t start this project on a hot summer day. Aluminium hulls soak up the heat, and you don’t want to burn your skin. Now, some owners don’t seem to care what cleaner is used during the detailing work. They’ve even been known to recommend a vehicle wheel rim cleansing agent, which isn’t what’s required for this work at all. Instead, purchase an aluminium cleaner that’s intended for marine vessels.

Power through the Oxidized Overlay

This next step takes some elbow grease, so take a deep breath. Spray the cleaner. Start from the bottom of the craft hull and spray upwards. Read the label on the can. Typically, you’ll wait for several minutes as the chemical eats into the aluminium oxide coating. Use the included application brush to really agitate that foamy mix, then rinse off that dirty froth. As the cleaner washes away that polished aluminium skin begins to take on its factory finished sheen again.

In real-world terms, things get a bit messier. Use 500 then 800 grit sandpaper to gently scour away the nastiest stains. Apply that cleaning chemical liberally, then wash away the residue. Call in a power buffer to really bring out the polished aluminium gleam. If streaks appear, then focus a second coating cleaner on that section. Afterwards, seal those polished results. Check the can to see if it features a protecting film. Otherwise, employ an appropriate metal polish as a final-stage hull protection aid. Always, and we mean always, wear safety goggles during every stage of the detailing service.

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