At Deans Yacht Services we receive many calls from prospects simply asking how much does it cost to detail my boat? The cost can vary depending on the size, length, and style of the vessel. With that said, I can still give you an idea for researching purposes.
To start with, There are two models that companies use in most cases.
1- A per foot model: this is the most popular. Customers, including me like to know exactly what they will be charged for.
2- Hourly amount: this is self explanatory. You usually pay about $80/ hour for a crew. This can be a bit open ended on what it will cost at the end, and most customers (including me!) like to know exactly what it will cost so your not blind sided by a big invoice. We all have seen it. One guy working and the other guys texting their girlfriends or family on your dime. ?. The cost per hour is very hard to pin down, but in general it should be in line with the per foot charge.
3- Supply fees: boating supplies are very expensive. Just go buy something from West Marine, and you wonder how the heck they get away with the pricing of this stuff! Many companies may have a flat fee of $25-$45 for the supplies they put on your boat. Remember the per foot and hourly rate pays for the labor, insurance, vehicles to get to your boat. Supplies may be extra.
4- Travel: most detailing companies may have a flat fee of $40-$60 for the back and forth from your marina.
So what process does my pride and joy need to make her shine?!?
This is a great question and have heard it over the past 12 years! I will do my best to explain. Be prepared to answer the following questions for the company you are interviewing. IF they don’t ask these questions, be suspicious of them.
What type of vessel do you have? Is this a sailboat? Sport cruiser, sport fish, motor yacht etc.
What year is the vessel? Basically how long has this boat been in the sun!
How long have you owned this vessel?
How often do you detail your vessel every season?
In your opinion, is your gel coat shiny?
In your opinion, is the gel coat dull or chalky?
What are you looking to accomplish at the end of the day when you hire a detailing company?
At this point the detailing company has enough information to give you an estimate. The ideal world is to have the company come look at the vessel so there are no gotchas if you decide to use them.
From your answers if the detailing company feels that your boat is on good shape, they will recommend a 1-step cleaner wax. Maguiers makes a very nice cleaner wax. There is petroleum distillates in cleaner wax that will remove light oxidation from the gel coat. Most companies will apply this by hand and remove with a buffer machine. This will leave a very nice shine and protection that will last about 3 months.
The price range for this service ranges between $25-$28/ foot. This is applying cleaner wax from waterline up. Hull and topsides. This usually also includes the initial wash, final wash, and metal polishing.
If your vessel has a heavier oxidation on her, you may be looking at, what we call a 2-step process. Apply a compound with a machine buffer followed by pure wax. Remember, the compound is gritty and will remove more oxidation than cleaner wax. Compound has no wax in it, so the second step is applying a more wax to fill the pores after the compounding has been done. This process should range between $28 and $35 per foot. The supply fees are more expensive and can range from $65-$125 flat fee.
I hope this helps you break out the calculator and identify what the cost may be before you reach out to potential companies.