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Detailing advice

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Old 04-09-2015, 10:19 PM
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Default Detailing advice

Hi everyone,

I知 looking to get some advice I知 pretty new on off shore only and a few of you may know that I own a mobile detailing business in central Ohio.

I知 not trying to sell my services but I知 looking for input from other boat owners that have either had their boat detailed by someone one else or even what you would expect if you had your boat detailed professionally.

For example what were you happy with or what did you think they could of improved upon or if you haven稚 had your boat detailed by someone what would you expect if you had it done?

Each year the number of boats I detail is slowly increasing and I do have repeat customers that always seem very happy but I still want to better my business.

Basically I知 looking for data and advice from other boat owners for example what would you pay, what would you expect, is there certain products you would want used. Are there any services other than detailing that I should think about offering to my customers?

Thanks
Jordan
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:16 AM
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Top on my list of questions for a boat detail:
1. What line of product do you use?
If the answer is "proprietary", "our own blend", or "top of the line automotive" anything, I'm on to the next shop. I'd like to hear Bio-Kleen or FOY, but even Meguiars will do, as long as it's a reputable marine-specific line of products being applied. Pink silicone detailer is for the buy here-pay here lots, not my boat.

2. What's the approx. cost per foot for detailing?
3. What's approx. cost per foot for buff/wax?

Those 2 questions go hand in hand, because they aren't the same. The detail (at both places I've used) is an all over wash and dry, with an interior clean, carpet/floor clean, and wipe down/tire dressing on trailer. Hull buff and wax are separate, and consists of hullsides, transom, and deck (no bottom). Letting a customer know that up front goes a long way toward meeting expectations.

I paid $11/foot for detail, and thought it was a decent deal a few years ago. Hull wax/buff was almost at the $20/foot range, but I didn't partake, as I'd already sweat gallons doing it myself. I dropped the boat off, but would have paid $50-75 extra if the option for them to do it at the house would have been available. Definitely easier and less time consuming to sign my name on a check than hitch/travel/unhitch, repeat.

Last edited by Speedracer29; 04-10-2015 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:40 AM
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What would you say the going rate is per foot for a customer who wants a weekly wash, interior wipe down, carpet vacuum, etc..??

Just basically the same service you would get at one of the full service car washes.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:05 AM
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I own a detail business. I also sell professional grade products. I know that the most important thing sometimes has nothing to do with the actual work. It's the actual dealings with the customer. I've done a lot of work for some big high profile boat owners, some on here. I think dependability, professionalism and consistency is what most look for. Now obviously you have to do solid quality work.

I've heard of way too many high profile guys with big time money boats just completely getting raked over the coals on price because they have a 500k+ go fast boat. That's just wrong and has nothing to do what a fair price should be.

It's alsovery enjoyable to get to know and make relationships with a lot of these guys which are on here as well. And it's also very humbling to work on such amazing boats.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedracer29 View Post
Top on my list of questions for a boat detail:
1. What line of product do you use?
If the answer is "proprietary", "our own blend", or "top of the line automotive" anything, I'm on to the next shop. I'd like to hear Bio-Kleen or FOY, but even Meguiars will do, as long as it's a reputable marine-specific line of products being applied. Pink silicone detailer is for the buy here-pay here lots, not my boat.

2. What's the approx. cost per foot for detailing?
3. What's approx. cost per foot for buff/wax?

Those 2 questions go hand in hand, because they aren't the same. The detail (at both places I've used) is an all over wash and dry, with an interior clean, carpet/floor clean, and wipe down/tire dressing on trailer. Hull buff and wax are separate, and consists of hullsides, transom, and deck (no bottom). Letting a customer know that up front goes a long way toward meeting expectations.

I paid $11/foot for detail, and thought it was a decent deal a few years ago. Hull wax/buff was almost at the $20/foot range, but I didn't partake, as I'd already sweat gallons doing it myself. I dropped the boat off, but would have paid $50-75 extra if the option for them to do it at the house would have been available. Definitely easier and less time consuming to sign my name on a check than hitch/travel/unhitch, repeat.

Is your concern on the product over price or are you just more familiar with the general marine names?

I didn't fully understand what your message was you were trying to get across like with the pink detail spray...

Because I will say this- the over the counter stuff can not compare to what at least our line of product does. I ran out of compound in the middle of a job and had to go right to the counter of the marine shop I was working at to buy some Meguires compound. Let's just say horrible is an understatement. Sure it cut oxidation, just not nearly as well. I had to use way more product and work twice as hard going over things twice. It's just not good stuff.

Now I understand most people are not familiar with what the pros use as it's not known in the consumer market. I will say this tho- we are going to be breaking into that market this summer.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:00 PM
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Precisiondetails is exactly right. Personally, I would never want to get into the boat detailing business as the time it would take to educate your customer on good work/products and the chances of them following through to maintain the finish is very difficult. Moreover, if you are asking what products your customers want to see, I am afraid you are already setting yourself up to fail. Every paint/gelcoat is different, which may require different products and pads depending on the hardness thus you will need to tailor your product/pad combination as you see fit. Precisiondetails has a high end detail shop specializing in paint correction, sealants, and coatings (correct me if im wrong precisiondetails) and I am into detailing myself as a hobbyist, so perhaps we are talking a different language here as I'm not sure the level of detailing you are doing.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:06 PM
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one word is all u need to know about detailing hi perf boats... speed wax! nothing else even comes close dude... 10% less fuel burn and 11.86% more speed... oh and dont forget to remove the coney island white fish stuck between the cushions in the v berth area
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:27 PM
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I would not be to stuck on "marine specific products". I have used several products over the years some automotive and some marine from several different companies. I have not used nor tried all of them. I have come across, in my personal experience, a combination of automotive products both for surface prep and for protection all from the same source that beats anything I have ever used hands down. It kicks their own line of "marine products" to the curb.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedracer29 View Post
Top on my list of questions for a boat detail:
1. What line of product do you use?
If the answer is "proprietary", "our own blend", or "top of the line automotive" anything, I'm on to the next shop. I'd like to hear Bio-Kleen or FOY, but even Meguiars will do, as long as it's a reputable marine-specific line of products being applied. Pink silicone detailer is for the buy here-pay here lots, not my boat.

2. What's the approx. cost per foot for detailing?
3. What's approx. cost per foot for buff/wax?

Those 2 questions go hand in hand, because they aren't the same. The detail (at both places I've used) is an all over wash and dry, with an interior clean, carpet/floor clean, and wipe down/tire dressing on trailer. Hull buff and wax are separate, and consists of hullsides, transom, and deck (no bottom). Letting a customer know that up front goes a long way toward meeting expectations.


I paid $11/foot for detail, and thought it was a decent deal a few years ago. Hull wax/buff was almost at the $20/foot range, but I didn't partake, as I'd already sweat gallons doing it myself. I dropped the boat off, but would have paid $50-75 extra if the option for them to do it at the house would have been available. Definitely easier and less time consuming to sign my name on a check than hitch/travel/unhitch, repeat.
Why would you use marine products on automotive paint? Most of our boats are not gel coat and I wouldn't use marine anything. It cost twice as much and doesn't work half as good.
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Old 04-10-2015, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by precisiondetails View Post
I own a detail business. I also sell professional grade products. I know that the most important thing sometimes has nothing to do with the actual work. It's the actual dealings with the customer. I've done a lot of work for some big high profile boat owners, some on here. I think dependability, professionalism and consistency is what most look for. Now obviously you have to do solid quality work.

I've heard of way too many high profile guys with big time money boats just completely getting raked over the coals on price because they have a 500k+ go fast boat. That's just wrong and has nothing to do what a fair price should be.

It's alsovery enjoyable to get to know and make relationships with a lot of these guys which are on here as well. And it's also very humbling to work on such amazing boats.
I must be pretty lucky so far, dealing with the customer isn’t that big of a deal for me. Almost all of my customers seem to be pretty open to me advice and trust me as to what is best for their situation. But I do have a few customers who are very picky about what products they want used on their boats I have been able to change a few of their minds especially the ones who want meguiar’s or similar products used. A simple side-by-side comparison shows the difference.

I agree just because it’s a 500k+ boat doesn’t mean the price has to be triple what another boat would cost. Most of the time I actually end up charging less per foot on nicer boats especially if they are well maintained. It takes less work to get them looking nice compared to a mid 90’s boat that has been sitting outside uncovered most of its life.



Originally Posted by Mastercraft240 View Post
Precisiondetails is exactly right. Personally, I would never want to get into the boat detailing business as the time it would take to educate your customer on good work/products and the chances of them following through to maintain the finish is very difficult. Moreover, if you are asking what products your customers want to see, I am afraid you are already setting yourself up to fail. Every paint/gelcoat is different, which may require different products and pads depending on the hardness thus you will need to tailor your product/pad combination as you see fit. Precisiondetails has a high end detail shop specializing in paint correction, sealants, and coatings (correct me if im wrong precisiondetails) and I am into detailing myself as a hobbyist, so perhaps we are talking a different language here as I'm not sure the level of detailing you are doing.
That is true, its very hard to get customers to follow through on maintaining the finish especially with boats. I don't see how I am setting myself up for failure. Every boat is different and I have so many different products and I don't always use the same ones on each boat.

I just want to see what the customers want and would expect when they are going to spend any where from $200-$500+ on getting there boat detailed. I have had some customers turn me on to specific products that work really well and thats partially the purpose of this thread, I learn new things everyday.
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