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Premier Marine Detailing


1. Do you need a license to operate a boat in Florida?

In order to operate a motorboat of ten (10) horsepower or greater, Florida law requires anyone who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 to successfully complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card issued by the FWC. Florida does not have a "boating license."


2. Can anyone drive a boat in Florida?

The short answer to that is “no.” However, you do need to be familiar with proper boating safety. Anyone born after January 1, 1988, who wants to operate a boat in Florida needs to have a Boating Safety Education Identification Card.


3. What length boat requires a license?

Boating Laws & License Requirements vary by State. To legally operate any boat with an engine or motor, other than a personal watercraft, or a sailboat 19 1/2 feet in length or longer, the following persons must obtain a 'Safe Boating Certificate' or a 'Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation.'


4. How do you remove old wax from a fiberglass boat?

Saturate a clean rag with floor wax stripper...Fill a bucket with water and mix in 1 cup of liquid dish detergent for each gallon of water. Start stripping the wax at the top of the bow...Move aft as you finish an area and repeat the process. Wash the boat thoroughly with liquid detergent and clean water.


5. What is the best way to clean a boat?

Choose cleaning brushes that are sturdy and will get rid of stubborn dirt, grime, and salt, without damaging the finish or gel coat on your boat. A long, sturdy handle on a scrub brush will allow you to reach hard-to-clean areas without bending down, provide leverage, and help eliminate strain on your back and arms.


6. How do you maintain a boat?

Wash your boat regularly. Use soaps and cleaners specifically made for boats. Change your boat's oil regularly. Check the propeller as part of your pre-launch routine. Inspect the propeller regularly. Scrutinize the propeller for other damage. Put a liberal amount of waterproof grease on the propeller shaft.


7. How do you maintain a fiberglass boat?

Wash it regularly—cleaning it regularly is one of the basic steps for boat maintenance. Use a quality polish. A good quality wax is necessary for the protection of your fiberglass boat after you have washed it. Fix any crack promptly. Create a  schedule. Replace the pump yearly.


8. How often should you wax your boat?

For example, you may only need to wax your boat once a year if you keep it above water or in the garage and have very minimal use. If you keep your boat in the water year-round, though, you may want to think about waxing your boat every three or four months, amounting to about three-four times per year. Every boating excursion you should do a visual inspection and if there are any signs of oxidization or scum line build up, a detailing should be scheduled.


9. How much does it cost to maintain a boat?

The annual tab for upkeep, including insurance, winter storage, and maintenance comes to $4,300. That's $358 per month. Neither of these estimates includes taxes, registration, and mooring or dock fees so the real cost of owning a boat is even higher.


10. How often does a boat need an oil change?

Frequently. Most engine manufacturers recommend that you change your oil every 50-100 hours (check your owner's manual for your engine's exact interval requirements). This applies to both gasoline and diesel engines.


11. Do you wax the bottom of a boat?

No. The reason being is the wax does not allow the water to stick to the bottom surface and therefore only creates more friction during a forward motion. Here is how it works. When the bottom of a boat is either painted or left unwaxed the water is allowed to stick to the surface.


12. How do you remove mildew from vinyl boat seats?

Step 1: Spray Mold Remover onto the seats.

Step 2: Use a soft brush and scrub lightly.

Step 3: Wipe away mildew debris with a microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Use the magic eraser for the really stubborn stains.

Step 5: Use 303 protectant to seal and protect the vinyl.


13. How do you clean a boat after salt water?

If you boat in saltwater, rinse your boat thoroughly with fresh water after every outing to remove salt residue. Salt will not only corrode metal, fasteners and other hardware, left too long on your gelcoat, but it can also mar that. Use a long-handle, soft-bristle boat brush and some quality soap.


14. How much fuel does a boat use?

The pros call it "brake-specific fuel consumption." This makes it important to know that gasoline weighs about 6.1 pounds per gallon and diesel fuel 7.2 pounds per gallon. On average, an in-tune four-stroke gasoline engine will burn about 0.50 pounds of fuel per hour for each unit of horsepower.


15. How much does boat fuel cost?

Many fast motorboats use between 20 and 30 gallons of fuel per hour when cruising at speed; average that to 25 gallons per hour, and a five-hour trip could cost you more than $300 per outing. Assuming you use your boat once a week, that's more than $16,000 in gasoline alone.


16. Do boats need insurance?

You're probably not required by law to have boat insurance, but that doesn't mean you don't need it. A few states require that you have liability coverage on certain types of boat—powerboats with more than 50 horsepower or PWCs, for example—or on boats used in state parks or kept in state-run marinas.


17. What should you do before starting an inboard gasoline engine?

If your boat has an inboard engine, you should always run the blower for at least four minutes before starting the engine. Perform the 'sniff test' to check your bilges—make sure you don't smell gasoline.


18. Why should a boat's gas tank never be completely filled?

It's important to never fill the tank of your boat beyond 90% full. This leaves room for gas to expand and avoids the potential for overflow. After you're done fueling, tightly replace the gas cap. This will prevent the escape of fuel vapors.


19. How often should you change the oil?

Most owner's manuals for newer vehicles will tell you it's acceptable to go 5,000 miles between oil changes under normal conditions. But you should drop to 3,000 miles if you drive under severe conditions. Severe driving conditions can take a toll on just about every part of your car—both inside and out.


20. How often should you change outboard lower unit oil?

Most sterndrive and outboard manufacturers advise you to change the gear-case oil in your lower unit every 100 hours or once a year (whichever comes first).


21. Can any boat go in saltwater?

Most boats, especially those commonly used in freshwater, have a hull strength that was designed to be close to shore. Thus, most any boat can go into salty, ocean waters. Boaters, however, must be aware that rough waters and rocky shores can pose danger if the hull strength of your boat is not rated for such.


22. How long should you flush your outboard?

Back in the day, flushing an outboard with fresh water was done only one way. A set of "earmuffs" or "flush muffs" was fitted around the engine's gear case to cover the water intakes, connected to a garden hose with a good water supply, and the engine was run for five to 10 minutes.


23. Can you use bleach on vinyl boat seats?

For example, many people try using bleach, but it is too harsh for vinyl and will cause it to break down over time, becoming more easily damaged by everyday wear and tear. With bleach, you also run the risk of bleaching any fabrics nearby or carpeting on your boat. Instead of bleach, use use clean, fresh water to clean your seats.


24. How many miles can a boat travel in a day?

At all, a sailboat has, as already mentioned, a speed of 4-5 knots which is equivalent to 9 km/h or 5 mph. That does not sound much, but a sailboat runs with this speed 24 hours a day, giving an impressive so-called day's run (daily distance) of approximately 100 nautical miles which is 185 km or 115 miles.


25. Do boats use the same gas as cars?

Both gasoline and diesel engines use about 0.6 pounds of fuel per horsepower per hour. On average, diesel fuel contains about 140,000 BTUs per gallon or 10 percent more energy than the same volume of gasoline. Where does it go when it is consumed? Your engine uses the fuel you purchase in several ways.


26. Does boat insurance cover sinking?

Boat owners may be surprised to find their boat's insurance policy may not cover a common sinking like this. But what about the rest of the boat sitting sunk on the lake bottom? Some policies won't cover that, either, as they exclude any “consequential” damage as a result of wear, tear, and corrosion.


27. Is a boat covered under homeowners’ insurance?

Typically, a homeowner's insurance policy will only cover damage to your boat that occurs while it is on your property. Further, the amount of coverage offered is usually less than in a boat insurance policy, which can lead to problems if the boat is damaged.


28. How do I report a fuel spill?

To report a release or spill, contact the federal government's centralized reporting center, the National Response Center (NRC), at 1-800-424-8802. The NRC is staffed 24 hours a day by personnel who will ask you to provide as much information about the incident as possible.


29. At what point should you open all windows and hatches when fueling?

You should turn off all electrical equipment that could throw a spark. Close all doors, windows and hatches where gasoline fumes could enter. Once you're done fueling, you'll want to open all the doors, windows and hatches to allow for air to circulate throughout the boat.


30. How do you winterize an outboard motor?

Pour stabilizer into the gas tank. Remove the air box cover. Put earmuffs on the lower unit. Spray fogging oil into the engine. Drain lower unit lube. Fill lower unit with new lube. Check, fill, and charge battery.


31. How fast is 5 knots on a boat?

A knot means one nautical mile per hour. Therefore, a ship traveling at 15 knots could go 15 nautical miles per hour.


32. How long does it take to travel 1 mile by boat?

One nautical mile equals 1.15 statute miles. If it takes someone an hour to travel 45 miles, they must have averaged 45 mph. The same concept applies to a vessel. A ship averaging 20 knots would go 20 nautical miles in one hour or 200 miles in 10 hours.


33. Can you use auto wax on a boat?

As a rule of thumb, any car wax product can be used on your boat as long as there is no degree of oxidation. Basically, if your boat is stored outside, it will need either a cleaner wax or a dedicated polish first. Gelcoat is a very tough and durable material.


34. Can you use rubbing compound on gelcoat?

3M Marine Rubbing Compound eliminates chalky gelcoat oxidation when other polishes fail. Gelcoat is used on boats and recreational vehicles because it is extremely tough, which also means it can be tough to polish. 3M Marine Rubbing Compound is designed specifically for polishing gelcoat.


35. How do you restore chalky gelcoat?

The first coat will soak in because if your boat is chalky, the gelcoat is dry and porous and will absorb more. The coverage on the 2nd coat will be greater. To restore the finish, first wash the boat with Boat Clean Plus at a concentration of about 1:4 with water.


36. How is gelcoat made?

Gelcoat is a specially formulated two-part polyester resin that is designed to be the first layer of resin applied in a mold when making a polyester or vinyl ester composite part. Most boats are made using gelcoat with polyester resin and fiberglass. Composite parts are generally made in a female mold.


37. What is a marine gelcoat?

Gelcoat or 'Gel Coat' is a material used to provide a high-quality finish on the visible surface of a fiber-reinforced composite. The most common gelcoats are thermosetting polymers based on epoxy or unsaturated polyester resin chemistry. Gelcoats are modified resins which are applied to molds in the liquid state.


38. Do all boats have gelcoat? (gelcoat is the top finish that you see on your entire boat.)

Gelcoat is typically much thicker than paint and is designed to protect the underlying fiberglass as well as provide a smooth shiny appearance...If you have many gouges, you may consider buying a quart of gelcoat.


39. How do you remove pinstripe residue?

Keep using the rubbing alcohol down the adhesive as you work your way down the pinstripe. If you hit a stubborn spot on the pinstriping apply more alcohol until it softens up again. If there is still some residue left over, use Goo Gone or another cleaner to remove any residue


40. How do you remove stickers from fibreglass?

Soften the adhesive or glue on the decal by using a regular hair dryer. Spray or soak the sticker with some kind of lubricant or cleanser. Use a plastic spatula to remove, utilizing a scraping motion, any glue or adhesive residue. Repeat.


41. What actions can you take to clean your boat as environmentally-friendly as possible?

  • When possible, remove the boat from the water and perform cleaning where debris can be captured and properly disposed. 
  • Use fresh water to clean your boat after every use. 
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning methods and products, including baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice (see below). 
  • Ask your marina or marine store to stock biodegradable spray-type cleaners that do not require rinsing. 
  • To reduce the need for in the water cleaning, use dry slips. 


42. What eco-friendly alternatives are there to using toxic boat marine detailing products?

  • Detergent & Soap - Use elbow grease
  • Bleach - Use Hydrogen peroxide instead
  • Scouring Powders - Baking soda or salt
  • Floor Cleaner - One cup white vinegar in 2 gallons water
  • Window Cleaner - One-cup vinegar in 1-quart warm water, rinse and squeegee
  • Varnish Cleaner - Wipe with 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water solution
  • Head Cleaner - Put in baking soda and use a brush
  • Shower Cleaner - Wet surface, sprinkle baking soda, rub with scouring cloth 
  • Aluminum Cleaner - 2 tablespoons cream of tartar in 1-quart hot water 
  • Chrome Cleaner / Polish - Apple cider vinegar to clean; baby oil to polish
  • Fiberglass Stain Remover - Baking soda paste
  • Drain Opener - Disassemble and replace; do not use toxic substances
  • Mildew Remover - Paste using equal parts of lemon juice and salt
  • Wood Polish - 3 parts olive oil and 1 part white vinegar; almond or olive oil (interior unvarnished wood only)