Mobile Boat Detailing: The Ultimate Side Hustle for Boat Lovers

A healthy majority of people dream of running their own businesses. Of course, full-blown entrepreneurship can feel like a bridge too far. For boat lovers, though, a mobile boat detailing business can provide the business ownership people crave as a side hustle.

What makes boat detailing such as perfect side hustle is that most people hate cleaning their own boats. A lot of them don’t even know how to detail a boat.

Most people also only use their boats a few months out of the year. You get a business you can run on weekends or the occasional evening when the weather is nice.

Let’s jump in and see what you need to make some money with this side hustle.

Mobile Boat Detailing Equipment

A boat detailing business doesn’t require a lot of specialized equipment. In fact, it’s not much different from what you might use to detail your car. Your basic equipment includes:

  • Mop and brushes
  • Vacuum and steam cleaner
  • Towels and hand clothes
  • Boat cleaning products
  • Marine polish and wax

If you plan on working in a marina or around docks, you’ll also need a small workboat. Don’t forget the trailer for hauling the boat.


Marketing your detailing won’t prove much different than marketing any other small, local business. You’ll spend a lot of time talking to people about it. You should also put up flying near the hub of boat activity.

You should set up a website for your detailing business. It’s a permanent online home for your contact info. You can also put a business page on Facebook for the same reason.

Don’t go overboard on social media profiles unless you’re committed to posting on them regularly.

Interested in entrepreneurship? Check out some of our other small business articles on this site.

Boat Detailing Prices

Figuring out your boat detailing prices hinges a little bit on the boat detailing cost. There is the cost of the supplies and your desired hourly rate. Of course, boat detailing typically gets charged by the foot and the type of service.

A basic rule of thumb is that you should charge more per foot for bigger boats. The time involved in even a basic cleaning of a large boat warrants it.

You can check out any competitors and look at their rates. That gives you a good idea of what the market will bear in your location.

You should also create a separate surcharge rate for boats that haven’t been cleaned recently. These boats often present unique cleaning challenges.

Getting Started in Boat Detailing

Getting started in your mobile boat detailing business takes a lot less initial investment than most businesses. You only need a small number of easily found cleaning tools and boat-specific cleaning products.

You will need a small boat and trailer. Those may cost you a bit but should hold up for quite a while. Marketing will mostly entail talking yourself up and word of mouth. Take some time and figure out your pricing before you go live.

Yvan Lebrun
Yvan Lebrun

Yvan Lebrun is a trusted expert in the field of product & service reviews. With over a decade of experience analyzing and comparing services online, he shares his valuable experience with readers at GoodSitesLike so consumers can make educated decisions before making a purchase.