In addition to the fun and sun of ocean and big lake yachting, cruising a pontoon, on the other hand, is perfect for the smaller lakes and those calm, sunset cruises with loads of family and friends. The sale of pontoon boats continues to gain steam with 3-4% annual growth with around 64,000 pontoons sold in 2022. Simply put, pontoons are a trend not going away. Is there any better way to have a barbecue on the open water from the deck of a pontoon boat?

For those of you fortunate enough to have a quiver of boats for different boating experiences, a pontoon is definitely easier to maintain and clean over a yacht given the size difference. But nonetheless, whether a yacht or a pontoon boat, special care must be taken to keep your watercraft investment in tip-top shape and looking good.  

Remember how shiny your new pontoon tubes were when you first bought your boat? If it seems like you’ve missed that shine already, then perhaps it’s time to polish your pontoon boat again with an effective treatment plan brought to you by Starke. 

If you take your pontoon boat to your dealer, you would probably spend $400 for a mirror-like finish. But you can always browse through Starke Yacht and Care Supplies for boat cleaning products that will help you save a good chunk of money. 

Today, we will also show you how to polish a pontoon boat to get a stunning result. This guide will do the trick to help you have a boat that is clean, slick, and shiny in just under 3 hours. 

Step1: Prepare your pontoon boat

The very first thing you should do is clean your boat. The prep work can take longer depending on how much cleaning you’ll have to do. Sometimes, there will be algae, salt build, and other grease on your pontoons. In this case, you may need to pressure wash or use boat de-salt concentrate. 

Spray on a boat cleaner and wipe it as you spray. If necessary, dock your boat or let it stay at the marina for a while as you clean it. If there’s no visible buildup then simply pressure wash the dirt and grime for a quicker pre-surface prep maneuver.

Step 2: Apply a boat cleaner

While boat cleaner doesn’t polish your pontoon boat, it does a good job of making sure the pontoon is toxin-free. Some elements like fibers and other buildup materials are almost invisible but they can stubbornly stick on the surface and affect the finish.

So, go over your entire boat and work on the sections of the pontoon for an effective cleaning technique. Spray off the boat cleaner using a hose or pressure wash. Then you can scrub and rub as you spray. Make sure it is sparkling and dry for the next step. 

Step 3: Apply boat polish and buff 

If you simply want to clean your pontoon boat, you can skip this part. But if you want a high-gloss finish, then apply a boat polish and buffing agent with buffing and polishing equipment. Bigger boats may require an electric polisher like a Dewalt or Makita - just make sure to polish in a circular motion for the best application. 

For a smaller boat, you can do it with a microfiber wax applicator set. Just spray the polish on the cloth and wipe it on your pontoon. Be careful when applying polish on the pontoon that you don’t wipe straight up or down as it may leave some patterns. The best way is always to follow an “S” pattern or a circular motion.

If you are using an electric buffer, make sure you have the Uro-Tec Polishing Foam Pad. This soft, open-cell foam provides an exceptional finish that will make your pontoon strikingly shiny.

Step4: Apply the cleaner again

Yes. I know what you have in mind right now but polishing your pontoon boat requires a 2-step cleaning process. The reason is that there could be some polishing compound left on the surface, which will look terrible when sealed.

Just turn on your radio for a little music and soap down the boat. Take your time and spray it. Then wash all the soap and wipe the surface dry with a super absorbent microfiber sponge before moving on to the next step of applying an exterior protectant.

Step 5: Apply a Marine Metal Protectant

The last step of the process is applying a marine pontoon sealant like the Starke Hybrid Marine Sealant. It is an all-around sealant that offers excellent slickness and works phenomenally in protecting your pontoon boat from UV rays, saltwater damage, algae, and more. It makes your pontoon sparkle all the way from under the water. 

We hope this simple guide has been useful in your DIY pontoon boat cleaning journey. 

For more information, you can contact us at (800) 203-5315. Or better yet, browse through our wide selection of boat cleaning products for all your different boat detailing needs.

June 13, 2022 — John TenBrink