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Boat Detailing Business: Is It Profitable?

Boat Detailing Business: Is It Profitable?

Boat Detailing Business: Is It Profitable?

If you live near a gulf or a similar body of water, and you are considering starting a boat detailing business but hesitant because you are unsure of how profitable it can be, then this post is for you.


Why a Boat Detailing Business Can Be Profitable

A news article on National Marine Manufacturers Association states that sales of new powerboats have increased between six and seven percent in 2016, reaching an estimated 250,000 boats sold as consumer confidence soared and manufacturers introduced products attracting younger boaters. In addition to increases in unit sales of new boats, recreational boating industry dollar sales are expected to rise between 10-11 percent from $8.4 billion in 2016.

The same article revealed that sales of recreational boats is witnessing a huge comeback after a decade and is projected to continue through 2018! This means more boats will be sailing and will be needing upkeep in the years to come.


Boat Detailing: The Law of Demand and Supply

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there will be an increase in demand for cleaners and detailers of vehicles – including boats. By 2020, the BLS says, the car washing industry will have more than 370,000 employees. (Source:

And because there aren’t many providers offering dedicated boat detailing services, you will be a part of a growing industry.

Remember the law of supply and demand?

When there’s a demand for something, in this case, boat detailing services, and there isn’t enough supply, then prices will rise. So launching this business now spells huge profits for you.

Take note that once other entrepreneurs realize that this type of service can be truly profitable, more people will start a boat detailing biz. This will cause the supply to increase, bringing the prices down.

So you might say, “Oh, then the profits will not be for long, anyway, since there will be more boat detailers in the future.”

Not if you have already established your brand early on and a league of satisfied consumers who will spread the word about you.


Crunching the Numbers

So yes, offering boat detailing services can be profitable. But how profitable can it be? Let’s crunch some numbers.

Boat detailing prices may vary depending on location, boat condition, and other factors, but currently, the going rate for a wash without wax is $10 per foot. Imagine cleaning an average-sized boat, which measures 48 feet – that will be $480 for you. That’s just for a wax without wax.

Now let’s up the ante. Say the customer has an older 100-foot yacht with severe oxidation in some areas. The usual rate for this type of project is $30. That’s $3,000 for you – all in a day’s work!

These are just conservative estimates, but they give you an idea of how much you can earn from a single boat detailing service.

Can you imagine your profits if you can detail two or three boats a day? Yes, HUGE!


Starting It Right

Yes, boat detailing services can be very profitable, but only if you do it right. For example, there’s this case of  Lance Winslow who started a boat detailing business, The Boat Wash Guys. He met two men who were very knowledgeable and able boat detailers. They planned and launched it only to realize that they overlooked some details, like insurance and governmental policies. These put a hold on their business and sunk a whopping $100,000 on something that did not turn out as they expected.

Being an expert boat detailer is just a part of the equation. You have to get the right training on how to run your business too. You have to learn everything, from recruitment to management and operations to sales and promotions. In so doing, you will be assured of profits for years to come.

Want to start a boat detailing business? Check out the DetailXPerts Franchise opportunity. We will guide you every step of the way from day one to launching, so you avoid overlooking details that can turn into major issues later on.


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