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Yacht Cleaning, Detailing and Valeting | CleanToGleam

Posted on September 11th 2017

What’s the difference between yacht cleaning, detailing and valeting?

If you’re in the boating industry, you’ve most likely come across the terms yacht detailing, yacht cleaning and yacht valeting being branded around…But what do they actually entail and what are the differences between them?

In most circumstances you’ll ‘clean the boat’, but if you opt for a professional yacht cleaning service, you’ll be presented with a range of options to choose from.

Yacht detailing Vs yacht valeting

These two phrases actually mean pretty much the same thing. Yacht detailing is an Americanism, we Brits call it valeting. However, in my opinion there’s become a subtle difference between a detail and a valet.  The clue’s in the name, a detail goes that extra mile, a more advanced clean, taking into account the finer details to really make the boat shine.

For example regarding the exterior, a valet provides a full wash-down of the boat, including hand superstructure and hull down to the waterline, exterior canopy, fenders, guardrails and exterior glass, followed by an overall polish and wax, giving the yacht a thorough, hand clean.

A detail will take extra time and care and where the guardrails are concerned for example, we would wash the rails first, hand polish them with chrome and buff it off with a micro-fibre cloth. A detail can make the dirtiest of yachts look brand new. With the exterior, we would wash, machine compound the gelcoat to get the depth back and remove light scratches, blemishes and hard wax for the final finish. Many people opt for this when selling their vessel to increase its resell value.

2. Boat before detailing3. Boat after detailing

1. Boat being professionally cleanedBoat Compounding - CleanToGleam

Interior detail, valet or clean…What’s the difference?

The types of sponges and cloths can vary when detailing, cleaning or valeting, especially with regard to the interior of the vessel.  For an interior detail, all hatches are opened and all covers and cushions removed; those areas that can get easily neglected, will be covered during a detail service.

Again, it’s subjective, this is merely based on my point of view and experience. When valeting/cleaning all surfaces will be wiped down and carpets vacuumed, including bathrooms, showers, windows, etc… sufficient for most boats.

A yacht detail interior service can be more bespoke depending on the needs of the boat. For example cleaning the inside of cabinets and drawers, cleaning silverware, utensils and spot treating carpets. It’s a more personalised, intensive service needed less often than a clean or valet.

4. Boat interior before detailing5. Boat interior after detailing

So to conclude

Some cleaning companies would argue that their valeting services are exactly the same as a yacht detailing service and therefore they mean the same thing.

In reality every company is different and will offer varying levels of service, some superior to others, with corresponding price ranges, regardless of the name of the package.

In my opinion yacht valeting and yacht detailing have subtle differences and a detail is more advanced. But the trick is to understand exactly what you’re paying for and to specify any particular scratches, blemishes, stains or hard to reach areas you want addressed and the overall outcome you’re trying to achieve.

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