How To Polish Your Pontoon Boat For A Mirror Finish

The way pontooners talk about their pontoons is amusing. Despite the fact that a mirror-like polish on our pontoons makes no difference in terms of longevity, and the fact that you’ll need to shine them up again before long, and the fact that half of them are below the water level, we still like it.

I’ll teach you how to clean your pontoons properly so they look their best out on the lake in this article.

If you take your pontoon boat to your dealer and ask how much it would cost to give it a mirror-like sheen and apply Shark Hide, the cost is generally approximately $400 (US), so you’re saving a lot of money by doing it yourself. It’s also not particularly difficult–just time consuming. Depending on the size of your boat, the job should take around 3 hours from start to finish.

Step 1: Get the Pontoons Ready

The first step is to clean any algae or buildup from the pontoons. This will not apply to those of us who trailer our pontoon boats after each usage, but it will for those who leave the boat parked or at the marina for lengthy periods of time. Because of the salt deposits, this is especially true for saltwater pontoons.

A simple pressure wash with water will suffice if there is no obvious accumulation on the pontoons. If you don’t have access to a pressure washer, try wiping off the surface with a moist towel while you spray.

Step 2: Using a Cleaner

Although the cleaner won’t truly polish the pontoons, if you neglect this step, the polished finish won’t last more than one trip on the lake.

I propose that you clean the toilet bowl using toilet bowl cleaner. Some individuals use acid baths or other pontoon boat-specific solutions, but the majority of folks I’ve seen use standard toilet bowl cleaning combined in a bucket with 2 parts water and 1 part cleaner.

Because applying this to a 22′ pontoon might take a long time, I recommend obtaining a basic one gallon sprayer (like the one you’d use in your yard) from Home Depot or Lowes. Apply a coat of paint to the whole boat.

Do not allow the cleaner to dry; instead, leave it to sit for as long as possible until it begins to dry. If it dries, it will leave deposits, which will further aggravate the situation. Work in pieces so you don’t have to leave it on for too long.

Spray the cleanser off completely. If you want to make sure it’s completely gone, use a moist towel and massage while you spray.

Step 3: Buff

You may omit this step if you only want your pontoons to be clean. Step 2 may have completed your finish, and you are now ready to apply the Shark Hide. However, if you want the pontoons to have a mirror-like shine, this is the step to take.

You’ll need a polisher first. Get a Makita, a Dewalt, whatever you like, but keep in mind that some of them are a little overzealous, and if you’re not cautious, they might leave circular marks on the boat. This one from Porter Cable is a solid choice if you’re in the market.

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Go to town with a wool or other comparable pad and start polishing those ‘toons! To avoid your markings showing, work in tiny parts and be careful about the pattern you polish in (not straight up and down lines, for example). To merge your movements, make a lovely swirly “s” pattern.

On a regular pontoon boat, this stage of the process should take around 2 hours. You don’t understand how much ground there is to cover until you start working.

Step 4: Using a Cleaner

Step 2 must be redone, at the risk of seeming repetitive. You can’t leave any polishing compound on the pontoons since it will get sealed and look awful.

Because this is the final step before applying the Shark Hide sealer, be very thorough in cleaning and rinsing the whole surface.

Step 5: Apply Shark Hide Protectant

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Shark Hide is used by almost every pontooner that undertakes this work. For some pontoon boat owners, this is the first step they take before launching a new vessel into the water.

The Shark Hide will include directions, however they are imprecise about how much of the solution to combine with water. The majority of pontooners use a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part shark hide.

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