Boat Bottom (Hull) Cleaning Business – Unique Small Business

How to Start a Boat Bottom Cleaning  Business

If you’re the type of person who enjoys the outdoors and specifically the water; and if you live in a coastal region or near a large body of water where boats are continuously docked, the boat bottom cleaning business is exciting and profitable and might be just right for you.

What is the boat hull cleaning business all about? It is essentially the removal of barnacles and the cleaning of moss, algi, and other debris that accumulates on the hulls of boats that are continuously docked in the water. This debris effects the performance of the boat and therefor must be thoroughly cleaned from time to time.

What do you need to get started in the Boat Bottom Cleaning Business?
Boat Hull Cleaning Supplies:

Scuba gear or an air supply

Wet suit and flippers

Scrubbing brushes



Scuba Certification

A boat bottom cleaning person spends a great deal of time under water in harbors and there for must feel comfortable in such a place. You will be scrubbing debris of the bottom of the boat with a variety of tools and scraping barnacles from the hull which can be quite difficult and can take some strength. A person performing this service should be in relatively good shape.

How Much Money Can You Make Boat Bottom Cleaning?

The boat bottom cleaning business can generate large amounts of money, upwards of $300 dollars a day after a clientele has been established Yet this is seasonal work and that should be taken into account. This business takes on a bit of risk. The fee is usually based on the size of the boat and the fact that it’s such a specialized small business, the fee can be quite high. In the neighborhood of 50-500 dollars on average per boat hull for a full cleaning. Most boat hull cleaners charge by the foot. The amount of time you’ll need to complete the work varies based on how large the hull is and how much debris has accumulated. For simple upkeep on an already cleaned hull, consider thirty minutes where an entire cleaning can take up to four hours and of course longer for even larger boats.

A person taking on this type of small business, naturally, should feel comfortable in the water and for safety purposes should be certified.┬áThis is a great business for anyone who lives in a coastal region. It’s rewarding it’s exciting, it’s fun and it’s profitable.

Additional Services That can be offered.

Boat Detailing

Boat Waxing and Polishing

Boat Fiberglass Repair

Boat Pin Striping and Graphics

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5 Responses

  1. BIlly L says:

    I have started and done 3 boats and 1 jet ski, But what i do is washed Buffed and waxed. Now my ? is .
    Does anyone out there knows how to keep this up? what is the best way to get more work? Please help.

    Billy L
    Seattle WA

  2. pennyroll says:

    Personally I think the best way to gain customers is to talk to boat owners in person. Go down to the docks and talk to people, let them know about your service and ask for business. Then ask for referrals from your new customers. People who have boats hang out with people who have boat and people who have boat often pay to have the cleaned. Simply based on the premise that having a boat often means that you have money to spend simply because a boat isn’t a priority.

  3. Stuart Fray says:

    Hi, just make sure you use a Waveblade for removing barnacles above or below the water. It will save you huge time and effort.

  4. David says:

    I am looking into hull cleaning options and I think it is a good idea to learn as much as you can about the advantages of regular cleaning so that you can educate your clients and turn them into regular customers – for example, less friction = better fuel economy, less need to spend big $$$ hauling out the boat onto a slip.

  5. pennyroll says:

    That’s good advice, regular cleaning certainly bring down the overall cost. I think it’s also a good idea to offer general detailing, wax polish etc.

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