Jason Cackley, co-owner of Dirty Bird Dock and Boat Cleaning, thoroughly enjoys working at his Culver-based mobile dock and boat cleaning service, and is glad he took over the business.
“Dirty Bird Dock Cleaning was originally established in 2015 or 2016,” Cackley says. “I was approached about purchasing the business in 2018. My wife Angie and I decided to purchase Dirty Bird. The business consists of a pontoon boat outfitted with an Aqua Blast commercial-grade heated pressure washer.”
Cackley’s equipment thoroughly cleans surfaces.
“I have 250’ of hose, a standard spray nozzle, an adjustable pressure spray nozzle, and a walk-behind sprayer with a rotating wand to clean the flat surfaces,” Cackley says. “Originally, I had a dock slip and boat lift to serve Lake Maxinkuckee. In 2020 I purchased a tandem axle trailer in order to service customers in the surrounding areas.”
Besides dock cleaning, Dirty Bird also offers boat cleaning.
“I will clean a client’s watercraft right on their boat lift,” Cackley says. “We can have everything cleaned and ready for our clients to arrive at the lake. Typically we clean at the beginning of the boating season, and at the end of the season prior to storage. Clients also like to have their boats cleaned periodically throughout the summer, especially later in July and August when the seagulls arrive.”
Cackley adds that no chemicals are used to clean docks.
“The seating was removed from the pontoon in order to install my Aqua Blast pressure washer,” he adds. “The water is pumped from the lake and returns to the lake.”
With docks over 100’ long, Cackley says most homeowners cannot reach all of their dock with a residential pressure washer connected to their home water supply.
“Dirty Bird solves this problem with a mobile cleaning system,” Cackley says. “We arrive by water and need no hookups or water supply.”
The company also cleans boat lifts and covers.
“Typically the lift installers will clean the covers during the winter,” Cackley says. “We can clean just about anything within our reach.”
Boat interiors are also taken care of.
“When it comes to cleaning boat interiors, I do everything by hand,” Cackley says. “I will start with water to clean off the heavy dirt and mildew. I will then use some cleaners to clean upholstery, dash, controls and windshield. I will then use Armor All to provide a shiny finish to the interior. I have a small portable vacuum to clean carpeting. For the exterior, I use a speed-shine polish to bring back the shine.”
Dirty Bird cleans docks and boats, as well as steps, sea walls, patios, furniture and lifts.
“Dirty Bird can pressure wash or clean just about anything we can reach from the pontoon,” Cackley says. “To clean the docks, patios, furniture and sea walls, only water is used. No chemicals are added to the water. For the boat cleaning, I use water, Purple Power industrial strength cleaner, Armor All protectant, Griot’s Speed Shine detailer, and Sprayway glass cleaner.”
Cackley says running the Dirty Bird pontoon is a two-man operation.
“My father-in-law has been a tremendous help,” he says. “In retirement, he has been willing to help me at a moment’s notice. When scheduling a cleaning, we attempt to complete the job as quickly as possible. I have a full-time professional career, so we tend to clean docks in the evenings. I try to schedule cleanings during the week so that we are done while the clients are away and don’t disturb them while they are at the lake.”
Cackley and his wife also own Culver Golf Car Rental.
“We offer four- and six-seater gas Yamaha golf carts in the Culver area,” Cackley says. “Typically, our clients are Culver Academy parents in town for a short stay. We also serve the Academy directly, summer camp families, and vacationers. Golf carts are a great way to see the town and are very popular.”
The carts are outfitted with rear flip seats, lights with turn signals, brake lights and flashers.
“We also provide the golf cart permits required to drive on the roads in and around Culver,” Cackley says. “I will deliver carts to other areas throughout the summer. I deliver carts to Bass Lake for their festival, as well as other festivals. We also provide the golf cart rentals for Pla-Mor Campground in Bremen, Indiana. Besides rentals, I also sell golf carts. Typically, I custom build carts to the exact needs of the client. Customization includes the lift kit, wheels/tires, lighting, rear seat, upholstery and custom paint.”