Boat Wax and Polish

Boat Wax and Polish for Fiberglass Boats

Apply a thin coat of boat wax to the exposed surface, working it on in a circular pattern to avoid streaks and uneven applications. Remove the boat wax in large circular motions. Use a buffing pad or rag to shine the surface to a glassy appearance. For a much easier job, try an electric buffer, which moves in a circular motion by design. Move it in a circle while it rotates to improve on its effectiveness. Move the buffer constantly, never letting it idle in one spot. Hovering will gouge the surface of the boat, and also make the buffer heat up and damage the gelcoat. Always keep the surface of the buffer flat so the edges cannot gouge the gelcoat.

Many modern boats have fiberglass hulls. Fiberglass is hard and durable, but regular use dulls the finish. Left untreated, it's unsightly and weakens the structure. Protect your valuable investment by routinely applying boat wax to the hull to keep its surface strong and looking great. Waxing is easy to do and requires few tools. One person can boat wax an average 24-foot boat in a day. With power tools, it takes just a few hours.

Prepare the Surface

Wash dirt from the hull and deck with boat cleaning solution. Rinse it thoroughly and then use boat polish to get out the embedded grit and old wax. Boat polish sounds like shining, but it is not. Commercial vehicle polish is abrasive and removes stains, discoloration and small scratches. It blends the surface into the fresh new surface just beneath the old wax. Apply a coat of boat polish and buff it out by hand, or with an electric buffer.

boat_waxApply fiberglass boat polish to restore shine. Fiberglass polish typically contains an abrasive element that removes additional oxidation from the surface of the fiberglass, making it appear shinier. There are a variety of fiberglass boat polish products to choose from that offer different intensities of abrasiveness; select one that will be compatible with your boat. But remember, while fiberglass will restore shine to the boat, it does not protect the surface after it has been applied. Fiberglass wax or another sealing product should be used in combination with the polish afterward to protect the boat from future damage.

Buff the aluminum to a high luster. Use a buffing compound, applied in circular motion with a soft cloth. The cloth will turn black, as you work the polish into the aluminum.

Boat Wax and Polish

Be careful not to slip while you're waxing the boat, and use thick rubber gloves throughout this process.

If you want the gel coat on your boat to retain its shine, you should apply the boat wax before you ever put it into the water, and wax it each season as part of your fitting out. The boat wax fills the microscopic pits that develop in the finish to give the gel coat a smooth surface. This means, though, that the wax builds up over the seasons and, eventually, discolors from exposure to the sea and the sun. Removing this wax buildup should be an integral part of a thorough cleaning at the beginning of the season.

Boat Wax Instructions

Wash with a phosphate-free detergent and clean water. If you don't wash thoroughly to remove salt residue, hitchhiking marine life or sand, applying the boat wax will trap those items in the wax and scratch the gel coat that you're trying to protect with the wax. Allow boat wax dry before continuing.

Saturate a clean rag with floor wax stripper. Don't dilute the stripper; the gel coat on a fiberglass hull is significantly more resistant to chemical damage than a vinyl floor.

You can wash and polish in any amount of sun or shade. Once you are ready to begin waxing move the vessel out of direct sunlight, or work on a side that is shaded.

Polishing usually takes care of light wear and tear. If the surface of your vessel is still dull or discolored, apply rubbing compound. Rubbing compound is a stronger abrasive than polish. Use care to not overdo this abrasive and make gouges. Gelcoat is very thick, but if it becomes transparent, stop. You will need to repair the gelcoat and/or fiberglass to repair deeper discoloration or nicks.

Using past boat wax will take time. The vessel should be waxed at least once every six months and again when you prepare to be stored for the winter. When you bring your vessel out of winter storage, it needs to be waxed again. The paste wax will not only protect your boat's surface finish from the effects of salt, water and UV radiation from the sun--the three elements that lead to your finish fading--it will form a smooth surface that slides through the water faster.

Boat Wax and Polish | Products offereed by Spade Anchor USA

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