Do you remember all those watercraft from action movies whose hulls and decks are so shiny and glossy that can blind you? And then, does the thought of your own boat with its faded colors and oxidized surface make you wish for a new one? Well, there is only one thing you can do to actually transform your boat and bring back its “like-new” condition – a boat wax.
Our team at Themarinemag has figured it all out for you with our extensive and very informative guide on the best boat wax to give you practical tips and advice on how to achieve deep gloss and protection on any boat surface. In addition, we have compiled a list with some of the most excellent products on the market, which you will find in our boat wax reviews.
Best Boat Wax Comparison Chart
Meguiar’s Flagship Premium Marine Wax
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3M Marine Restorer & Wax
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Meguiar’s Marine Pure Wax Carnauba Blend
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Collinite 920 Fiberglass Boat Cleaner & 925 Fiberglass Boat Wax Combo Pack
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Collinite Paste Fleetwax
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Star Brite Marine Polish – Boat Wax
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Star Brite Premium Cleaner Wax
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BEST BOAT WAX REVIEWS (RECOMMENDED PICKS)
We will start off with some top picks which we think will give your watercraft long-lasting protection and create a high-gloss finish at the same time.
1. Meguiar’s Flagship Premium Marine Wax
Our first product in our reviews stands out with its quality formula to give your watercraft adequate protection and durability in any weather conditions. The Meguiar’s marine wax comes in a 32 Fl.oz. bottle and it is specially designed to serve as a barrier against UV damage and wear.
What is more, this unit can remove scratches that are not deep, and can also clean the light oxidation on your boat. As for the gloss that you may expect from this marine wax, it will surely create a lustrous shine and hence bring out the actual color of the treated surface. Besides, the product does not contain volatile rubbing compounds which make it safe to be applied on painted hull numbers or names on the stern of your watercraft.
And working with this wax is extremely easy since you can either apply it using a hand pad or an electric buffer.
- 1-gallon size available
- UV protection
- Perfect for fiberglass and any painted surfaces
- Durable polymer protection formula
- The formula should not be stored outside in cold weather
- Not that effective for light scratches or water spots
2. 3M Marine Restorer & Wax
3M is here with its quality product for removing all signs of oxidation, chalking, minor scratches or rust while giving your boat top protection. This marine restorer is made of a unique blend of waxes and rubbing compounds which are aimed at improving the condition of the fiberglass, gel coat, paint, hull, deck or gunwale on your vessels.
You can easily apply the unit with a buffet or treat tight areas by hand, but in either way, the unwanted marks and film will be removed. Moreover, the 3M’s marine restorer and wax is the only product you actually need to bring back the glossy finish and perfectly smooth surface of your boat.
However, make sure to treat undamaged surfaces, because if the gel coat is gone, there is nothing that this product can do about it. Also, since there are rubbing compounds in this unit, try it out on a small surface before working on graphics on your RVs.
- Double-duty formula
- UV protection
- For heavily-oxidized fiberglass and gel coat finishes
- High-gloss finish
- Should be used with a rotary buffer for best results
- Not compatible with a pressure washer
3. Meguiar’s Marine Pure Wax Carnauba Blend
Here is another quality product that comes from Meguiar’s and hence, you can expect that this wax blend will work magic on your watercraft.
You can get either the 16fl. oz or the 1-gallon bottle of the product depending on the size of your boat which makes this marine blend very practical in terms of money. Also, the ingredients in the unit are specifically aimed at giving your vessels enhanced gloss and reliable protection. The reason for this lies in the mixture of Brazilian carnauba wax, silicones, polymers, and resins.
Moreover, this compound works perfectly well for your dark-colored watercraft and clear-coated metal flake finishes. Also, Meguiar’s product is intended for all fiberglass, gel coats and painted surfaces and will protect them from the sun rays and any types of weather conditions. Finally, you will definitely like the fact that only one application of this wax blend will be enough for an all-year-round glossy shine and long-lasting protection.
- Brazilian carnauba wax
- Ideal for dark colors
- UV protection
- 16 fl.oz or 1-gallon available sizes
- A bit challenging to get off after working with a buffer
- Works only on painted aluminum boats
4. Collinite 920 Fiberglass Boat Cleaner & 925 Fiberglass Boat Wax Combo Pack
Ridding your boat of accumulated oxidation, rust, and stains can be a challenging endeavor, and this Collinite set will help you do just that. The cleaner will restore your fiberglass and color, while the wax will add extra protection and a radiant look to your vessel. It will protect the boat surface from UV light, chalking, and corrosion. This cleaner set, coming in bottles of 16 ounces, is not exclusively for boats and can be applied to any fiberglass covering.
While the cleaner is useful for boat corrosion, it will not remove rust in some severe cases where the surface has been significantly damaged. Otherwise, the wax provides durable protection and a glowing shine, which will make your boat stand out.
- Adds a shining look to your boat
- Protection from corrosion and UV light
- Not suited for deep corrosion
- Does not always restore the original color
5. Collinite Paste Fleetwax
Here is another paste wax but it comes from Collinite, and it is definitely manufactured to give your vessels the long-lasting protection and shine that you are looking for. The product comes in a 12-ounce box, but that does not mean that the quantity will not be enough for your waxing purposes.
On the contrary, with one box you will be able to treat a 26-feet boat surface and still have more than half of the paste wax left. Also, apart from the carnauba shine, your watercraft will get, the unit’s formula will serve as a shield against hard water, salt spray, stains, and marine growth. What is more, this product will help with reducing the drag by increasing your boat’s sleekness.
Another critical thing to mention is the perfect beading properties of this paste fleet wax and the fact that this protection will last for months. And in case you want to bring back the shine on any dull surfaces on your watercraft, this unit will surely do the job providing that you polish it with a buffer beforehand.
- High luster finish
- UV protection
- Extremely resistant to hard elements exposure and water spray
- Wipe-off should be done fast
6. Star Brite Marine Polish – Boat Wax
This product really stands out with its formula and wide range of surfaces to be used on. The Star Brite’s marine polish does not contain wax but a polymer which will give you long-lasting protection against oxidation.
Furthermore, the PTEF polymers are impervious to water, oil-based stains and dusting which will make future clean-ups effortless and easy. Another advantage of this product is that it can be used not only on fiberglass and painted surfaces but also on metal and Plexiglas.
Moreover, you do not have to remove the old wax or polish on your watercraft to use this Star Brite’s product. Just remember, however, to clean your vessel thoroughly and scrub off any deposits because this unit is intended only to give your boat a finishing glaze. Also, if there are small scratches on the treated surface, they will pop up white since this dense liquid will fill them in.
- PTEF polymers
- UV protection
- Great for metal and Plexiglas surfaces
- Can be applied on old wax or polish
- For new and clean surfaces only
- Fills in small scratches and make them look white
7. Star Brite Premium Cleaner Wax
The last product in our reviews is again from Star Brite, but this one is specially intended to treat old and oxidized surfaces. The Premium Cleaner Wax contains PTEF polymers which will protect your watercraft from the harmful effects of salty water.
Moreover, this formula will stop any further fading or oxidation as it creates a protective coat onto fiberglass, metals and all painted surfaces. Another great thing to save your time is its easy application. You do not have to rub hard to remove the chalk, for example, as there are slight abrasive particles to ease the cleaning process.
Also, after using the cleaner wax, your boat’s shine and color will be brought out, and you will not need to use any other waxing or polishing products. The polymers in this unit will seal the vibrant color and dazzling shine while protecting your vessel for months. However, the manufacturer recommends a second coat in 30 days for the best results which is not a timesaver in your busy days.
- UV prevention
- Easy to apply
- Great for medium to light oxidation
- Can be used on a dual-action buffer
- Does not remove scratches
- The bottle may not be sealed well
What Is The Ideal Boat Wax?
Giving your watercraft the perfect finish and protection is sometimes hard to be achieved. This is because your boat is always either anchored or sailing in the open sea while being exposed to different weather conditions. That is why you need to find a long-lasting solution to protect your boat’s exterior by choosing the right product.
And since there are products intended for a boat’s final finish, we will present you with some wax facts that you really need to know. Also, boat waxes come in a wide variety of types to choose from, and while some will give you a perfect finish coat and enhance your boat’s colors, others will clean and protect. Therefore, we think that you should prepare in advance with some information about the following:
- type of surface you are going to treat – fiberglass, gel coat, metal or other
- the size of your watercraft to calculate the quantity of the boat wax you have to buy
- the weather forecast so that you use the perfect temperature for applying the boat wax
- the main properties of the product you are looking for- to clean and polish or just a finishing glaze
- the application method– by hand or with a buffer
How Do Boat Waxes Work?
A boat wax can be either a liquid or a paste that is used to protect watercraft’s surfaces from oxidation, chalk, fading, minor scratches or even exhaust stains while providing a glossy effect and enhanced colors.
Boat wax and polish are usually aimed at treating fiberglass, gel coats and any other painted surfaces as some types are also appropriate to be used on metal and Plexiglas. These products typically contain polymers, Carnauba wax or other protective materials that prevent your boat from UV and salty water.
And while your boat is protected with the chosen formula, another key characteristic of any boat wax is the glossy shine that makes your boat look like new. In addition, a polished boat can reduce the drag in the water.
Types Of Boat Waxes
When it comes to choosing the right boat product for gloss, we have prepared a list of the most common types, their formula’s specifications, and overall effect as well as the most practical ways of applying them. And if you are thinking about buying an electrical device to help you with the boat wax’s application, then you should definitely check out our best boat buffer guide and product reviews.
So, we are going, to begin with, the most natural types of boat waxing products in terms of their main ingredients and names on the market.
1. Carnauba Wax Boat Products
If you look at the label on the boat product you have bought and find out that it is predominantly made of carnauba wax, then you should know that such units come in small boxes and the substance inside is a soft wax with no grits. And although that the size of a carnauba wax product might not look as if it is enough for your vessel, let us tell you that you do not need to apply thick layers to achieve the desired result on your boat’s surface. To sum up what you can expect and how to work with a Carnauba’s wax boat product, check the list below.
- Excellent results on brand new boats.
- You can rub it with a cotton cloth by hand or use a buffer.
- Produces deep shine and high gloss.
- Water-beading properties.
- Ensures protection from saltwater and UV rays.
- Used for fiberglass, gel coats as well as any painted surface.
- There should be light or no oxidation on your vessel.
- Make sure the wax is stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions as it can get dry in the box and you will not be able to use it.
2. Cleaner Waxes
Here we have products that are not purely wax-based because there is also a mixture with a compound. This means that you will not only get the final glossy finish thanks to the wax ingredient but also expect from such a product to actually remove dried stains, oxidation and any kind of dirty substances on your boat. The wax, in this case, serves as the final step preceded by a thorough clean. Also, depending on the degree of oxidation, cleaner waxes can be thinner or thicker as well as have slight abrasive particles. Read below for more information about cleaner waxes’ other great properties.
- Cleans and seals the finish.
- Easily removes chalk, hazing, and oxidation.
- Prevents fading.
- Brings out the color of your boat and creates perfect shine.
- Intended for fiberglass, gel coats, painted surfaces; some cleaner wax products are recommended for metals as well
- It can be used by hand but better with a dual-action buffer.
- Recommended for boats with medium to light oxidation.
- It does not remove scratches on the boat’s surface.
These types of products are actually the equivalent of carnauba waxes, but the main difference is that there are no natural ingredients. Polishes are a synthetic mixture that has a polymer barrier against dirt, saltwater, and UV rays. They create a protective film on an already cleaned surface, and their function is to restore the gloss and prevent any further oxidation. Usually, boat polish products have a long-lasting effect and hold beads of water for months. Here are some of their benefits as well as drawbacks to consider.
- Removes the need for waxing.
- Create a non-stick film on the boat’s surface.
- To be used on fiberglass, gel coats, painted surfaces; some boat polish products can be applied on metals as well
- It can be used both by hand and with a buffer.
- Best results on new boats with little to no oxidation.
If you want to find out more about these types of products and how they will look on your boat, then do not forget to read our best boat polish top pick reviews and buying guide.
4. Restorer Waxes
The name of these types of products actually drops a hint about their primary function. Restorer waxes are thick mixtures with a high amount of rubbing compounds so that they can remove heavy oxidation, marks, and films. Also, such products have a dual function as they do not only clean but also restore and protect the treated surfaces. Scroll down for our convenient summary of restorer waxes’ main characteristics and uses.
- Great for heavily oxidized boats.
- Easily remove contaminants such as rust, fading and chalking thanks to the high amount of grit.
- Restore shine even on dull surfaces.
- It can remove small scratches and make your boat’s surface feel and look smooth.
- Ultimate protection against UV rays and water.
- Applied on fiberglass, gel coats as well as any painted surface.
- As they are highly abrasive, be careful with graphics and boat numbers on your vessels’ surfaces.
- To be used only with a power buffer.
Key Areas To Focus On
The information in this section is another step forward before heading to the store. We are going to give you some more advice on what else to think about prior to buying the right boat wax for your needs.
Perhaps this is the most important feature to look for in a boat wax. While a boat wax’s ability to last longer does not simply depend on the ingredients, you should also think about the external factors like the climate in your area, your watercraft’s condition, and the maintenance.
Our team has already discussed the types of boat waxes available on the market, but we are going to add a few more ideas to consider.
- Bear in mind that too much sun or water exposure will also affect the durability of your boat wax. Sun rays, salty water, and damp weather have the most adverse effect.
- If your sealed boat surface is all-year-round moored outside, then you will definitely need to treat your vessel with a boat wax more often, as the top layer will start wearing sooner.
- Maintenance is among the conditions which will secure a strong film on your boat. Make sure you clean it regularly and use a boat waxing products as well.
Before continuing with further explanations about the most essential features to look for, you may wish to check out our exclusive tips and extensive guides for boat maintenance for more information, advice, and help.
When you have to think of the final look on your finished boat surface, there is also a variety of options to choose from. Wet-look products will give your boat’s surface a beautiful wet appearance and provide a deep shine and high gloss. This type of shiny topcoat will not only enhance the color of your boat but also make it easy to maintain.
When choosing a boat wax, you should also consider how you will apply it and whether it will take a lot of time in terms of rubbing it on the surface.
- Waxes that come in small packages are usually intended for use by hand, which means that you have to use a clean cloth or a special pad to spread the substance evenly onto your boat. Such products are soft and hence easily distributed, but this will be a tiring experience for your hand and waist. Moreover, depending on the size of your boat, it may take days to polish it.
- Liquid-types of polymer waxes are recommended for a power buffer usage. Therefore, you need to make sure that your electrical device is well-equipped with the right attachment. This type of waxing is also heavy-duty since you will be the one holding and working with the buffer, but thicker waxes are hard to be applied by hand and need something stronger.
7 Easy Steps Before Waxing
You cannot just take your boat out of the water on your boat trailer, wipe it and wax it. There are other important procedures to be done before waxing to protect and restore the shine of your vessel. Here are our helpful tips.
- Make sure your boat is secured on a flat surface and definitely not in the water. This means that you can use the same place where you wash a car because you will need space and access to freshwater.
- Rinse your boat to soften dried stains and remove any dirt on the hull. You should always begin from the top of your watercraft.
- Apply the cleaner and try to remove all the oxidation, chalking, or any other contaminants.
- Rinse again and let your boat dry in the shade.
- Here comes the waxing – apply your chosen product with circular movements for best results. It is better to work on one section at a time so that the wax does not dry which will make buffing really hard.
- Wipe off each section either by hand or using a buffer.
- Let the protective coat dry well.
This is the end of our guide, and we hope that now you have all the information, practical advice and confidence to make up your mind on the product that best fits your needs. Also, with our best boat wax extensive guide and boat wax reviews, you are surely going to give your boat the perfect finish and protection you have always wanted to.
As always, we are open to your feedback and would appreciate any comment left by you. If you liked the article, show it to your friends or share it online. Let us know if anything can be changed or improved. Thanks for reading and as always – stay put!