Our team knows how every boat owner feels that his or her boat is a sacred place. However, it does not matter how valuable a particular place is for you if you do not keep it in perfect condition.
Using a high-quality boat wax will not only restore the shine of your vessel but will also increase the protection of your boat. Without this protective layer of marine wax, fiberglass boats could suffer dangerous and damaging oxidization, which means dull appearance.
Waxing your boat sounds harder than it is. If you know the right steps and you have chosen the most reliable, high-quality unit you could do a perfect job by yourself. In our buying guide for finding the ideal boat wax, we have detailed information and explanations.
Basically, you need to remember a few essential things. First, before waxing, you need to clean your boat. You do that by getting your boat out of the water and parking it on a flat surface, a place where you would wash your car if you had to. We recommend that you secure your boat to your trailer so that you can avoid any unexpected movement. A pre-rinse is always a good idea, and it helps loosen up the debris. So, start at the top and then go down. For the fiberglass, you should use quality, non-abrasive cleaners as they tend to be better when it comes to new boats.
After this, you need to clean the old wax from the surface of your boat. Use rags soaked a dewaxing solvent, we would recommend toluene, to remove traces of old wax, which could keep rubbing and polish compounds from working evenly across the surface of your vessel.
Use a Buffing or a Polish Compound
Both buffing and polish compounds are abrasives, which can restore the shine to your fiberglass gel coat. They remove discolorations, imperfections, scrapes in the surface, and they also increase the reflective shine.
If you ask TheMarineMag, to find a high-quality boat polish, just read our article and the reviews in it. However, choose polish for your boat, only if it needs light refinishing. You need to go with a stronger rubbing compound if the boat’s surface is excessively pitted or chalky since this indicates that it requires much more substantial cleaning.
Keep in mind that the gel coat is very thin and you must not use an aggressive compound as it can burn through it quickly. If this happens, your boat will require an expensive and time-consuming repair job, so be careful. Our buying guide on finding the most reliable boat buffer will give you even more information, so make sure you check it out.
Another way to polish your boat is using the good old elbow grease. However, this takes too much time and pretty much everybody these days chooses to use a boat polisher or a boat buffer.
So you are probably asking yourself what the difference between polishing and buffering is. Often, both terms are used interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference. As we already mentioned, polishing is preferred when there is a need for light refinishing only. Its primary purpose is to even out imperfections and bring out the luster. You could do polishing, without doing waxing, but it is not recommended that you buffer without waxing afterward. Buffering modifies and improves car paint, but after using a buffer, you should use a waxing compound to smooth the target surface.
As you can see, the difference is not that big, and it is normal that people often confuse those two terms. Now you know why most people prefer to use a boat buffer when waxing. Usually, when buffing, you start from the transom and work toward the bow of your boat. Use a soft cloth if you decide to work by hand, or fit the buffer with a foam polishing pad, it is up to you.
It’s Time for Waxing
Be careful when you choose the type of boating wax. Depending on the style and the surface of the gel coat your boat has, the variety of boating wax you use will vary. When waxing, you should use the same motion as with applying the buffing compound. You could apply the wax by hand or by using an electric buffer. Also, we recommend that you use the same circular motion if you want to avoid streaking.
Give the wax some time to dry. After several minutes, the wax should start to look a bit hazy, which means that you can start with your second buffing. After that, buff the wax to shine by using a soft towel or terrycloth bonnet (if you use an electric polisher or a clean hand buffer). As you buff away the cloudiness of the wax, the shine must start to pop. Voila, you now have a shining and well-maintained car. You are almost ready to out in the open sea, but before that, you have one last thing to think about.