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Recruiter

What wax are people using?

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Recruiter

I am going to wax the 'Bu this winter as to have it ready when spring hits. What wax are people having great success with? As I hate to wax, I'd like to get one that has a long life. My boat does stay in the water during the summer and is pulled weekly to gas and clean. I'd love to get a solid coat on it and just have to use a simple spray wax during the summer.

I have also tossed around the idea of restoring the gel coat - my understanding from this forum - is that the 3M kit is the way to go. How difficult is it to use and what is the likelyhood that I'll damage my boat and regret it. My bodywork skills are lacking admittedly.

Many thanks,

Katie

1996 Sunsetter LX

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srab

I'm using Star-brite Premium Marine Polish with PTEF. Technically, it's not a wax, but a cleaner-sealant.

Supposed to outlast traditional marine wax by a huge margin. I try for two applications/year. It's easy

to find (Academy) and relatively inexpensive. Easy to apply as well.

As far as gel coat restoration, yes, I think 3M offers some excellent products. I've personally used their

Marine Rubbing Compound and their Marine Finesse-It II Glaze. I would suggest that, no matter what

you decide to use, though, that you borrow or buy a random-orbital polisher with appropriate pads to

apply the products. It will allow even a novice to get excellent results without damaging the gel coat.

The down side to the random-orbital polisher is that it may not be quite strong enough to restore badly

oxidized gel coat. You may need a circular polisher, if that's the case, and they are not nearly as

forgiving! You might be better off letting someone more experienced handle that job.

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martinarcher

I use Collinites wax. The Liquid Insulator Wax No 845 and the Fiberglass Boat Wax No 925 are the same thing. This stuff rocks. I've tried polishes, turtle wax. Meguiars, even some two part crap that the Navy uses that is supposed to chemically bond to the surface, and the Collinites wax just beats tham all hands down as far as how long it lasts/beads and how it protects the surface. My wifes cousin uses it on her pontoon boat since it is stored in the water all summer. She loves how much easier it makes the fall clean up. My uncle switched to it on his Sunsetter after seeing how well my 20 year old boat sheets water after a summer of use.

Give it a try - you will love it. It's easy to apply and remove. It is a true wax so it won't only give youa quick feel good shine like the polishes will, but will shine and leave a long lasting protective coating of wax that will protect your boat. Thumbup.gif

I use the Fiberglass Boat Cleaner No 920 to remove any surface contaminants before applying the wax. Waxing is like painting. It sticks better to a clean well prepped surface. If you clean the boat surface well before waxing it any wax job will last longer. Thumbup.gif

Here's Collinites site if you are interested. My local hardware store carries their products, but I know you can get it online through Amazon and other distributors.

http://www.collinitemarine.com/

As far as refinishing, a good wet sanding with 800+ grit paper and then rubbing the surface with a good rubbing compound would go a long way. There was a good thread a while back with a guy that restored the gel on a really chalky looking Echelon that looked new when he was done. Gel coat is the same color all the way through so it is fairly easy to bring the shine back as long as you don't polish off too much gel.

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JPSkier

I'm curious as to whether there is a difference between regular auto wax and marine wax. Say Meguiar's vs. 3M marine. That 3M stuff is awfully expensive. Has anyone used Mother's? I called a local dealer for advice and they said there was no difference in car vs. marine, and that any paste wax would be fine. Anybody using car wax on their boat? Has anyone used 3M and is it worth the extra money?

Edited by JPSkier

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davemac

Collinites Hull Cleaner if and where necessary, followed by Zaino's "All In One" product

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srab
I'm curious as to whether there is a difference between regular auto wax and marine wax. Say Meguiar's vs. 3M marine. That 3M stuff is awfully expensive. Has anyone used Mother's? I called a local dealer for advice and they said there was no difference in car vs. marine, and that any paste wax would be fine. Anybody using car wax on their boat? Has anyone used 3M and is it worth the extra money?

Carnauba wax is carnauba wax. It doesn't know if it's sitting on a painted metal surface or on gel coat.

Synthetic sealants, on the other hand, are another story. Synthetic sealants, should you elect to use

them, reportedly have "better bonding characteristics than carnauba waxes, better abrasion resistance

. . . [much higher] melting points . . . will outlast carnauba waxes and . . . typically produce a brighter

shine. Sealants should last 180 days, even in salt water." But, automotive sealants contain "strong

petroleum solvents and/or coarse abrasives which actually accelerate[ ] gel coat oxidation."

Bottom line, at least according to www.properboatcare.com:

" Rule No. 1: Don't use automotive sealants or polishes on gel coat finishes.

There are exceptions but if the manufacturer doesn't specifically recommend their product for gel

coats, don't use it! Use only polishes and sealants that are designed for gel coats."

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JPSkier
I'm curious as to whether there is a difference between regular auto wax and marine wax. Say Meguiar's vs. 3M marine. That 3M stuff is awfully expensive. Has anyone used Mother's? I called a local dealer for advice and they said there was no difference in car vs. marine, and that any paste wax would be fine. Anybody using car wax on their boat? Has anyone used 3M and is it worth the extra money?

Carnauba wax is carnauba wax. It doesn't know if it's sitting on a painted metal surface or on gel coat.

Synthetic sealants, on the other hand, are another story. Synthetic sealants, should you elect to use

them, reportedly have "better bonding characteristics than carnauba waxes, better abrasion resistance

. . . [much higher] melting points . . . will outlast carnauba waxes and . . . typically produce a brighter

shine. Sealants should last 180 days, even in salt water." But, automotive sealants contain "strong

petroleum solvents and/or coarse abrasives which actually accelerate[ ] gel coat oxidation."

Bottom line, at least according to www.properboatcare.com:

" Rule No. 1: Don't use automotive sealants or polishes on gel coat finishes.

There are exceptions but if the manufacturer doesn't specifically recommend their product for gel

coats, don't use it! Use only polishes and sealants that are designed for gel coats."

Good info. Thanks!

Edited by JPSkier

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skyskier

Recruiter..........this info is more about routine maintainence than starting from scratch with badly faded gel. If you have your gel restored by a pro and then follow this routine, your ride will always look sharp.

The Porter Cable 7424 XP is an awesome buffer/orbital polisher that is used by the pros. After buying the polisher and all of the needed accessories, the bill will top out at around 250.00-300.00. Totally worth it. (buy plenty of pads) I used to do all of my boats/cars by hand until someone here recommended the Porter Cable. I used rubbing compound on the scratches and followed up with 3M Finesse It. The boat looked so good at that point (compared to before) I thought I was done. I tried a little carnuaba wax on a small area just to see what would happen. The wax really deepened the shine and made the whole boat just pop. Now I wipe the boat down and hit it with a spray wax detailer as soon as it comes out of the water. It still looks great five months later.

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skislut

I'll second the Collinite. One of the guys I work with is the most anal/largest perfectionist person you will ever meet. He owns a 38' sailboat that he paid some huge amount of cash for so I just go to him when it comes to these types of products as I know he has already researched the heck out of them.

For 6 years I have used On/Off Hull cleaner in the fall and then Collinite. The boat looks brand new. Just beware when using the Collinite, the stuff sets up rock hard in minutes -- follow the directions and only do a 3X 3 or 4X4 section at a time.

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JPSkier

Does anyone know if there is a benefit to using separate cleaner and wax vs. a combined cleaner/wax? I know with the Collinite wax they recommend using their cleaner first. Seems it would be easier to use a combined cleaner/wax, but do they work as well?

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