Wax On/ Wax Off

Posted by Michael Bandera - April 16, 2012 - Sailing Tip - No Comments

Fiberglass boats get their color and gloss from a very thin layer of special resin called gelcoat.  Over the years,  UV radiation, salt, and neglect can damage this gelcoat layer making your boat’s hull dull and chalky. You must clean and wax your boat regularly in order to protect this fragile layer from being eroded.  We wax our sailboats twice a year, in the spring and fall.

The most important step in maintaining a glossy hull is to first clean the surface with boat soap.   We use  Boat Zoap by Sudbury.   Start by cleaning the topsides of the boat.  This prevents black streaks from running down the hull after the first rain.  Next, using either a sponge or boat brush, continue to wash the hull with the Boat Zoap .  Then Rinse with clean water.

Once the hull is dry, we then go over the entire surface with a good fiberglass cleaner.  Let it dry to a haze and remove with a clean terry cloth towel.  We use Collinite Fiberglass Boat Cleaner for this step.

We are now ready to wax the hull.   Apply the boat wax in cirrcular motions by using an electric buffer or by hand.  We like Collinite Fleetwax.  However if the Fleetwax is left on too long to dry it becomes very difficult to remove.  So do small sections at a time or have someone follow right behind you removing the hazy wax residue.

Lastly using a softer cloth or old flannel shirt, buff the hull to a mirror-like finsh.

We rinse our sailboats after every sail using fresh water only.  We scrub the boats using boat zoap with a boat brush about once a month.

If you follow these steps of washing,cleaning,waxing and rinsing your hull, you will prolong the life of your gelcoat’s gloss and be the envy of the marina!

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