Wax Your New Boat

By Don Casey

Revised by BoatUS editors in April 2012

The idea behind wax is to prolong the shine, not to restore it. Don't wait until your boat starts looking dull to wax it. If you keep gelcoat protected with a once or twice a year coat of wax, that new-boat shine will last nearly forever. Use paste wax. Liquid waxes are easier to apply and actually have higher gloss initially, but they do not have the staying power of a good paste.

In a consumer magazine comparison, of the waxes tested the longest lasting were Collinite #885, Meguiar's Professional Paste Wax, 3M Ultra Performance, and West Marine Carnauba. To make this job easier, invest in an electric buffer.

Don Casey has been one of the most consulted experts on boat care and upgrades for 30 years, and is one of the BoatUS Magazine's panel of experts. He and his wife cruise aboard their 30-footer part of the year in the eastern Caribbean. His books include Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual, and the recently updated This Old Boat, the bible for do-it-yourself boaters.


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