What is the Best Way To Wax A Fiberglass Boat Today
One of the things that you will need to do in order to keep your boat for a long time is wax it. You will need to wax your fiberglass boat, or end up with a serious problem. There are several ways to go about this, but you should know some of the most common methods. Knowing the methods will help you pick out what option will work best for your boat.
Your waxing ritual will dictate how long you will have your fiberglass boat. Consider the following major types of wax jobs you can subscribe to moving forward.
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Types of Wax Jobs
1) Fastest Method
If you’re going to own a fiberglass boat, you will be tempted to go with the fastest option possible. Some call it a quick and dirty method, but it’s somewhat effective. Just wax fast, and that’s it.
2) The Perfection Style
The next solution you may want to explore is the perfectionist wax method. You will find that you can spend hours waxing, then rewaxing, putting on several coats. If you absolutely want to get every spec, this is the way to go.
3) Between Trips
The third major option is for those that want to wax between trips. Why have a boat if you’re not out on a trip? Well, between outings, you may want to go through this option.
Before you choose a style, or method, consider the age of your boat. Also, consider the condition of it. If it’s new, then the fastest method can work great. If it’s a bit weathered, used, and somewhat abused, go with perfectionism.
One thing is for sure, you do not want to skip waxing. If you want your boat to last a long time, waxing should be part of the maintenance process you put into owning your vessel. The following will help you figure out the best way to wax a fiberglass boat today.
Steps For Figuring Out The Best Way To Wax A Fiberglass Boat
The steps for cleaning, and waxing a boat are traditionally the same. The following steps work every time. These are simplified for ease.
1) Cleaning Up First
The first major step is to clean up everything. That means cleaning dirt, grime, and stains along the surface and exterior completely. You cannot apply any wax if you do not first clean and clear off the grime and dirt. Do not move forward without this step.
2) Adding Polish
The next step is simple, polish the surface. A good wax will take the surface of your vessel and make it look as clean, and clear as glass. It works to protect the surface, and give you a “new” look and feel. For those with older boats, you’ll want to apply several layers of this, not just one.
3) The Waxing Process
The next big step is simple, or at least it can be, apply wax. Apply wax and polished gelcoat. That’s it. You work forward to the waxing process after you’ve cleaned, polished, and that’s it.
If there was one tip above the others, it’s the cleaning process. Since your boat will be in the ocean, it’s easy to pick up deposits and issues that could cause wear and tear beyond the years. Cleaning cannot be dismissed. Of course, there are some that argue you can put on a gelcoat and wax without it, but it’s really best not to risk it.
The Tools You Need
There are a few tools that you should buy if you’re going to wax on any regular schedule. A polisher is the biggest thing to get. You are not going to want to go too cheap here, mind you. It’s easy to look for low cost, cheap solutions, but they will not give you the pristine edge you’re looking for.
Two companies come to mind when you consider purchase a good speed polisher. Those two are Dewalt and 3M.
Look for the Dealt DW849, and then add the 3M-05705 Superbuff Polishing Pad , alongside the 3M-05710 Superbuff Adapter. This set up is going to give you seriously good results. Of course, you will need to actually employ the steps to proper waxing, but this will make it easier than to do it all by hand.
A Closer Look At The Process
Focusing on the process a bit better, consider the starting point again, cleaning. Cleaning is one of the most important aspects of getting your boat waxed. You will want to make sure that you use detergents or soaps that are not going to cause problems with the fiberglass. Use mild soaps to clean this, and make sure to focus on rinsing everything thoroughly. Salt water will eventually at through surfaces, so you need to get it off.
Stripping old wax may be tempting. If that’s what you want to do, utilize green cleaners such as Simple Green which can help you peel off older wax coats, and get back to the base. The base of your fiberglass can allow you to get a better finish on the polish.
For those with mildew, mold, and other hard to clean options, use an outdoor bleach. This is not “green” but it is effective against this type of grime and dirt.
The Glaze (For Micro Finishes)
If you’re going for a “quick and dirty” wax job, then you will be tempted to skip this. It’s advised that you do not skip this. Newer boats can get away with jumping over this. However, if you have an older boat that has some mileage on it, then don’t skip this.
Look for a good glaze, such as 3M Finesse It II, which is made for finishing fiberglass surfaces. This will help seal, clear up scratches, and more. The finish is great with this update.
Reasons To Use Glaze (3M Finesse)
- Designed to remove scratches
- Helps refinish paint
- Removes oxidation
- Leaves a High Gloss look
- Free of wax
- Free of Silicone
The Choice of Wax
After you have cleaned, and applied a glaze, you will want to seal everything up with a good wax. There are two major types of wax that you can use. The first is paste, and the second is liquid. Each one offers pros and cons. More often, people use paste because it can last longer. However, people use liquids because of the ease of application.
You will want to look for reviews of different waxes and options that are made for boats. One such solution is the collinite 885 paste. This is specially formulated for fiberglass boat surfaces. It is well reviewed and can be applied with ease.
Applying The Wax Correctly
Applying wax to your boat is simple. You need to simply put the wax in small areas and then buff it out slowly. You do not want to coat your whole boat, as it will dry fast and you will not be able to get the sealant working properly.
Do not overdo it either. It’s tempting to put a lot on. Put a small amount, and work it over the surface. Applying too much wax will cause frustration when trying to give an even coat.
Waxing takes time. Warm weather is ideal for this project. If you find yourself in cooler climate, warm the wax a little. Take your time cleaning, applying, and working out wax across your fiberglass boat. Patience is key with this, even if you really want to rush through the process.