Boats require maintenance to remain in excellent mechanical and visual condition. One of the most effective ways to preserve a shiny bright hull is by consistently applying wax. In Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, watercraft are exposed to harmful UV rays and inclimate weather. Properly maintained vessels preserve value prevent scratching and fading. Here are the 5 steps on how to wax a boat. 

Should You Wax Your Boat

Yes, you should wax your boat. A wax coating is essential for protecting the finish from scratching and fading. 

When applied, wax creates a thin protective layer. The protective coating prevents the hull from oxidizing and repelling dirt and water. 

The wax coating causes rainwater, dew, and hose water to bead. Beading water repels dirt by allowing it to roll free compared to adhering to the surface. 

1. Purchasing The Wax

Selecting a high-quality wax is essential to maximize protection and reduce the number of applications per year. 

Marine-grade wax is available for purchase at retail stores, including West Marine or online. Depending on the length of the vessel, purchase one to two bottles. Center consoles require not only hull waxing but also within the cockpit.

The best marine grade wax on the market is Collinite 925 Fiberglass Boat Wax. We have used Collinite on our vessels and find that it is easy to apply and remove and provides the brightest shine with unamteched protection. 

2. Cleaning The Boat

Never apply wax before washing the boat with soap and water. Purchase boat soap and mix in a bucket of fresh water. 

Douse the boat in water and apply the soap with a brush attached to a boat pole. Wash the watercraft thoroughly to remove all loose and hard to remove dirt and stains. 

Once the boat is clean, dry the boat with a chamois to remove standing water before applying a wax coating. 

3. Applying The Wax

When applying wax, it is essential to use a clean cloth, particularly a microfiber cloth. Dab a quarter-size drop of wax on the rag before coating the fiberglass.

Once the wax is applied to the microfiber cloth, rotate in a circular motion covering every square inch of fiberglass. 

Reapply wax to the rag whenever it becomes dry to avoid leaving areas of the boat unprotected. 

4. Allowing The Wax To Dry

Once the fiberglass is coated in wax, allow the coating to dry and cure. The drying times vary based on moisture levels in the air, cloud cover, and temperature. Generally speaking, the wax will become dry in one hour or less. 

To test if the wax has dried, swipe your finger across an area that has been coated. When a dry powder covers your finger, the wax is ready to be removed. Coatings that have failed to dry appropriately leave a wet slippery coating on your skin. 

To keep your hands from becoming dry, we recommend wearing latex gloves. Latex gloves prevent the wax from coating your skin. 

5. Removing The Wax

Dispose of or wash the applicator cloth and utilize a clean microfiber rag when removing. Again, in a circular motion, remove the wax by applying minimal pressure. Move from bow to stern while buffing the coating free. 

Once completed, inspect the hull for remaining wax which appears white. Again utilize a fresh rag and continue to remove areas that have been missed. 

Once the job is complete, its time to admire your work. A freshly waxed boat contains a sheen that brightens the finish and repels water. Don’t forget to apply a metal wax to railings and grab bars to prevent rust from forming. 

How Long Does Wax Last On A Boat

Apply wax consistently to prevent hull finish from oxidation. Now that you know how to wax a boat, repeat the process every four to six months. 

The lifespan of wax is highly influenced by sun exposure, use, frequency of washings, and more. When the boat is exposed to the sun daily, is used and washed frequently, the waxing intervals are reduced from four to six months to two months. 

Reapplication is required once the finish loses its sheen, feels dry to touch, and fails to bead water.

How To Wax A Boat: Follow The 5 Steps

Waxing a vessel is a straightforward process that provides long-term benefits when done consistently. Boats can be used year-round because of the mild winters; therefore, they are subject to high exposure from sun, rain, and salt in coastal regions. Utilize high-quality wax and prevent oxidation before it starts.