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Old 04-03-2006
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waxing the hull

I keep my boat on Long Island Sound (salt water). It's a new boat, second season.
Is it necessary to wax the hull once a season?
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Old 04-03-2006
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New Boat

Natural Wax (carnauba and the like) will typically last only a few months on a hull especially in salt water. At a minimum you should wax the hull at the beginning and end of the season. Personally I use a product called Poliglow that is more like a clear acrylic coating than a wax and lasts in excess of a year. Take car of that hull or you are going to have oxidation problems.
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Old 04-04-2006
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Polyglow (sp?)

We used polyglow on our Soling, which we purchased new in 1969 and sold sometime around 1990. You could still see your face reflected in the topsides when the new owner trailered her off to Massachusetts. Do note that if the hull is awlgripped, (many new boats are now sold awlgripped, instead of coloring the gelcoat) they used to recommend NOT waxing or buffing it. Check to make sure before you make a mistake.
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Old 04-04-2006
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Wax will not only keep the shine but will seal the 'pores' of the gelcoat from staining.
Especially on the topsides when gelcoat gets porous, iron and tannins from the water will quickly enter the pores and stain the gel. These stains are not harmful and can be easily removed with oxalic acid etc. but the importance of seeing staining (on the water line and the 'moustache' at the bow, etc.) is that its a signal that the gel is becoming porous. Porosity leads to and promotes oxidation. Simply keep the pores filled with wax and the boat will look brand new for MANY years.

I use Collinite Fleetwax (a natural Brazilian Carnauba wax), apply with a wet bare hand and 'push' it into the gelcoat until it shines, then I buff it. For me the Fleetwax lasts 'almost' an entire season ... in the pores. I find that Collenite last the longest of the 'waxes' - for me a whole season on the Chesapeake but I avoid using detergents that can remove/lift waxes, I just use mild 'soap'. The 'acrylic' coatings are OK but someday you will have to remove them when they 'go' and that usually means a heavy power buffing that will remove a lot of gel also; and, NOTHING looks a good as a well wax maintained gelcoat.

Most waxes have to be stripped every few years to remove the old dead wax thats IN the pores .... simply use a strong caustic detergent, then re-wax. There is no reason that a 30+ year old boat cant look brand new ... just need to keep wax on it.
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Old 04-04-2006
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I vote for Polyglow. I love that stuff. I think the secret ingrediant is the teflon in it - you could fry an egg on my boat. Also, you can use it on metal. I put it on my dorades and solar vents. You put it on, let it dry to haze and remove - just like paste wax. It is much easier to remove than paste wax.
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Old 04-04-2006
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See how you like PolyGlow when it eventually degrades and you have to remove it when your boat looks like it has a major skin disease.
If the stuff was so good how come boat manufacturers dont put it on?

Remember these words - pay me now or pay me later, there is NO free lunch.
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Old 04-04-2006
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I have no direct experience with Polyglow, but have heard many horror stories on other forums. You need to re-coat once or twice annually to keep the shine. Over time, the stuff develops a heavy build-up, eventually turning into a crackled, brownish-yellow varnish. Some say the only way to get it off is with gallons of oven cleaner or something harsher.

RichH is right, those "Mop & Glow" easy fixes all have a dark side.
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Old 04-07-2006
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I meant the other stuff...

I guess it's not Polyglow that I have been using - it's Starbrite's Polish. Probably about the same thing - tho. I have used it for several years on 2 differant boats and not had any problem. I don't used it that often - only about once a year. I hope I don't start having problems... I will report back in a year.
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