Polish VS. Wax - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-29-2006 Thread Starter
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Polish VS. Wax

I am trying to figure out the difference between "polish" and "wax" products for fiberglass. Any other recommendations is appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-29-2006
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Polish abrades the surface taking off a small amount of oxidized gelcoat. Wax is a protective coating that adds shine and which, in the case of marine waxes, provide substantial UV protection. Where this becomes confusing is when you encounter polisher waxes that do both.

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post #3 of 11 Old 06-29-2006
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succinct and well said Jeff.

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post #4 of 11 Old 06-29-2006
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Nothing in sailing is easy....so given the good description above, what does the term "cut and polish" refer to--have heard it frequently with reference to cleaning/waxing the hull. So I understand "polish", "wax", even "cleaner wax", but what's the "cut" and why not "polish/wax"?
Thanks for any clarification.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-29-2006 Thread Starter
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Jeff,
My boat is a little over a year old. I just want to maintain the fiberglass on the deck and the hull.
Which "polish" or "wax" would you recommend? Any favorite brand?
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-29-2006
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Our boat is about eight months old. We decided to use Star brite Premium Marine Polish with Teflon after several hours searching on the internet. The best advice we've found is to use microfiber towels. Get them at Sams or Costco. We apply the polish in a small area, say no more than two-feet by two-feet, and wipe off with the microfiber towels almost immediately. That gives good results. For even better results, we have a Porter-Cable buffer with a flex backing plate, a lambs wool cover, covered in turn with microfiber bonnets. According to what we found on the internet, that's what car show folks use.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-29-2006
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BTW, do not apply the StarBrite Polish to any Non-skid or deck areas where you may have to walk, or you're asking for a nice concussion.

Starbrite also makes a good Non-Skid deck cleaner that works quite well, and it somehow manages to use Teflon in it, but makes the deck less slippery than without using it.

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post #8 of 11 Old 06-29-2006
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The "cut" is compounding which removes oxidation and prepares the hull for waxing/polishing. Compounding is abrasive and is not needed unles the hull is badly oxidized.
If your hull is painted or awlgriped, never use wax which will fog the shine. Use a polymer shiner like 3M Finesse-it.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-30-2006
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We use Awlwash and awlcare products for our awlgripped hull. The results are very good.

Got good results using the 3-M products for the gelcoat on the old boat.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-01-2006
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Of course, Awlgrip is designed to be very low maintenance, and polishes and waxes will generally damage it...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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