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.
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.
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.
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.