How Often to Buff and Wax Your Boat According to the Pros
All Gelcoat is Not Created Equal
If gelcoat is not protected with a proper Wax or a Buff and Wax at minimum every 3-4 months with wax or sealants, it will break down from oxidation and the sun! When your boat mold was made in the manufacture, they all use different gelcoat, types, and thickness. We’ve learned over the years that different products are effective on different boats. In general, we are very fond of 3m and Maguiar’s detailing products, but other products also have a good effect if used properly. If your boat is oxidized/chalky, 3m Super Duty Compound is a great option and you can find it at just about any West Marine or online.
It is wise to use a high quality sealant like Permanon, OR a high quality wax like Collinite for the best protection from the elements. As always, the amount of time really depends on your boat. Every make and model of boat is different, and the gelcoats were applied differently in the factory! However, it is our recommendation to apply a high quality wax/sealant every 3-4 months, and wash down your boat with a soap that is compatible with your wax once per month!
VERY IMPORTANT – You only have a finite amount of gelcoat on your boat (about .3mm to .5mm). This means that even with a deck brush, you are scrubbing away your gelcoat. This is why you will see professional detailers completing monthly washdowns with soft cloths, microfiber cloths, or mops. Only use a brush if its necessary to get out a nasty stain.
Buffing the gelcoat is a literal term that means rubbing away the old gelcoat or Oxidation. If your boat is oxidized, dull, or chalky then you didn’t apply wax frequently enough! If you apply high quality wax every 3-4 months and wash off the salt and bird crap every month, then you should not need to buff often! For more information on what buffing products to use, check out our blog on Boat Detailing Secrets from the Pros that will save you Money.
Having your boat buffed and waxed can be the best thing you can do to preserve the value.
Remember that boats need a good wash every month so that grime and dirt does not build up on the outer gelcoat! We recommend washing your boat down with Orpine Wash & Wax once a month, OR a soap that is compatible with your wax!
UV rays will beat up your boat’s gelcoat unless you have the proper protection on the gelcoat. If your boat is oxidized, applying a wax will do nothing but seal imperfection. You will have to use a compound to buff out the oxidation before applying wax.
Think of wax and sealants like saving your work. If your boat is oxidized, you are only sealing imperfection. You have to buff away oxidation before applying a wax!
Give us a call to have your boat buffed, waxed, washed, polished, and protected to offer maximum protection from the weather! Salt water is especially harmful to boats, especially when they are not maintained and washed monthly.
What Else Needs Protection?
ALL of the following items need to be addressed monthly in order to maintain your boat.
-Engine Maintenance and Checks
-Diving and Zinc Anode Service
-Media Blasting and Bottom Painting
Other aspects of your boat should also be protected like your hull! In a climate like Charleston, South Carolina all the way down to Miami, Florida, you should have a diver clean the bottom of your boat at minimum once a month. During the summer it’s recommended to clean the hull every 2 weeks!
Stainless steel is also vital to the look and appeal of your vessel. It looks phenomenal when shined up with a compound! You should also protect any metals on your boat with an over the counter protectant. Wax will work, but there are better products more specific to boat detailing you can find at West Marine.
If you have any questions feel free to give us a call for some advice.
Our Yacht Management Team will customize services to keep your boat ship shape.