How to Wax a Boat: Our Simple Step by Step Guide

Have you decided it’s finally time to wax your boat, but are unsure where to begin? Don’t worry; that’s where we come in!

As experts in the boating industry, our team explains exactly how to wax a boat in today’s blog post. Keep reading for your step-by-step guide and the answers to frequently asked questions. 

Why is Waxing a Boat Important?

Before we dive into the ins and outs of how to wax a boat, why does it matter? Well, waxing your boat is essential to maintaining the color, shine, and integrity of your boat’s finish. Additionally, it makes regular cleaning ultra-easy, as it’s harder for grime and grit to stick to waxed surfaces. 

Waxing a Boat: Step-by-Step Guide

Ready to embark on your boat waxing adventure? All you need to do is follow these simple steps: 

1. Clean Your Boat

Before waxing a boat, you must get rid of surface debris, dirt, and other organic material. Even if you haven’t taken your boat on the water, it’s common for dirt, dust, and debris to build up over time.

To clean your boat:

  1. Remove it from the water and park it on a flat surface.
  2. Secure the boat to its trailer so it doesn’t move.
  3. Spray the boat down to loosen any dirt and debris.
  4. Use a high-quality, non-abrasive cleaner for the fiberglass.
  5. Scrub thoroughly with a boat brush for optimal results.
  6. Rinse your boat off and let it dry. 

Read Next: Boat Cleaning Basics

2. Choose the Best Boat Wax for Your Boat

The next step in waxing a boat is choosing the best boat wax for you. Plenty of different boat waxes are on the market, although we recommend opting for one that is durable and easy to apply. 

Here’s a brief overview of some potential boat waxes

  • Carnauba wax: This type of wax is known for its glossy appearance. It protects against salt, water, and UV light. However, it doesn’t scrub away dirt/debris because it doesn’t have grit. Therefore, it’s ideal for new or well-maintained boats. 
  • Cleaner wax: This wax offers a gentle scrub that rids boats of stains, dirt, and surface damage. However, it can’t tackle severe damage like scrapes and scratches. 
  • Boat polishing wax: This wax is similar to carnauba because it doesn’t contain grit. It’s made of synthetic polymer components scientifically engineered to block damage from saltwater, UV rays, and more – without losing its integrity. 
  • Restorer wax: Old or severely damaged boats might require a more robust waxing option. When that’s the case, we recommend restorer wax. Because it contains many thick, coarse compounds, it can remove deep markings and similar damage. 

3. Wax The Boat

After you’ve chosen the best boat wax for you, it’s time to wax your boat. Start by applying a quarter-sized amount of wax to a microfiber cloth. Then, rub it into the hull in circular motions. We recommend working in small sections (3ft by 3ft), as the wax will start to dry to a hazy finish. 

Note: If you want to make this process easier, use an electric waxing tool. 

4. Buff It Out

Once each section has dried, buff it with a soft towel or another microfiber cloth. Essentially, you want to rub the towel in circular motions to remove the wax and buff the boat. Your boat waxing job is complete when your boat retains a shiny, mirror-like finish. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about how to wax a boat: 

How Often Should a Boat Be Waxed?

The general rule of thumb is to wax your boat at least twice yearly. However, most experts agree that your boat should be waxed every three or four months. 

Can You Put Too Much Wax on a Boat?

 When it comes to waxing your boat, more isn’t better. Putting too much wax on your boat wears down the wax and dulls the finish. That’s why we recommend using a quarter-sized dollop of wax per 3 ft-by-3 ft section. For reference, we use about three-quarters of a 16-ounce bottle of cleaner wax for a 25-foot boat. 

Should You Wax the Bottom of the Boat?

When waxing a boat, focusing on the sides and the deck is essential. This protects them from hazing, color fading, and chalking from the sun. 

Some people believe that waxing the bottom of the boat makes it go faster. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Waxing the bottom of a vessel increases surface tension, which increases drag. 

Check Out Our Other Boating Resources

We hope today’s blog post taught you how to wax a boat. If you’re interested in more boating maintenance guides, excursion inspiration, and nautical tips, visit our boating blog!

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