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Old 11-24-2020, 04:21 PM   #1
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Update on Best Marine Wax

All,


I'm sure this has been discussed to death, but would like to get an update on the best (and fairly easy) was to detail my boat.


I've used Collinite, been awhile, but a bit harder to work with.

3M's Finesse it, for oxidation is ok, but not really a wax.

McGuires Cleaner Wax excellent
Polyglow has been recommended but never tried it.


What are you using and happy with it?


Also, looking for a recommendation on a small, 4 or 5in orbital buffer to compliment my 7" Makita. Recommendations? Would like a cordless, but wonder how the batteries would hold up.....
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Old 11-24-2020, 04:27 PM   #2
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I've been happy with the Collinite 885 paste. Lasts well and I found it easy enough to apply, even in the cold. Foam waxing pad on a 6" random orbital polisher. Smear some of the paste onto the pad with a putty knife (kinda like cold butter), polish it onto the boat, then wipe off with a microfiber. Not necessarily the easiest out there, but easy enough.
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Old 11-24-2020, 04:45 PM   #3
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I too use the Collinite Fleetwax paste. It is a wax, and offers really good protection, with good water beading for a full year. It is not a Polish, so for best results requires some surface preparation. For "best results" follow the method from Rod Collins on marinehowto.com, but that is a lot of work, especially if you are starting with a "neglected" surface.
I put the wax on by hand using a damp wax applicator. Use a misting spray bottle of water to "dampen" an area (the size of the area will depend on how fast you can work and how fast the wax is drying - don't let it dry out or removal becomes difficult). Apply the wax, let dry to about 70% dry and remove by hand using a microfiber cloth. The "by hand" method allows more of the wax to remain giving a longer lasting protection.
I get many compliments on how my "older boat" looks, including some telling me how good it looks when on the hard, before I have even started this year's "treatment".
I enjoy doing it, crazy I know, and take some pride in it.
As far as I know, there is no "quick method" that gives good, lasting results.
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:14 PM   #4
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Anybody tried "ceramic coating?" I've used a spray version (Mother's) on my car and truck and it's made them very shiny. I think wax is on its way out. You have to prepare the surface first as this stuff won't do that. Took me about an hour to do my F150 crew and a little less with my P-car. Need a couple of microfibre cloths and you can even put it on wet. Cell phone camera with the usual Apple picture b.s.

Mod edit: rolled your car over for you. Looks better right way up. Don't worry, I didn't scratch it!
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:22 PM   #5
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We got talked into ceramic coating on our blue hulled boat by the detailer in 2019.



The hull was polished first and then the coating applied. Looked fantastic. However, withing a couple of months we had streaks running down the hull and water spots from rinsing the hull with fresh water that would not come off no matter what I tried. I contacted the company that applied the coating and sent them photos. Pretty much got the run around about how blue hulls are difficult to keep spot free (I know this but then why recommend the coating in the first place). After much discussion they agreed to repolish the hull this year during haul out. Many phone calls later they were a no show. The company is a well known charter company in the Comox Valley.



So I did some more research including discussing with other companies that apply the ceramic coating and came away with on a blue hull after washing I would have to dry the hull to prevent spotting. How to do that still alludes me.



I was also told that wax would not adhere to the coating. After the no show we decided to polish the boat in the water as best we could and do a test section with wax. That was in August and the side that we waxed still looks good and beads up nicely. So we have come to the conclusion the coating was not put on properly and is no longer on the hull at all. Expensive lesson but we will stick with wax.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:17 AM   #6
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3M Finesse-it is great for hulls that are already in good shape. For older or more oxidized hulls, a more aggressive compound gives better results. The longevity and shine of a wax job is more related to the surface prep than it is to the wax. I've used Finesse-it for years with good results. It's expensive, but it works.

It's essentially what's referred to in the detailing arena as a glaze; e.g. it's a final finish. If the surface has a gloss to start with, Finesse-it will bring that shine to its highest level for a "wet" look and mirror shine. But it won't offer protection against UV. It's only a polish. It needs protection.

Gelcoat on boats and the finish on cars can't be compared; they're completely different surfaces that require very different approaches to detailing.
Gelcoat is more subject to oxidation, and as the surface ages, it oxidizes faster. Oxidation creates micro fissures in the surface. Those fissures break up reflected light and the surface appears dull. A wax job on an oxidized gelcoat fills in those fissures and creates a more reflective surface (shine), but the uderlying surface remains uneven and the coating soon erodes from UV exposure, washing, saltwater, etc. and the dull appearance soon returns. The remedy is to polish the surface to even out the micro fissures by removing the peaks. That requires an abrasive. The more oxidized the surface, the stronger the abrasive required, sometimes wet sanding. There is no shortcut to a good shine. Once the surface is restored, wax or other protective coating creates a film to resist further UV attack and prolong the reflective properties or shine. Some last longer than others, but all will last longer on a polished surface since the coating will be more uniformly even on a microscopic level.

As my hull ages, I've been using Presta gelcoat compound. It's a bit more aggressive than Finesse-it, and is less expensive. Use of an appropriate polishing pad makes a difference, the manufacturer recommends a black & white wool compounding pad that works well. You'll need a polisher with enough power for the task. A Makita 9227 is a choice of many, it has a slow start to avoid slinging polish, and a constant speed control that mantains the rpm over a range of load. It's WORK! It takes me a minimum of 4 full days to polish the whole boat, and as the boat and I both age, it takes longer every time!!

I'm not a fan of Collinite, it seems to get gray with time. I've used Permanon, I was disappointed. 3M Imperial marine is OK, but Rejex is my favorite. Use Polyglow at your peril. It's easy on, looks fabulous, then it gets gray, flaky, looks awful and impossible to remove. Your easy on will be paid for in spades when you try to remove it. Horrid stuff.

That shine is a lot of work, and there are those who'd rather spend the time sitting or enjoying other pursuits. To each his own. But the path to "the shine" has no shortcuts. Except with plastic or cash!
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xsbank View Post
Cell phone camera with the usual Apple picture b.s.

Ditto on the iOS photos... Try noting if you're holding the phone with the volume buttons down. That's the orientation that the iPhone uses as a reference from what I've read. There are ways to strip out the file metadata that creates the rotation problem, but it's a PITA.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maerin View Post
3M Finesse-it is great for hulls that are already in good shape. For older or more oxidized hulls, a more aggressive compound gives better results. The longevity and shine of a wax job is more related to the surface prep than it is to the wax. I've used Finesse-it for years with good results. It's expensive, but it works.

It's essentially what's referred to in the detailing arena as a glaze; e.g. it's a final finish. If the surface has a gloss to start with, Finesse-it will bring that shine to its highest level for a "wet" look and mirror shine. But it won't offer protection against UV. It's only a polish. It needs protection.

Gelcoat on boats and the finish on cars can't be compared; they're completely different surfaces that require very different approaches to detailing.
Gelcoat is more subject to oxidation, and as the surface ages, it oxidizes faster. Oxidation creates micro fissures in the surface. Those fissures break up reflected light and the surface appears dull. A wax job on an oxidized gelcoat fills in those fissures and creates a more reflective surface (shine), but the uderlying surface remains uneven and the coating soon erodes from UV exposure, washing, saltwater, etc. and the dull appearance soon returns. The remedy is to polish the surface to even out the micro fissures by removing the peaks. That requires an abrasive. The more oxidized the surface, the stronger the abrasive required, sometimes wet sanding. There is no shortcut to a good shine. Once the surface is restored, wax or other protective coating creates a film to resist further UV attack and prolong the reflective properties or shine. Some last longer than others, but all will last longer on a polished surface since the coating will be more uniformly even on a microscopic level.

As my hull ages, I've been using Presta gelcoat compound. It's a bit more aggressive than Finesse-it, and is less expensive. Use of an appropriate polishing pad makes a difference, the manufacturer recommends a black & white wool compounding pad that works well. You'll need a polisher with enough power for the task. A Makita 9227 is a choice of many, it has a slow start to avoid slinging polish, and a constant speed control that mantains the rpm over a range of load. It's WORK! It takes me a minimum of 4 full days to polish the whole boat, and as the boat and I both age, it takes longer every time!!

I'm not a fan of Collinite, it seems to get gray with time. I've used Permanon, I was disappointed. 3M Imperial marine is OK, but Rejex is my favorite. Use Polyglow at your peril. It's easy on, looks fabulous, then it gets gray, flaky, looks awful and impossible to remove. Your easy on will be paid for in spades when you try to remove it. Horrid stuff.

That shine is a lot of work, and there are those who'd rather spend the time sitting or enjoying other pursuits. To each his own. But the path to "the shine" has no shortcuts. Except with plastic or cash!

Steve,


Interesting comment on PolyGlow. Sound risky.

I've also been told that Aqua Buff 2000 is an excellent product, good for light scratches and a good shine that lasts "reasonably". Also, easy to apply.


I've used Rejex, but use it as a rain and bug repellent for the most part (which is great for that), but mostly effective on aircraft where bugs are hitting at 150 mph. Never thought of it as a polish. Also, use the spray version on the boat windows and works well enough so I don't need wipers.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:48 AM   #9
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What do you suggest using on paint? Are you stuck with the proprietary products of the paint brand?
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:56 AM   #10
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I've experimented with a few different compounds and waxes over the years. So far, for a lightly oxidized surface Finness-it is by far the best polish I've found and although expensive, it goes a long way. For heavily oxidized surfaces I work my way up with wet sanding depending on how bad it is to 1000 grit polishing compound (most brands will do) then finish with Finness-it and top with Collinite's Fleet Wax. Makita buffer is a worthwhile investment. Went through a few Harbor Freight buffers but they don't last long enough to make sense.
Took me two full weekends to do my current boat, it was in poor shape. It was backbreaking but I was glad it was on the hard to do the hull.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:41 PM   #11
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I used 3M Marine Compound and Finishing Material on recommendation of the gel coat guru in the area, seems to work really well, better than Finesse It. Followed by Collinite Fleet wax. Collinite also makes the 925, a liquid version of the fleet wax, applies easier they say, but not quite as durable. I am going to try that for mid-season refreshes, if they ever let me see my boat again.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:57 PM   #12
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Im a believer in 3M products. This is a 1971 hull, original glass, no paint.
This was a semi chocked hull when we got it, not real bad, but not good.
I started with a 9 heavy wool pad buffer and finished with a 5.5 orbital buffer.
One round of cutting compound, one round of polish, one of wax.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:59 PM   #13
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A friend of mine owns a boat detailing business. His recommendation is for Menzerna products over 3M products for polishing.

His recommendation for sealant is Jescar Powerlock. Make sure you let it sit for 30 minutes.

I will give this a try this spring. I was a 3M finished it guy myself. So we'll see.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
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A friend of mine owns a boat detailing business. His recommendation is for Menzerna products over 3M products for polishing.

His recommendation for sealant is Jescar Powerlock. Make sure you let it sit for 30 minutes.

I will give this a try this spring. I was a 3M finished it guy myself. So we'll see.
Please keep us posted!
It took me 2 solid days to do from the rail down. And one of the days I had the kids helping! And that was just a 33.

Im pulling a 48 out next week and starting the same process again. This time I am hiring a pro to do the first cut. I will follow up with steps 2-3. Im getting a little long in the tooth to be holding a buffer for more than 3 days.
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:32 PM   #15
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Steve,


Interesting comment on PolyGlow. Sound risky.

I used it two boats ago. It's essentially Mop N Glo. - Floor wax. Looks great when it's 1st applied, all down hill from there! Never again!


I use Rejex as a wax. My last compound job was Presta with a black & white wool pad, then Finesse-it with a yellow polishing pad, then follow with Rejex to protect. Looks great, lotsa work!
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:17 PM   #16
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I would definitely recommend the ceramic coating. Applied correctly it will last for a year in Florida sun and saltwater! From neighbor liveaboard's experiences and my own, Collinite only lasts for a month or so here. Have used Mequiar's but had to reapply every 3 months. Check out Marine Nano Shop's Liquid Crystal Armour HD. I have my 1995 Carver Aft Cabin Motor Yacht done each January. I get compliments all the time. Check it out!

This is not a spray... This is time tested in harsh marine conditions and Florida sunshine!
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:22 PM   #17
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I have used CarNu for years. My '71 gelcoat looks like new.


I tried the ceramic spray on my car but it made a streaky mess of my MidNite Blue.
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:34 PM   #18
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I second Maerin's comment about PolyGlo. It looks, smells, and goes on like no-buff floor polish. It is a coating and yes does make things shine, even dull gelcoat..

I helped a friend remove it from his boat after using for 2-3 seasons. A lot of it came off with the stripper sell for liquid floor polish. But what remained had to be washed off with lacquer thinner, neither prepsol. alcohol, nor mineral sprits wouldn't touch it.
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Old 12-04-2020, 03:36 PM   #19
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Poly Glo should never be considered! Have seen the affects of PolyGlo... the company should be sued!. Many boats ruined with its application. Dull, yellow cracking and peeling. Very difficult to remove.
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Old 12-04-2020, 05:20 PM   #20
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Poli Glo

Always been a waxer. I've wheeled out 2 sailboats and painted 2 myself.
Now I have a Nordic Tug 32 with green topsides. I have a heated boat barn in Traverse City, MI so Bruno is only in the water 6 months and doesn't get the extreme sun southern boats get. When I bought my 2001 tug the green topsides were not bad but starting to get cloudy. My shoulders we're gone and I couldn't wheel her out so I took a chance on Poli Glo. Watched all the videos, then used their wax stripper and applied 6 coats of Poli. That was year one. Since then I clean her and apply a single coat. Just applied a single coat this fall after haul year 3. Bruno looks great. The last owner commented that she never looked that good when he owned her. Said he was afraid to try "The Witches Brew". I know sun exposure is a difference maker but in Northern climates the stuff works. Just saying.....
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