(NAC) David Ullrich's querry re Waxing boats

Unka Bart gatorojo at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 22 12:22:49 EDT 2006

David Ullrich asked about waxing boats, but since in live in a 
community of hard-core sailors in Pensacola, FL (Baja Alabama), I 
forwarded the original question to a neighbor buddy who has lived 
aboard his Cal-46 for the last 20 years.  He's a retired Los Angeles FD 
Battalion Chief who makes a good living rebuilding Atomic Four sailboat 
engines and has encyclopedic knowledge of all things boatical 

Here's the ungarbled word, per my buddy Tom:

> Subject: boat wax question Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 08:02:51 -0500
> Hi Tom,
> Got a question from one of the guys on the Quattro list concerning 
> what wax to use on his boat.
> Since you are the repository of all wisdom concerning things that 
> float, I thought you might be able to point me in the right direction, 
> and to that end, I provide the offending email in it's entirety:
>> From: "David Ullrich" Subject: LAC: Longest lasting "Wax"?
>> Although its not for my Audi, this could easily apply to any Audi. 
>> I'm in search of the longet lasting wax or wax-like product for use 
>> in a harsh environment. Specifically on my fiberglass blat. She's an 
>> older 40 foot trawler (a Willard 40 FBS for those familiar with 
>> trawlers). Her hull is white with a grey boot stripe. The hull is 
>> oxidized (clalky). I can gt rid of the chalkiness and oxidation with 
>> a polisher and cleaner/compound.
> * First wash the boat using water and Tri Sodium Phosphate,TSP, 
> available at most paint stores or big box stores. It has no additives 
> that will cause compounds and wax to smear. I dilute TSP about one cup 
> to 3 gallons of water. Often it is less work and you get a better 
> finish if you do use 1,000 grit wet sandpaper. If the gel coat is 
> chalky, it is easier to wet sand than buff.
>> She has plenty of gelcoat left for that. If it comes down to it, she 
>> actully has enough gel left that I could wet sand then polish, but I 
>> dont thing shes that for gone.
> *After wet sanding, I then use a 3-M product, "Gel Coat Compound". It 
> is far more aggressive than the 3-M "Heavy Duty" and is white in 
> color. It is only available in gallon size buckets, about $50 at West 
> Marine. Use a sheep skin buffing pad and a slow turning power buffer, 
> about 1500 RPM's and keep it clean and moving so as to not heat up the 
> gel coat. I prefer an air powered buffer as they are much lighter in 
> weight, thus easier to control and less tiring.If you do not wet sand, 
> expect to only get about12 to 16 SF before turning the pad. I have two 
> pads, one in use and one soaking in fresh water, then use a nozzle 
> with a small tip to wash them. I spin them dry on the buffer. Watch 
> the spray. But the real question is what wax or wax-like product.
> After compounding the entire hull, try to do this in the shade if 
> possible, wash the boat again using TSP and a thorough rinsing.
> - I have experimented with many waxes and for our Florida sun and heat 
> have found Collinites Fleet Wax superior, even better than 3-M. In all 
> cases, IMHO, the liquid waxes are inferior to gel waxes.
> I use the same sheep skin pads and wash them as wax residue builds up.
> In our part of the world you are lucky to get nine months with a real 
> high gloss. A lot depends on your lattitude and how the boat usually 
> is oriented to the suns rays.
> Your mileage may vary.
> Tom, AKA "Old Flat Head" rebuilder of older boat engines
>> to put on to keep it looking good for a long time to come. I dont 
>> need super high gloss, the most important thing to me is longevity. 
>> She is outside and in a slip, constantly exposed to the elements 
>> including salt air. I am good about rinsing her down with freah water 
>> after I take her out, but she is exposed to saltwater at least one a 
>> month. Idealy I'd like it to last at least a year, if not longer. SO, 
>> anyone have any suggestions for a long lasting product?
>> Dave 1987 CGT 2.3 SE VA
> I appreciate any thoughts on the subject you'd care to share. 
> Muchachos Garcias,
> Bart

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