Whats the best boat wax?

Drew Stephens

Almost A Member
Dec 6, 2017
Ventura, CA
Drew Stephens
Boat Name
Sunbird Neptune 230
Whatsup guys, my boats from 97 and while its in great shape for its age, the gelcoat needs a good wax. Just went out last weeken and murdered the dorado and sprayed off the blood with raw water and scrubbed with a brush the rest I missed. But the blood spots I missed that sat for an hour or so left a red stain in the gelcoat. Magic eraser wont get it out either. Im sure when I go detail it today barkeepers friend will get it out. That being said I assume if the entire boat had a solid wax that would not happen and blood would rinse right off without staining. My process of cleaning the boat right now is soap and scrub ENTIRE boat and rinse with freshwater, shammy to dry everything. Let it dry overnight go back the next day and detail windows, polish all stainless rails/tower/rodholders/etc. , then I go over the entire hull with a "quick detail wax" just spray it on and wipe it off with a towel. I do this every single time but I dont think the quick detail wax leaves a good enough of a film protecting the gelcoat. Any tips on the best wax you guys have found for older gelcoats?
Upvote 0


Almost A Member
Apr 14, 2012
Newbury Park, CA
Boat Name
25' Davis RHLC, D4, FinAddict
If your gelcoat is in pretty good condition, after washing I use Collinite Cleaner wax (920), then Collinite Fleetwax (885).

If this is my annual deal after washing:
Oxalic Acid/FSR to remove rust stains, wash rinse then
Compound (3M or Presta Gel Coat Compound) then,
Presta Ultra Cutting Creme (or 3M Finesse It) then,
Presta Chroma 1500 then,
Collinite Cleaner wax (920), then,
Collinite Fleetwax (885).

You may not need all these steps. This takes me about 40 or so hours depending on how weathered it is. 1998 Davis 25' Rock Harbor. That's the full on annual job. Collinite 885 is a paste wax, so it takes some time and elbow grease, but for me it seems to last the longest. I use Woody Wax on the non skid, its ok, but maybe there is something better. Collinite 850 Metal Wax on shiny stuff.
Upvote 0

SeaHawk IV

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jan 15, 2008
United States of America
Boat Name
I apply a proper wax and polish at the end of the year. Then reapply a inexpensive auto spray wax as needed the next day after a trip. Blood easily scrubs off with a soft brush.

Auto wax is not formulated for marine use to my knowledge. Been doing this for years and no issues with my gelcoat. Not a professional way in keeping the gelcoat gleaming but saves me a lot of agony and energy from scrubbing dried blood.
Upvote 0


  • Sep 5, 2015
    Brookings, Southern Oregon
    Boat Name
    21 Arima Ranger 'HogFish'
    The best 'boat wax' is on/off boat cleaner acid. Also cleans up your cuts on hands. dissolves everything from rust to old blood. I never felt like wax did anything for gelcoat other than for a week or so. but thats me. The worst thing is strong sunlight. If you ever have to repair your gelcoat then embedded waxes and silicones are your enemy.
    Upvote 0


    Dec 21, 2017
    Boat Name
    Skipjack 24 Fly
    If you haven't compounded the boat in a year it needs to be compounded. Nobody likes to hear that but it's the truth. You can try to put wax on gelcoat that needs to be compounded but it won't give you the results you are looking for. It won't stick, stay on and it won't give you the water beading properties you want to be able to clean crap off of it. 3M Heavy cut on a white wool pad with a rotary, not a da. Then 3M Perfect it-ExAc with a DA. This is the easiest, fastest way to get through the oxidation \ crap and back up to a finish that is nice enough to get wax\polish\etc. to stick to it.

    This guy will show you how to use heavy cut \ Ex Ac combo. It's important that you use a heavy cut and a follow up that go well together. This is because lots of different products are really different grits and one might not be heavy enough to get all your oxidation removed and the other needs to be heavy enough to go from the heavy up to a final finish.

    Wax is old tech, it doesn't last long enough. Instead of using any wax use this synthetic polymer instead. This is one step shy of ceramic coating which is what I would recommend once you have your gelcoat compounded to a nice enough finish. This option is much cheaper than ceramic coating and goes on much easier, more similarly to how wax goes on but will keep water beading easily twice as long as wax and also protects from UV much more \ longer. This is developed for high end cars but works very well on fiberglass and painted \ powder coated surfaces. I also use it on my rods.

    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: RodRage
    Upvote 0

    Black Cat

    Jan 19, 2016
    Boat Name
    Bertram Bahia Mar
    Three step with Maguires Marine, heavy cutting for oxidation, polish, then wax. With the "blood staining" it sounds like your gelcoat has micro pits that need to be sanded out. Start with 800 wet sanded, constant water running to keep the paper clean, then on to cut, polish, then wax.
    Doing it right takes time, like the guy above, 40 hours sounds about right.

    But I'm sure there are a million ways to do it right!
    Upvote 0


    Share the stoke!
  • Sep 7, 2017
    Surf City Ca.
    Huntington Hillbilly
    Boat Name
    Chaparral 224 Fisherman
    TREWAX! Auto n boat detailer in the 90s and 30Yr boat owner, Hands down the best Ive ever used!

    Upvote 0