to wax or not to wax

I have been told several thigs regarding waxing the fore and aft decks and seats: not to wax cause too slippery, wax to preserve the gelcoat, use surfboard wax to preserve the gelcoat but not slip. Advice out there from someone experienced please!!

Look around at all the boats where you sail, especially the one that look older than their age. Those are the boats that don't receive proper maintenance. All the infomation I read, in boat magazines, on the topic all say that you should wax your boat at least three times a year. You should wax it at the beginning of the year, mid season, and right before you put it away for the winter. Of course, if you are lucky enough to be able to sail all year long, then four time should do the job. THE SUN IS YOUR ENEMY! Be sure to use only good quality marine waxes to protect the gelcoat from the damaging Ultraviolet light from the sun. Don't use silicone based wax! These UV rays will attack and damage your boats gelcoat faster than you think. The best protection against these UV rays is a full boat cover, and proper maintenance, ie wash/WAX. For more info on the topic, you can contact Fiberglass Techologies, Inc at www.fiberglass@fiberdoc.com, tel 865 932 3708 or an article from DIY Boat Owner issue 2002-#1. This is where I got the info I used to detail/refinish our FS, and I know it worked for me! Our 1984 FS looks almost new. Also you may want to replace the worn non-skid tape on the decks and then tape off those areas prior to waxing so the non-skid won't receive any wax on it. Waxing will help keep your boat Shipshape!
The next question is should you wax below the water line or will that reduce speed. I am not sure.

Frank,
For what it's worth I would have to agree with Travis, invest in the covers. I have two, a trailer mooring and a full bottom. I don't wax my fore deck at all. Just wash it down good before I put the boat away. When I purchased the boat I used some gelcoat restorer to get rid of the chalk and waxed it to protect the "new" finish. That made it slippery enough. So much so that I slipped off while tied to the dock just stepping down into the cockpit. Not only did I win "play of the day", I have a nice scare on my wrist where I sliced it open.

Bruce
FS2777

I know that when I used the boat polish /wax with teflon my hull looked a lot shinier and most importantly it kept the oil scum from the bay from adhering to the white hull. The hull was much easier to keep clean and wash off after each sail. FS 3512

What Rubbing Compounds are people using. Wax is just not going to let the hull shine pop back out for me[?]

Absolutely do NOT wax the deck and seats!!!!! It is unsafe to wax the deck!

To brighten things up, use heavy duty rubbing compound then a polishing compound but do NOT wax the deck and seats. It is not safe to make the deck and seats that slippery.

You'll probably have to buy heavy duty compound from a marine supply store. If that doesn't work, you might even have to resort to wet sanding to get things started. Proceed with copious amounts of elbow grease in stock and advice from a local repair shop.

Spend a day removing oxidation with good compounds (verify wax free) then enjoy. Your job should be done for a few years and the boat should look good. It's a lot of work.

...and please save preserve your hard work going forward. Buy a nice cover from FlyingScot.com such as the ones from Sailors Tailor or North.

Good Luck!
Michael

Michael Mittman
FS# 5804, Fleet 23
Corinthian Sailing Club
White Rock Lake
Dallas, TX

Wouldn't waxing your boat cause water to bead and reduce the coefficient for slip resistance? A surface with a complete thin film of water would be technically slippery than one that is not. In my janitorial and facility support business, mfg. test data rates products on its coefficient for slip resistance. For example, a floor with a urethane floor coating (aka "wax") has a lower slip coefficient than one that is not waxed. We even apply products to stone to make them more slip resistant. However, floor finishes are designed to be super shiny and not slippery when wet, but slippery enough that soil can be removed through cleaning. I am not sure what the coefficients for slip resistance would be for marine or automotive polymer finishes would be. It would be interesting to find out. Any polymer engineers out there?

Overall, a good pair of boat shoes/sandals for everyone is not a bad idea.

TomT

quote:[i]Originally posted by carusoracer[/i]
[br]What Rubbing Compounds are people using. Wax is just not going to let the hull shine pop back out for me[?]

I am also curios... what compound is safe.

Chris
FS4361

I had some chalking of my gelcoat and i used 3M super duty Rubbing Compound. It has a product number 05954 on the bottle. I bought the quart at West Marine. I rubbed it in by hand, and rubbed it out by hand on the deck.

It took off a lot of the chalk and gave an ultra clean, smooth surface, with some shine. I then used Collinite 885 Fleetwax on the deck. It leaves a nice shine, and doesn't seem as slippery as most waxes. It has a waxy feel almost like a super thin layer of surfboard wax. It will absorb dirt if the boat is left uncovered over a long period, but it cleans up pretty well.

I never wax the seats, and I always wear grippy boat shoes. By the time the water is warm enough to have the kids jumping off the foredeck in bare feet, the wax has lost some of it's shine and slipperyness.

Have fun,

Phil Scheetz
FS 4086

quote:[i]Originally posted by TomT[/i]
[br]Wouldn't waxing your boat cause water to bead and reduce the coefficient for slip resistance? A surface with a complete thin film of water would be technically slippery than one that is not.

What you are referring to as slip resistance is friction. The water beads on a waxed surface due to the surface tension of the water being greater than the surface friction of the waxed surface. Water reacts to a surface in a similar way to sliding your hand across the surface. If your hand encounters friction/roughness then the flow of the water across the surface will also encounter this same resistance. If you carry water along with your boat in the form of water "trapped" in surface imperfections, the primary forces you must overcome are the shear forces between the water "attached" to your hull, and the water surrounding. These forces are higher than those encountered when a smooth surface travels through the water.
Hope this doesn't cloud the subject.

dave boling
Huntsville, AL
FS3431

Yes you have effectively confused me! So, wax or not?

Lesson learned. I waxed my deck and seats last weekend. Yesterday took her out for a sail (second one since I bought her last fall). We could barely stay on the seat and the decks were super slippery. New project is to either strip the wax off or put on a sticky wax. What I have on now is Meguiar's Mirror Glaze #50. Does anyone have a suggestion for a surfboard wax that works well? Prior to me purchasing the boat it had been stored outside with a cover - the gel coat was very chalking and discolored I really want to keep some sort of wax on to avoid the same fate.

FS 4964

Has anyone tried Woody Wax Non-Slip Deck Wax (http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|10918|309314|311451&id=651529)? It looks like it might be the right finish for what many of us are looking for.

FS 4964

Seems like two topics in one here.

1. Waxing the deck. Lots of opinions here. I wax and cover mine, but don't race it.

2. Waxing the bottom. I've read a couple of very good articles that say don't. Wet sand with a very fine paper and wash with detergent just before launching. That is what the America's Cup guys used to do, assume they still do. Of course you sacrifice the protection and open the hull to quicker oxidation which makes things slower eventually. I polish a couple times a year which keeps the bottom clean and smooth if not the lowest friction because of the drag of beading. But like I said, I don't race and the boat seems pretty fast and happy to me. Most of the guys I know that do one design racing also wax, and there are some very successful racers in that mix.

There's my 2cents.

quote:[i]Originally posted by EricG[/i]
[br]

I polish a couple times a year which keeps the bottom clean and smooth if not the lowest friction because of the drag of beading.

I'm curious about what you mean by "drag of beading". If you mean the lack of adhesion between water and wax that causes water to bead when present in small quantities on a waxed surface, or something else.

Thanks,

dave boling
Huntsville, AL
FS3431

I went to Defenders annual sale and bought a bottle of the Woody Wax. One of the employees said he uses it on his boat and that if carefully applied it works well but that if you use too much it will be slippery. Wash the boat and spray lightly with the wax while it's wet, let it dry and rub it down well with a cloth. Time will tell.

This is reply to Dave Boling's question above. The beading I was talking about is due to waxing. Water will not adhere to the waxed surface which means that drag is created by the water trying to pass over the surface. When water does adhere to the surface then the water is sliding over a 1 molecule depth layer of water which is much more slippery. In other words, a layer of water stays attached to the boat, and water is sliding on water creating less drag.

I hope that makes sense. I have noticed some of the more competitive large one designs- T-10, J-105, B-36.7- doing this to their hulls. Surface looks a bit dull and water splashed does not bead. Haven't been to a FSSA National to see what those boats are doing, but I'm guessing some of the more serious racers there do the same.

Sorry for the slow reply Dave, haven't been looking here for a while.

quote:[i]Originally posted by EricG[/i]
[br]This is reply to Dave Boling's question above. The beading I was talking about is due to waxing. Water will not adhere to the waxed surface which means that drag is created by the water trying to pass over the surface. When water does adhere to the surface then the water is sliding over a 1 molecule depth layer of water which is much more slippery. In other words, a layer of water stays attached to the boat, and water is sliding on water creating less drag.

So, you're saying that the sum of the adhesive force between the unwaxed hull and the water, and the cohesive forces between the water molecules is less than just cohesive forces between the water molecules? If adhesive force is A, and cohesive force is C, how is A+C less than C?
Also, what grit of sandpaper/polishing compound do you finish with such that you have no more than a one molecule layer of water adhering to the hull surface?
I think that perhaps you are confusing hydrodynamic drag, which is a function of hull shape and velocity, with intermolecular attraction. If there are any papers on this that you can point me towards, I would appreciate it.

dave boling
Huntsville, AL
FS3431

To Dave and Frank and Eric and others. I have been in the Naval Architecture field for over 35 years and in particular in the ship model testing business. The wax /no wax issue will be debated. It is generally understood by many sailors and correctly so that no wax may be faster. But consider this; 1. It may be faster by such a smidgen that one bad tack and you have blown it. 2. What is Wax? the heavy stuff that gives lots of protection?. 3. A Laser cenetrboard was recently been tested in a tow tank with different degrees of smoothness. Anything over 220 grit sanding and you are wasting your time. 4. Your boat ( and mine ) sails in some awfull water sad to say. If you sand really smooth and do not protect the hull with something, the porous gel coat will act like a wick and all the oily stuff in the water will attach to the hull, probably causing more roughness than a heavy coat of wax even even when well rubbed would.5. It has been suggested to me and I am following the advice to put a layer of marine polish with teflon on the bottom. This is temporary coating and perfectly legal. It comes as a heavy liquid, is easy to apply and one coat at the beginning of the season is effective all summer in keeping down the oily accumulation that would otherwise collect on the hull. The Chesapeake unfortunately still has some oilly water waste floating on the surface.

Thanks for the useful information. When it comes down to reality, my boat speed would benefit more from time in the boat, than time on the hull. Keeping nasty bits from clinging to the hull couldn't hurt, but a well executed tack or jibe would make up the difference.

dave boling
Huntsville, AL
FS3431