Whether you were looking for an antidote to some corrosion or just thought that your boat could look a little shinier in the marina, you’ve found yourself on the search for the best boat waxes.
We were here once before too, and so this article was written to point others in the right direction.
Below we have five options for boat waxes along with their pros, cons and a paragraph or two explaining why they found their way into our list.
There’s a lot to consider when making the choice of which wax to purchase, all dependent on your boat’s hull, the needs of that hull and your preferences over the finish they’ll give your boat and the method of application.
We’ve also included a buyers’ guide and an FAQ that cover these details so that you can learn all there is to know about what kind of wax to get for your boat.
With those resources at hand, you shouldn’t be rusty when making your future wax purchases.
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Why it’s Our Top Pick
Got a rust problem? If you’re in a rush you can see which product reached the top of our list right here, no extra reading required.
We chose the Meguiar’s M6332 Flagship Premium Marine Wax partly due to their reputation in the industry, another of their products appearing in this list, and partly due to the quality of the product itself.
As the most expensive on the list, it wasn’t a significant enough margin to knock it off the top spot as is the case for many of our reviews. See why we chose the Meguiar’s Flagship below.
The Flagship’s formula uses long-lasting polymers to grant your boat more durable protection, deeper gloss, and enhanced colors and shine. Works best with gel coated and fiberglass boats.
Can be used to treat existing oxidation or scratching damage from your previous boating journeys.
Is versatile in the way it can be applied, being designed to be used with both hand pads and dual action speed polishers.
Best Boat Waxes - Comparison Table
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Best Boat Waxes - Reviews
The first product on our list is the Meguiar’s M6332 Flagship Premium Marine Wax, a product whose name kept propping up in boat waxing circles which has overwhelmingly positive reviews on its Amazon page.
The Meguiar Flagship wax is a cleaner wax combination made from a formula made with long-lasting polymers which protect the surface of the boat you use it on, while giving it an incredibly deep gloss.
This works best on fiberglass and gel coat surfaces.
It can also remove oxidation marks, providing they’re not too far gone, as well as fine scratches that your boat may have accrued with use. It’ll also leave your boat’s surface with enriched colors and shine.
It’s the priciest product on this list but the price points for boat waxes don’t differ too drastically, so we think this product deserves the top spot because you’d definitely get your money’s worth.
At number three we have something that’s a little bit different, the Boat Bling Quickie Sauce Spray.
This spray makes claims of doing its job as a wax in 25% of the time other products can by virtue of it delivering high-gloss fast wax via an easy to use spraying mechanism.
That wax is their Montan Wax Formula which is not only fully biodegradable but also doesn’t require buffering, and acts much like a polish in how you handle it.
Some have reported that this product has turned their white seats yellowish or green, so if using on the boat furniture be sure to consult the spray bottle for instructions to eliminate human error as a cause of this problem.
If you want to play it safe, you can use a different solution for light-colored furniture.
Made with pure Brazilian carnauba wax that has been blended with both polymers and resin to create a durable compound, Meguiar’s M5616 Marine Pure Wax Carnauba Blend will bestow your vessel with long-lasting protection and a satisfying gloss to boot.
It also provides UV protection to stop the sunlight from making colors fade and is able to be used on all manner of boats and RVs.
However, it works best with clear-coated metallic flakes and dark colors but can be difficult to get off if applied with a buffer.
This leaves the option of either tediously applying it by hand or tediously getting the wax off if it does happen to stick, hence why it’s this low on the list.
If you’re fine with that, then this could be your ticket to some more than affordable wax.
Our next product is for those out there who prefer paste over other ways of transferring wax to your boat, the 3M Marine Ultra Performance Paste Wax.
This wax paste has a Brazilian carnauba wax base, a shiny and sturdy wax where a little goes a very long way, and 3M’s polymer tech adds durable acrylic and water and soil-resistant fluoropolymer and silicone to that equation, creating a wax that maintains a protective, high-gloss finish throughout sunny, rainy and earthy conditions while keeping stains out, a perfect wax paste for marine use.
Some have received this product dried out, and so unusable, online. When ordering from online marketplaces like Amazon, it’s always good practice to verify the supplier of your product and check their feedback ratings.
Amazon product pages can often be aggregations of several suppliers selling the same product, and some can send subpar and damaged products without it being reflective of the quality of 3M’s service.
The final product we have selected is the Boater’s Edge Cleaner Wax, a cheap wax that also acts as a cleaner, making for an efficient option for thrifty consumers.
It works wonders on the hull of most boats, such as ones with fiberglass, metal and painted surfaces, by removing existing blemishes caused by the oxidation process.
This product is so versatile that it can be used on some land vehicles too, making it the most efficient budget choice here.
The wax shines and creates a protective water-resistant layer for your hull, to increase the time between the need for waxing.
This wax also includes UV inhibitors to protect your boat from sunlight damage, which is what causes the fading or chalking of the gel coats of many boat types.
The wax can be applied using either hand or buffer, but we’d recommend the buffer to get the best shine possible.
Best Boat Waxes - Buyers Guide
How to choose the right wax for your boat
When you’re planning to apply wax to your boat, you should be aware that they don’t work on a ‘one size fits all’ basis.
Not all surfaces will get the benefits of all kinds of wax, and it’s best that you know this so that you won’t waste your time and have to wax on with your right hand and wax off with your left.
So, let's break down the types of boat surfaces you’ll encounter when considering when looking at which waxes to buy. The most common of these will be gel coating or fiberglass types which have a high shine, and so take to waxing very well.
As a result, there’s an abundance of products on the market available to do the job. Otherwise there are metals which need protection from salty water and paint surfaces can get in on the action too.
If your boat has imperfections or other issues that mar the surface, you’ll need to probably get them fixed before doing anything with waxing.
We should tackle oxidation and how wax can help certain boats that suffer from it. A lot of boats will be treated to deal with high levels of oxidation so you should check if yours is fine without wax, since then it’d be a waste of time and money to wax it.
Wax should also be applied to any clean surface as dirt or grease could mess with the finish and not be what you were looking for. Cleaning the surface beforehand will ensure you’ve the ideal conditions for the wax to have as satisfying a finish as possible.
Be sure to look at the reviews of what people who have bought wax are saying, since waxes don’t have that many specs to judge them on qualitatively, the best testament to a wax’s worth is customers’ experience of the finish it leaves.
Some waxes will leave a great finish but not last very long like good wax should. Along with paying attention to consumer feedback, you can better estimate if a wax will be of good quality if it is a highly rated product from a company that you’ve heard of.
They should also be durable, naturally, as they are going to be slathered onto a boat that’s going to go through some harsh conditions. The more durable the wax is, the longer it should last which ties back into quality wax being one that you really bet your money’s worth out of.
The waxes themselves come in different types, too, which can generally be broken down into four categories. The first is pretty focused, being carnauba wax boat products that specifically use Brazilian carnauba wax, a wax known for its efficiency and shine.
They come in small parcels, but don’t lay it on too thick as a small amount goes a long way. You should be careful to have removed any oxidation before applying any carnauba, which makes it the perfect wax to christen a new boat with since they should be spotless.
The second group are the cleaner waxes, products which are compounds of wax and cleaning products so they can clean oxidation and stains off of them during the waxing process. This wax should be applied as the last step in a larger cleaning process. The third category are polishes, which are similar to carnauba waxes, but are obviously made of synthetic ingredients to tackle all kinds of environmental factors like dirt and saltwater.
Boat polish products are long-lasting but, again like carnauba, yield poor results on boats with some oxidation on them. The last grouping are the restorer waxes which are viscous mixtures full of abrasive rubbing materials so that a lot of oxidation and film can get rubbed away.
These products tend to have dual functions so that they not only clean but protect the surface that they’re cleaning. Beware when using restorers because they can be so abrasive that they rub away decals from your boat, and they have to be used with a power buffer which may require additional investment on your part if you don’t already own one.
Speaking of buffers, the application of the wax is also something to consider when choosing wax. Carnauba wax comes in small but potent packages, as discussed, and this means that they are intended to be rubbed on by hand, by which we don’t mean your actual hand but a clean cloth or pad so that its spread evenly and finishes with less handprint marks.
Products to be rubbed on with your hands are soft for easy distribution, but this can be tiring on your arm and back and can take ages if you’re fortunate enough to own a massive boat. Synthetic polymer waxes are thicker and are recommended to be distributed on your boat’s hull by power buffers, which requires electrical devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I wax my boat?
At its simplest, waxed boats look better aesthetically due to the sheen they get from it. However, wax does actually play a role in the maintenance of your boat too. Wax prevents oxidation, which erodes metal and can compromise hulls over the years, turning high quality boats into junkyard fodder.
Wax can also guard against UV damage, as well, and others believe that smoothing the surface of your boat allows for free movement through water.
Why can’t I use my car wax on my boat?
Boats aren’t cars, so they have a lot of difference between the makeup of the two surfaces. You technically could wax your boat with car wax, there’s nothing stopping you, but in doing so you’ll be missing out on key qualities of wax made specifically for boats.
One of the ways car surfaces are different from boat surfaces is that the cars usually have a clear coating to make sure the paint stays in and doesn’t get faded by UV radiation. Boats, on the other hand, are better at removing oxidation which is practically nonexistent in cars. In general, boats will go through a lot more punishment than cars.
How should I get the boat ready for waxing?
You’ll want to make sure that you leave your boat with the best finish, so a good start would be to get your boat out of the water so that you can wax all of it. Wash off any debris so that the hull is clean, there should be nothing that would disrupt the process.
If not done correctly, you’ll risk having to wax on, wax off in order to reapply the coating.