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.
Best Boat Waxes – Reviews
- BOAT POLISH: One 32 oz bottle of Meguiar's Flagship Premium Marine Wax offers long-lasting polymer protection and incredible deep gloss to fiberglass and gel coat surfaces
- OXIDATION REMOVER: Boat cleaner polish removes light oxidation, fine scratches and swirls to bring out the full richness of the surface
- UV PROTECTANT: Provides long-lasting protection against UV damage and wear
- DAZZLING SHINE: Meguiar's boat polish dramatically enriches color and shine, leaving an incredible, deep gloss
- EASY TO APPLY: Dispense a small amount of boat wax onto an applicator; spread a thin, even coat over the surface; and remove with a microfiber or cotton towel
- ONE EASY STEP: Non-abrasive marine cleaner quickly cleans, polishes and protects all fiberglass gel coat marine or RV surfaces in one easy step
- REMOVE LIGHT DEFECTS: Safely and effectively removes light oxidation, haze, minor scratches and swirls
- RESTORE COLOR AND GLOSS: Non-abrasive cleaners and polishing oils easily restores color, brilliance and gloss to fiberglass gel coat surfaces
- SUPERIOR PROTECTION: Provides durable, long-lasting protection against salt air, corrosion and the sun's ultraviolet rays
- VERSATILE: Safe and ffective by hand, DA Polisher or Rotary Buffer. Also available in 16 oz. and 1 gallon sizes
- MARINE WAX: Blends pure Brazilian carnauba wax with polymers and resins to provide durable long-lasting protection and extraordinary gloss
- UV PROTECTION: Protects against the sun’s ultraviolet rays
- USE WITH CONFIDENCE: Safe, effective and easy to use on all fiberglass gel coat and painted marine or RV surfaces
- IDEAL FINISH: Especially effective on dark colors and clear-coated metal flake finishes
- VERSATILE FORMULA: Effective by hand or by machine
- 3 x Collinite No. 925 Fiberglass Marine Wax, 16 Fl Oz
- Average spread/coverage: 1,200-2,000 sq ft
- Easy-to-use last step wax provides high gloss shine and long-lasting weather defense
- Most machine-friendly last step marine wax
- For both hand and machine use
- USE WHAT THE PROS USE – Premium boat wax is safe for all gelcoats paint fiberglass and metal for a glistening shine anywhere on your boat or RV
- WORLD-CLASS WAX – Contains carnauba a Brazilian wax known worldwide for its deep shine and high gloss
- EXTREMELY DURABLE – Forms a hard shell that protects against weather water and oxidation
- EASY TO USE – Applies by hand right from the bottle great for topside paint and hardware
- PART OF A FAMILY OF BOAT CARE PRODUCTS – Choose Perfect-It Boat Wax after using 3M Perfect-It gelcoat finishing compounds and polishes
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.