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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38,210

    Default Re: Waxing / Protecting gelcoat?

    Carnauba wax is known to have a high absorption of UV.
    A fast and dirty demonstration is to smear some on a reactolite spectacle lens.

    But I suspect there is other stuff going on, atmospheric dirt breaking down and reacting with the polyester or simply getting into pores of the gelcoat.

    Applying wax in its liquid/paste form also removes a certain amount of dirt.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Waxing / Protecting gelcoat?

    I have just cleaned, cut and polished a dark blue hull with this:
    PRU101.jpg

    I was delighted with the mirror-like finish with one pass with the buffer, and even more delighted when on of the pros at the marina came over to ask me what I had used!
    www.boat-angling.co.uk for information on fishing in the Eastern Solent

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Waxing / Protecting gelcoat?

    Quote Originally Posted by coveman View Post
    I read recently that it may be best not to use a cutting compound too often on the basis that every time it is applied the thickness of gelcoat will decrease. Presumably a good wax will do no harm, but may not provide the head turning shine that the two used together would achieve!
    Cutting compounds do indeed remove some of the gelcoat. However, the amount of gel removed is extremely small.
    I have had this comment made to me many times so I decided to test it.
    I make lightweight glass panels for race cars. The gelcoat is deliberately thin and certainly not as thick as an average yacht. Although new production yachts will have thinner gelcoat a than most older yachts as production techniques have improved. I found a scrap panel and using a very coarse cutting compound, Profile 200 on a lambs wool pad, went over and over the same area with the polisher. At 10 applications I gave up.
    I then tried to Ďburní the surface, as this has also been mentioned many times as a Ďdangerí, by using high rpm on a dry pad and course compound. I did manage it but you need to remain stationary for some time with excess pressure. I donít think anyone would do this in the real world.
    With medium or fine cutting compound I donít think there is any real risk of going through the gelcoat or even removing enough to make any appreciable impact.
    If anyone has done some better testing than my rather amateur uncontrolled effort I would love to know just how much material is removed in the real world.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Waxing / Protecting gelcoat?

    Only wash in Ph neutral shampoo we use Johnson Baby shampoo!

    Wash & polish and apply Nano Tech!

    Leaves a super shiny finish bead drops water and rain off.

    Fantastic durability and excellent repellent to most of what nature chucks at it!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    481

    Default Re: Waxing / Protecting gelcoat?

    Quote Originally Posted by blxm View Post
    Cutting compounds do indeed remove some of the gelcoat. However, the amount of gel removed is extremely small.
    I have had this comment made to me many times so I decided to test it.
    I make lightweight glass panels for race cars. The gelcoat is deliberately thin and certainly not as thick as an average yacht. Although new production yachts will have thinner gelcoat a than most older yachts as production techniques have improved. I found a scrap panel and using a very coarse cutting compound, Profile 200 on a lambs wool pad, went over and over the same area with the polisher. At 10 applications I gave up.
    I then tried to ‘burn’ the surface, as this has also been mentioned many times as a ‘danger’, by using high rpm on a dry pad and course compound. I did manage it but you need to remain stationary for some time with excess pressure. I don’t think anyone would do this in the real world.
    With medium or fine cutting compound I don’t think there is any real risk of going through the gelcoat or even removing enough to make any appreciable impact.
    If anyone has done some better testing than my rather amateur uncontrolled effort I would love to know just how much material is removed in the real world.

    Not exactly the same test, but I polished my boat each season from new and after 13 years when I removed the decals there was a definite ridge with the decal area being noticeably proud from the surrounding area. Perhaps the best thing to do is to have a hull wrapped and forget about polishing and waxing ;-)

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Waxing / Protecting gelcoat?

    Quote Originally Posted by pvb View Post
    For many years on my old Hallberg-Rassy, I polished the hull twice with Meguiars 45 Polish, followed by two coats of Meguiars 56 Wax. This kept the hull looking good for 2 years. I've followed the same routine with my current Bavaria. I started using Meguiars products after seeing guys at Fox's yard using them on Oysters. Both the polish and the wax can be easily applied by hand, and they buff off easily by hand too.
    +1

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    West Cornwall
    Posts
    907

    Default Re: Waxing / Protecting gelcoat?

    I found Autoglym wax works really well. I tried Farecla UV wax - It worked but didn't last as long as Autoglym. It's also longer lived than Mer as well.
    I'd be interested to try some of the nano technology products sometime.

    Boat gets washed down with soapy water with some oxalic acid crystals added. This cleans her and removes any waterline yellow staining before polishing (don't let it dry). She gets a cut back every now and then but if I stay ontop of it then she doesn't need cutting.
    The prudent see danger and seek refuge.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Deale, MD, USA
    Posts
    1,789

    Default Re: Waxing / Protecting gelcoat?

    Quote Originally Posted by lw395 View Post
    Carnauba wax is known to have a high absorption of UV....
    Yes, that is the scuttlebutt. Data? It has certainly been out there for many years.

    Yes, sunglasses can block UV (95%?), but they are ~ 1mm thick. A wax film is 0-10 um thick (wears off), which is about 200 times less. So that logic does not help. Heck, a light shirt or even UV Dacron is not that great. Light Sunbrella covers are only about 50%.

    If someone had data, they would publish it. I'm pretty sure the numbers are so low they would lose sales. If it is more than a few percent, I would be stunned. Thus, no data is published.

    So show me the data.
    Last edited by thinwater; 15-09-19 at 21:39.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Waxing / Protecting gelcoat?

    Quote Originally Posted by northcave View Post
    Iím ashamed to say Iíve never polished my gelcoat with wax or a polymer protector. I usually just treat the top sides with oxalic acid to remove stains and then rinse it all down.

    1. Am I really missing a trick here?

    2. If so should I be using carnauba wax or a new type polymer nowadays?
    Hi Tim,

    Good question.

    Nothing to be ashamed of, it may well be the wisest choice if it works for you.

    Apologies for delay in seeing your PM (was on holiday).

    I wish I had an easy answer for you but the subject is rather complex with many, many variables, too many in fact.

    We can point you in the right direction of how to obtain more durability, better surface clarity, less required effort but Iím afraid it wonít come in a bottle as Iím sure you understand.

    What has led you to want to start adding wax?
    I guess Iím asking what would you like to achieve?
    We are all in a similar boat, but current condition, expectations, abilities and willing effort may differ.



    Possibly something to add to the thread as a whole:

    It has been said that there is what you know, what you donít know and what you donít know that you donít know.
    This is very much the case when it comes to surface correction, maintenance and the durability of a protective status.

    I will confess early on that I donít know what I donít know and despite dedicating a few decades to the subject of surface correction and protection, I still consider myself very much in the learning process.

    The truth is at the atomic level and itís a small world.

    Sometimes just asking the right question will produce an answer from common sense:

    To wax or not to wax?
    Should I be bothered with the effort, or will the effort mean I wont have to be bothered so often?
    What final protection product will last the longest?
    What techniques will get the surfaces looking their absolute best?
    Should my surfaces be hydrophilic or hydrophobic?
    Should I polish my wash water down to a low ppm?
    Are my surfaces really high clarity without tooling marks, or are they just shiny?
    What difference would a higher clarity reflection make on durability?
    What difference would removing tooling marks have on durability?

    Many variables such as condition, technique, environment and surface material make offering a (one size fits all answer) very difficult, but there are principles or guidelines to stick to (at least for now) the future will be very different.

    Firstly, a smooth, flat, uniform surface will accommodate less and degrade slower. The degradation difference between rough and smooth is worth the few microns less in gel coat depth, 1000 microns in a mm.
    As others on the thread have proved via pictures is a little effort can go a long way and things end up being very simple indeed. Surface condition IS the main form of protection.

    A surface sealed off to oxygen is advisable as this is the main degradation culprit.

    Chasing a high clarity reflection will handle light better for looks and degradation, think reflect/bounce.

    Follow a safe wash down routine with minimal agitation.

    Buy a quality cover for as much of the gel coat as possible.


    These are some of the most important instruments in the orchestra.




    Robert Wilson
    "A timely post, thank you.
    I've been wondering for a while about polishing, so ask the wise ones what I should do (and how/what with) about polishing applied* two-pack International paint?

    Any advice gratefully received."


    Robert 2 seasons is pretty quick for 2 pack International to need polishing through oxidation, are you certain itís not water scale?

    Any pics? Close up




    Thinwater

    Hi Drew,
    I know of no released data results from testing UV & O penetration or substrate damage.
    Again I imagine the testing would carry far too many variables for publication that would assist in sales unless all manufacturers followed suit.

    Possibly the best they can offer is a guarantee, which is a gamble considering they arenít controlling the application, or the type of gelcoat itís being applied to.

    Iím certain the bigger concerns would carry out their own accelerated exposure tests, if not to simply improve on their own results thus far.


    Tony

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Home - Sothampton, Boat - Gosport
    Posts
    10,330

    Default Re: Waxing / Protecting gelcoat?

    Given the proven (in)effectiveness of currently available antifouls, I've often wondered about the possibilities of silicone wax on the hull itself. Has anyone tried it?

    Theoretically, it should make the hull slippery enough that fouling can't get a grip and anything that manages to attach itself shouldn't be able to hang on under way, even at the low speeds of a ragtop
    Steve
    Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

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