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europa

Wax vs Sealer Question

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Last week I posted the following question to the Fix It Anarchy forum, under the title UV Protection:

I have a new boat, a Raider II Turbo, that I plan to start using soon on Lake Champlain. I want to protect the topsides from UV damage, but was wondering whether the waxes or sealants that are recommended for this will make the deck/cockpit too slippery. In my reading, it appears that sealants are a better choice on a new boat, and Meguiar's M21 Mirror Glaze Synthetic Sealant was one of the recommendations. Anyone with experience with this or other products care to comment?

I received a number of responses, all emphasizing the use of a cover for UV protection. I appreciate those, and need to look into either modifying my existing cover, or getting one that can be use with the mast rigged. However, the other part of the question was not addressed by anyone, waxes vs sealants, and their effect on the "slipperiness" of the deck and cockpit. Most of the time the boat will be at a boatyard, rigged, on its trailer, and covered. But for three weeks it will be moored, and using a cover will be difficult.

Any comments or suggestions?

Thanks, John

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Well, you have a pretty tough set of specs to achieve. I doubt you'll get consensus!

First, I will also add to the chorus that a good mast-up cover is by far the best way to go for UV protection and, with a mast up cover, don't forget the sides of at the hull (get a cover with side skirts). The price of a good mast-up cover is cheap insurance for your boat investment.

As for a cover while the boat is on a mooring, that looks to be a good challenge.Years and years ago my father and I kept an O'Day Day Sailor in a slip on the Ohio River for most of the summer for several years. Uncovered but waxed (see below). We never observed any problems with UV other than fading of colored lines (the boat was white so no noticeable fading). We never considered a cover. I've seen boats on moorings or in slips that have full covers so it can be done but seems it would definitely add to the time required to get sailing or end your sailing day.

Of course close to 100% of larger keelboats that are moored / tie-up at a slip are not covered....

Wax vs sealant. See this link (maybe you've seen this already). It provides some good info.

https://www.best-auto-detailing-tips.com/best-boat-wax.html 

I've personally used what ever liquid wax I've had at the time to wax the smooth sections of gelcoat on all boat's I've owned. This assumes the base gelcoat is not seriously oxidized which, if that has happened, requires rubbing compound prior to waxing. I've waxed because in my mind I'm protecting my investment more from stains and so on than from UV (because the boat is in a garage or mast-up cover when not sailing). Wax does make surfaces more slippery but with proper sailing footwear that's never been a problem for me.

Good luck. 

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Thanks Alan,

Your comment about larger boats never having covers is a good point. I am probably just being anal because it is new. :)

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Europa - Congrats on the Raider ll Turbo. You will have lots of great sailing. Anal, yes.  For the three woks it will be on the mooring uncovered, you won't be able to measure the UV damage. Stay away from any wax or sealant unless you want to slip and slide all over the boat. O.K. for the hull but nowhere else. You are overthinking this one. Just go sailing!

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Xonk, that's what I needed to hear. Especially helpful to confirm my fear about slipperiness. Thanks

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Europa,

  I believe your boat has a gelcoat finish. My experience with gelcoated boats is the Starbrite Premium Marine Polish with PTEF is a really nice "wax"/sealant, does a nice job protecting the finish and for racing creates a slippery bottom: https://www.amazon.com/Star-brite-Premium-Marine-Polish/dp/B00144336O?th=1

Personally I do the whole boat, but my boat has non-skid in the critical areas so waxing the hulls everywhere else makes sense to me. We also have water that turns your hulls brown in a split second (literally, maybe 20 hours of sailing time on a brand new boat that I didn't have time to wax and brown streaks are appearing!), so best to wax all surfaces you care about.

 

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Sam,

Thanks for the recommendation. I was thinking that before I have it moored for three weeks, I'll coat the hull with McLube's Antifoul Polish.

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