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How To Wax A Fiberglass Boat?

If you’re the proud owner of a fiberglass boat, you know that keeping the gel coat looking shiny and vibrant is key to maintaining your boat’s value and eye appeal.

With a simple waxing a few times per year, you can keep your boat gleaming like it just came off the showroom floor.

Read on for a straightforward DIY guide to waxing your fiberglass boat.

How To Wax a Fiberglass Boat?

Here are my recommended steps to wax your fiberglass boat gel coat.

1. Get your Fiberglass Boat Waxing Supplies

Before getting started, assemble the following supplies:
• High-quality marine wax or polish formulated for fiberglass boats
• Applicator pads, microfiber cloths
• Soft terry towels
• Mild detergent and/or marine boat soap
• Clean water and bucket
• Gloves to protect your hands

==>> Check out my recommended best wax for your boat here.

2. Wash the Gel Coat

how to wax a fiberglass boat - someone washing a boat

Be sure to thoroughly wash down the boat first. This removes dirt, grime, water spots, or anything else that could get worked into the finish during waxing.

Pay special attention to waterline areas and make sure to use a marina-safe boat soap.

3. Inspect and Prep the Gel Coat

how to wax a fiberglass boat - someone inspecting a boat gelcoat

Before waxing, do a thorough inspection looking for any cracks, oxidation, damage or other defects.

Note any flaws that need more intense buffing or repairs.

Use an applicator pad and rubbing compound if the gel coat has minor scratches or oxidation marring the finish.

This pre-wax prep ensures you start with the cleanest slate possible.

4. Wax On, Wax Off

Once properly prepped, it’s time to start applying marine wax. Refer to the product label for precise directions. Generally, you’ll only need a modest amount of wax applied using gentle, even circular strokes.

Allow the wax to dry slightly so it hazes over, then buff off with a clean microfiber towel using gentle pressure.

Take care not to scrub too aggressively during removal or you could leave subtle scratches.

Work in small, manageable sections.

5. Admire the Shine

After removing all wax residue, take a step back and appreciate that smooth, glossy, “wet” look only a freshly waxed boat can achieve.

Your fiberglass boat’s gel coat will now enjoy months of augmented protection against the harsh marine environment.

A Few Quick Fiberglass Boat Waxing Tips

  • Only wax gel coat when the surface is dry and cool
  • Wax out of direct sunlight whenever possible
  • Use separate applicator pads for applying and removing wax
  • Let wax fully cure before buffing for the easiest removal
  • Store wax in a cool, dry place between uses
  • Consider using a harbor cover when docked to protect the finish

Why Should You Wax Your Fiberglass Boat?

Protection is the name of the game when it comes to waxing your boat. The wax forms a protective layer, shielding the porous gel coat from UV rays, oxidation, and other damage.

This keeps the color from fading and cracking over time. Frequent waxings also make it much easier to wash and maintain the boat throughout the season.

When’s the Best Time to Wax?

Ideally, you’ll want to wax it every three months or so during peak boating season. Wax when the gel coat is cool, clean, and dry for best results.

This likely means waxing early in the morning or after pulling your boat from the lake if you don’t trailer store it. Consider extra waxing if your boat stays in the water full-time.

==>> See how often you should wax your boat here.

Final Thoughts

With the proper prep work and marine-grade wax, you can keep your fiberglass boat looking its best for years on end.

Consistent waxing is the key to maintaining that sought-after showroom shine in the gel coat all season long.

Just set aside a morning each quarter to wash, prep, wax and admire your boat’s reflective, glossy finish. Your boat will thank you!

Now that you know how to wax, you should also learn how to remove wax from a fiberglass boat here.

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