Why Boat Polishing is Important

Boat owners may have varying opinions about how to clean, polish, and wax their vessels. But they’re probably going to agree on one thing: polishing is an important step in restoring or maintaining the shine of the fiberglass hull.

When planning another cleaning session, make sure to include polishing. Together, let’s determine if and when you should add it to washing or cleaning your boat regularly. In this article, we’ll discuss the top reasons why boat polishing is important, and when you can perform it.

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Why Polishing Your Boat is Important

It Prepares the Surface for Waxing

After cleaning your boat thoroughly, you can prepare the surface by applying boat polish to it. Polish refers to a kind of abrasive used to remove the small holes that have formed on top of the mold. Think about fine sandpaper in the form of a solution.

Polishing is a more aggressive process than buffing, which is less harsh and works for slight imperfections. You can combine both techniques if you are dealing with a totally faded hull. This process will require elbow grease, but you can buy a high-quality boat buffer or dual-action polisher to cut down your time and effort. 

Make sure to learn how to use the tool properly to avoid damaging the gel-coat further.

It Protects the Gel-Coat and Restores Shine

To achieve this effect, you will need to polish (or buff) the boat surface before waxing it. Polish embeds itself into the gel-coat. And gel-coat, a special resin with little structural value, is in charge of providing color and shine to your hull, as well as protecting it.

This coating is particularly soft. It can turn dull due to time and exposure to the sun and other elements. The good news is that its gloss can be restored. With proper and regular care, your boat can look as new as it was when you first had it. Polishing and buffing can smoothen the surface while wax can coat it anew, emphasizing the shine and adding a new layer of protection.

In some cases, the polish can take over the place of wax as a finishing agent. The steps in this system would then be wash, buff, and polish.

It Bears the Brunt of Daily Wear

Once you have applied polish, it can now act as a finishing agent. Depending on the brand and product you purchased, the effect can last a long time. Some can last two to five years, while others can last only about a year. But that does not mean it won’t degrade over time. Polish can still erode, and you will have to re-apply it. 

Keep in mind that when polish degrades, it is a good thing. That is because it’s the product that’s wearing out instead of your fiberglass hull’s gel-coat. And ideally, it’s the gel-coat you want to preserve.

When Should You Polish Your Boat?

Now that it’s no longer a question of whether or not you should polish your boat, the next thing to ask is when and how often you should polish your boat. As mentioned above, heavy-duty polishing can last around two to five years. You don’t need to polish your boat every time you wash and wax it.

When its surface looks pitted or scratched, and its finish appears dull, faded, or dingy, that’s your cue to apply the polish again. Otherwise, you can complement waxing with a polish that is safe to use on a more regular basis. Check out reviews of the best boat polish to find the right product.

Takeaway

Polishing is a part of every cleaning and maintenance system of boat owners, no matter their opinion and style. In this article, we learned why this step is essential, especially when your fiberglass hull’s gel-coat has started to degrade.

You can make that effect stop by applying polish as soon as you can. Polishing can be integrated into your regular wash and wax routine. And the best boat polishing products can last up to around five years. It may take an entire afternoon or so for you to finish, but the result will be worth it.

You can also read our guide on how to measure a boat,  boat anchor ropes and trolling motor.

Do you want more tips on boat maintenance, accessories, and tools? Check out the other articles on globalmarine.com.

Last Updated on July 31st, 2020

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