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Wax bottom of hull - do or dont

Old 03-17-2020, 06:23 PM
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Default Wax bottom of hull - do or dont

Forgive me if this sounds dumb, my previous boat was bottom painted so I never had to consider this. But I got a new boat, no bottom paint and itís staying that way, on a trailer. Iíve been reading and it seems like people are saying NOT to wax any part of the hull thatís going to be under water. Is this true? If you donít wax it, what do you do to keep it looking good? Just wash with soap after every trip?

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03-17-2020, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cfauvel View Post
from what I've come to understand that the use of wax and/or teflon has the inverse reaction than what you'd think would happen, in that it breaks the surface tension and allows the water to hug the hull, thus having more wetted surface creating drag.

I've also heard of racers actually scuffing their wetted surface to enhance the creation of air bubbles between the hull and water, thus reducing the drag.

So with that in mind...just mild soap and water would be my recommendation
Oh man, flashbacks!
When I was racing, yes we did spend a lot of time testing bottom treatment. Wax, industrial polymers, Rain-X, wet sanding running surfaces, and probably some stuff Iíve forgotten. . . . tried it all. Never a quantifiable improvement in lap times. But you have to keep looking for every little bit!

But it I do recommend waxing new recreational boat bottoms. Gelcoat has a certain amount of surface porosity. Waxing it will fill the pores and make the boat less susceptible to staining in cruddy water, and make it easier to clean.

And with what things cost these days, I admit to being a bit anal in trying to keep things looking as new as possible as long as possible.
Old 03-17-2020, 06:31 PM
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from what I've come to understand that the use of wax and/or teflon has the inverse reaction than what you'd think would happen, in that it breaks the surface tension and allows the water to hug the hull, thus having more wetted surface creating drag.

I've also heard of racers actually scuffing their wetted surface to enhance the creation of air bubbles between the hull and water, thus reducing the drag.

So with that in mind...just mild soap and water would be my recommendation
Old 03-17-2020, 06:41 PM
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In my 20 yrs experience with a boat on a lift, If you no wax bottom, bottom get stannicky acid color a lot quicker. But every one has an opinion.This is the internet. Do you want to spend the rest of your summer cleaning bottom?. With wax you just hose bottom regularly. She may not do 100 but she'll do 99.
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cfauvel View Post
from what I've come to understand that the use of wax and/or teflon has the inverse reaction than what you'd think would happen, in that it breaks the surface tension and allows the water to hug the hull, thus having more wetted surface creating drag.

I've also heard of racers actually scuffing their wetted surface to enhance the creation of air bubbles between the hull and water, thus reducing the drag.

So with that in mind...just mild soap and water would be my recommendation
There was an article in Boating magazine a while back that stated exactly what the above post states.
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:05 PM
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Waxing on the sides and top is to stop mainly sun damage.
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Old 03-17-2020, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cfauvel View Post
from what I've come to understand that the use of wax and/or teflon has the inverse reaction than what you'd think would happen, in that it breaks the surface tension and allows the water to hug the hull, thus having more wetted surface creating drag.

I've also heard of racers actually scuffing their wetted surface to enhance the creation of air bubbles between the hull and water, thus reducing the drag.

So with that in mind...just mild soap and water would be my recommendation
Oh man, flashbacks!
When I was racing, yes we did spend a lot of time testing bottom treatment. Wax, industrial polymers, Rain-X, wet sanding running surfaces, and probably some stuff Iíve forgotten. . . . tried it all. Never a quantifiable improvement in lap times. But you have to keep looking for every little bit!

But it I do recommend waxing new recreational boat bottoms. Gelcoat has a certain amount of surface porosity. Waxing it will fill the pores and make the boat less susceptible to staining in cruddy water, and make it easier to clean.

And with what things cost these days, I admit to being a bit anal in trying to keep things looking as new as possible as long as possible.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:35 PM
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Wax it if it makes it easier to clean. The wax really doesn't last that long, so unless you notice a large reduction in cleaning time when you wax it, then the effort to wax it doesn't make sense. The slight effect on performance isn't worth worrying about.
Old 03-18-2020, 04:53 AM
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should have been "wax on or wax off"
Old 03-18-2020, 05:24 AM
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On my old Wellcraft 210 if I didn't wax the bottom, it would stain much quicker than without.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:34 AM
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I use an acrylic coating, not carnuba wax. I hit the bottom every year.
Old 03-18-2020, 05:36 AM
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So just personal thoughts..... Even if it made the bottom shine like a new penny.
I can't imagine doing it more than once....when I first got the boat and was all excited.
After that....I'm sure I couldn't justify being on my back reaching around axles and the like to wax my bottom.
But I can certain understand wanting or needing to.....but might try to find a young neighborhood kid looking to make a few coins.


Thank you

TonyG.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:40 AM
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Depending on your trailer, good luck getting under there, then there's bunks, rollers, etc.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 30Concept View Post
Depending on your trailer, good luck getting under there, then there's bunks, rollers, etc.

A good bottle jack and some wood takes care of that.
Old 03-18-2020, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by 30Concept View Post
Depending on your trailer, good luck getting under there, then there's bunks, rollers, etc.
I think this is what started the whole no wax myth. It's just a pain in the butt to do.

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Old 03-18-2020, 08:45 AM
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Ain't no way I'm waxing my bottom on the trailer.
One week in a wet slip will leave a brown stain that soap will not remove. Hull cleaner mixed with dawn and rinsed with copious amounts of water to protect trailer and components works great for me.
Old 03-18-2020, 09:01 AM
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If you are using the boat as a drop in ,use it and take out there is no need to wax the bottom. I trailer a flats boat to fish twice a week,launch in the AM out in the PM no scrubbing just a hose and a soft brush where it needs it . 10yrs and it's almost the same as new. If you will leave it in for a week it's a different story.
Old 03-18-2020, 09:46 AM
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If you wax the bottom of the hull it will make cleaning much easier for as long as the wax stays on, I have waxed the bottom of mine twice and you can notice a difference on cleaning, its just such a chore to do it. It will produce more drag but that does not mean really anything unless you are on the racing circuit and 10ths of mph matter. The wax does not last very long on the bottom with all the water running past it always. Also do the transom as it makes cleaning a lot easier also, that wax will last about as long as the hull side areas
Old 03-18-2020, 07:43 PM
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Maybe I should have been more clear. The boat will
not be left in the water ever. It will be launched and taken out at the end of each trip, same day.
Old 03-18-2020, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by boxedupbucktails View Post
Maybe I should have been more clear. The boat will
not be left in the water ever. It will be launched and taken out at the end of each trip, same day.
Then I wouldnít worry about waxing the bottom.
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:58 AM
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I wax the entire hull twice a year. I wax the gunnels and topside more often. Wax protects and seals. If the hull has a color, it must be waxed to avoid oxidation. I like my boat to look shiny.

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