WAX OR POL­ISH?

Boating - - BOAT DOCTOR / Q&A -

Q: What’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween boat wax and boat pol­ish?

John McCaf­fery San Fran­cisco, Cal­i­for­nia

A: In a sim­pler world, wax is a pro­tec­tive coat­ing that goes on top of a sub­strate and helps en­hance and pre­serve shine. Pol­ish is a sub­stance con­tain­ing mild abra­sives or chem­i­cals that wear a small sur­face layer away from the sub­strate in or­der to al­low a clean, bright sur­face to show. A pol­ish may in­clude some form of wax or other pro­tec­tant.

In the ac­tual world, the terms are mud­died by dozens of mak­ers com­pet­ing for boat-de­tail­ing dol­lars. Many prod­ucts are com­bi­na­tion for­mu­las. I sug­gest fo­cus­ing on what you want to achieve and then ask­ing fel­low boaters what has worked for them.

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