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Wax the boat hull

Gern BlanstonGern Blanston Posts: 138
edited October 2009 in News & Other Stuff
<p>
I recall reading an article a while back that I cannot reference.  I *think* it may have been in Waterski Magazine.  It suggested that to get better fuel efficiency, that you wax the hull of your boat.  Does anyone do this?  Can anyone suggest a reason not to?
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<p>
 thanks!
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<p>
Jon
</p>

Comments

  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,243 Mega Baller
    Back in the salt water days, we'd wax the boat's hull to prevent weed growth if the boat was to be left in the water for any length of time.  But now we're only in the fresh water lakes, and never leave the boat in for more than a day.
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • DekeDeke Posts: 381 Baller
    I don't remember the source but read once that the wax won't last long on the bottom of your hull due to the friction.  The answer was don't bother.
  • robscholl-OFrobscholl-OF Posts: 287 Baller
    I have heard it actually slows the boat down and creates more drag.  I know, it does not sound right, but that is what I heard.  What I do know for sure, is two people that I know have waxed their hulls and had them slide off the trailer going down the boat ramp when launching the boat.  I know, why did they unhook the boat before it was in the water?  They just forgot about the wax and did not think it would slide off the skids.  
  • sixballsixball Posts: 262 Baller
    <p>
    I do mine. I can't say it is more or less fuel efficient but I feel like I have done all I can do to keep my boat looking its best and no staining on the haul.
    </p>
    <p>
    My boat stays on a lift if the water isn't or close to freezing.
    </p>
    <p>
    I am retired and like working on the boat. May have to much time on my hands. <img src="http://ballofspray.com/vanillaforum/js/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-undecided.gif" border="0" alt="Undecided" title="Undecided" />

    </p>
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,690 Mega Baller
    Waxing seals the pores in the gelcoat helping to prevent absorbtion of water and adherence of algae, calcium, etc. I pick up about 1 mph when I wax my SN 196. We have very hard water and applying white vinegar and wax also cleans the calcium deposits off . I use Nu Finish Once a Year Car Polish. You can buy it at Target.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • rwskierrwskier Posts: 235 Solid Baller
    Not a great idea to wax the bottom of the hull, as the previous post said, tracking of the boat will be substantially reduced. I always wax the sides of the boat, but leave the running surface alone. It would be very similar to waxing the bottom of your ski, way to slick, you need to be able to breack the surface tension of the water.
    Russell W. -
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    My friend owns a tuna boat in Kona. If his hull is waxed he saves tons of cash on gas. It only takes a day or 2 to have the salt water take it off but it is a fuel saver for sure.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,936 Infinite Pandas
    <p>
    I tried waxing my slalom ski - years ago. Now I carefully apply a drywall texture to my ski bottom.
    </p>
    <p>
     I mixed up a batch of boat wax and copper sulfate to try to keep the algae from growing on the bottom of my boat. It didn't help much. Now in order to get the old Nautique to pull a 34 I have to take a paint scraper to the hull to trim the algae. That makes a huge difference! Of course, the hull is extremely overgrown with algae. I also take an old grinder blade and scrape the deposits off the rudder and fins (I had to switch to a stainless steel prop because the bronze ones would corrode away to nothing). This helps a lot with the speed and drivability. The old Nautique has a really soft pull and we all ski well behind it.
    </p>
    <p>
    That boat needs a lot of the straight muriatic acid treatment to clean the hull. But new upholstery and a de-rat treatment is more important. It has a several year protective coating of dirt. Anybody want a cheap project?
    </p>
    <p>
    Eric
    </p>
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,936 Infinite Pandas
    <p>
    MS, Kona? If you need a place to stay there, Stan and I just picked up a vacation rental house on the ocean right behind the lighthouse. I think we just got our first booking - hmm some investment. But if you need a deal on an old Hawaiiani bungalow (its name is Pahukoa if you search for it) in the prime location, contact me and we'll treat you right. The only ice there is in the mai-tais. But Lisa won't let you or your friend fish for the rare saddleback butterfly fish out front.
    </p>
    <p>
    Eric
    </p>
  • Eric - is the "rare saddleback butterfly fish" an actual fish, or another name for part of the female anatomy?  I've never heard that one before (perhaps I need to get out more?)  If it's the latter, I submit it's not all that rare....
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    <p>
    Sounds good Eric. I usually stay with him up top where its a bit cooler and then fish all day. We are heading over in Jan and I may look you up.
    </p>
    <p>
    I have all kinds of friends traveling over there, so I will always point them to you.
    </p>
    <p>
    I spoke to a guy that flys for HI air and he is looking into digging a lake between Wiakalola and Kona. Year round skiing and lots of water to keep in the lake. That would be prime time.   
    </p>
    <p>
       
    </p>
  • MAD11MAD11 Posts: 578 Crazy Baller
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    Never waxed a boat botton to go faster. Blue printed and sanded the bottom of 38' cigarette and got 4mph total. All the race boats get the bottom sanded on the contact area to break the suction.  Seen blow boaters sand the bottom of their hobie cats too for the same reason. Never left it in the water though. Would have let the Cheaspeake mud and barnacles grow faster.
    </p>
    <p>
    ma
    </p>
  • robscholl-OFrobscholl-OF Posts: 287 Baller
    <p>
    I talked to the guy that told me not to wax the bottom of the boat.  He said the same thing as MAD11.  If you wax the bottom of the boat, it actually creates suction on the water.  He said you should sand the bottom to make it go fast.  He then said if you are looking for protection, go ahead and wax it.  He builds hydroplane and speed hulls so I figured he knows what he is talking about. 
    </p>
    <p>
    He then added, "Dude, it really is no big deal with a ski boat, just do what you want.  If you want to wax it, wax it, if you don't, don't."   He just smiled and walked away shaking his head.  He went back to work glassing up a race boat hull.....   
    </p>
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,085
    Years ago my dad and I raced flat bottom v drive drag boats. They would get speed laquer on the running surface. It was a laquer finish you put over the gellcoat after you blocked and sanded the hull superflat. You then bead blasted it at very low pressure to get a fine eggshell finish. We'd spend upwards of 80 hours in prepping the running surface of an 18-20ft full.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,339 Crazy Baller
    <p>
    With the amount of horsepower we're running versus the speeds we're running at, I seriously doubt that waxing the hull negatively affects the performance of the boat.  That it possibly affects tracking is a new one on me, never heard that before and can't say that I've noticed a difference. 
    </p>
    <p>
    I wax mine because I like it to look clean and to keep the gel coat sealed as much as possible, makes clean up much easier although I run strictly in fresh water and the boat lives mostly on the trailer, cleanup isn't too big a deal.  If you're trying to see how much top end you can get ala race boats maybe not waxing is the way to go.  For us at 34/36 mph I can't imagine that it's an issue.
    </p>
    <p>
    Ed
    </p>
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
    www.ez-slalom.com
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
    edited February 2010
    My boat gets waxed(1 coat) top to bottom once a month during the season, and a full detail job before it gets put away for the winter(2 coats). I usually get a top speed of 42-45 MPH depending on water temp. I think the wake may soften up a little, but never noticed any effect on tracking when I pull my brother(220 lbs) in the course. I do it mainly to keep it clean, and maintain a new appearance. I used the 3M oxidation remover over the entire hull and deck during this off season. One more coat of Meguiars cleaner wax and she will be ready. Since the boat is kept on the lift, algae and water damage are out of the equation. The back end of the boat gets the morning sun. I keep wax in it to keep the oxidation under control. If I ever buy a brand new boat it will get two coats of wax before it goes in the water.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    sweet boat
  • kdeupserkdeupser Posts: 51 Baller
    <p>
    I wax my boat top to bottom.  It's a 1995 MasterCraft ProStar 205.  Alway's have.  Tracks like a train.  Also, I was at the Atlanta boat show this year checking out the Geico offshore racing boat.  Money purely was no object.  That boat was waxed top to bottom.  They had the boat on it's side, so you could see the top and bottom.  The bottom was slick.
    </p>
    <p>
     My friend's around here with bass boat's swear by waxing the bottom.  These guy's run anywhere from 70mph on up over 100mph on the gps.  
    </p>
    <p>
    I've heard the deal about suction, but I also know that a slick surface with no pores is also fast.  ah, chicken or the egg.....
    </p>
    <p>
    Guess it's whatever you like, but keep in mind the resale side of things......
    </p>
    <p>
     
    </p>
    <p>
    Ken D.
    </p>
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    My buddy has an off shore tuna boat in Kona. He waxes monthly to improve gas milage. No wax equals a bigger fuel bill. He says it is a huge increase in efficency.    
  • DWDW Posts: 2,059 Mega Baller
    <p>
    The tuna boat would certainly benefit from waxing the hull assuming it is relatively smooth.  A slower moving boat will operate in the laminar flow regime, where waxing will certainly make a positive difference.  The faster boats or boats that create turbulance within the hull surface will not demonstrate any gains other than in the laminar flow area of the hull.  There are two schools of thought, create a smooth hull that will slip through the water efficiently (slow movers/sail boats. . .) or attempt to entrain air along the bottom of the hull to minimize the effective water / hull surface interaction or wetted surface area.  You can see some attempts at doing just that with longitudinal strakes attempting to trap air between the hull and the water contact area and rougher surface treatment on the hull is an attempt to break the water suction from the hull, which does work.
    </p>
  • Old MS AccoutOld MS Accout Posts: 2,114 Baller
    The new 200 hull is nothing like the laminar flow. I was under it at the boat show and there are 2 sections on each side of the strakes that protrude down and out and one section rolls into the next providing lift. I would think that a rough surface on those lifting points would increase lift and make a better wake.
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