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To wax or not to wax....

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by Dave Osborn, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I’ve had a couple of customers asking about waxing the hull on their canoe.
    I’ve always thought it was a bad idea because it could cause fish eyes in the paint if some residual wax remains after sanding and prep for repainting.
    I have heard of a few folks that do wax their hulls claiming it protects it somehow and reduces drag.
    Anybody have an opinion??
     
  2. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    Silicone (or boat waxes or "miracle" polishes which contain silicone) is much more likely to cause fisheyes than wax is. Even a painted surface has pores in its surface and wax will fill them to some extent, helping to protect the finish, as well as removing or covering (hiding) a certain amount of oxidation. Wax isn't hard to remove prior to a repaint.

    The drag question gets debated frequently in the sailboat racing world. One year they will be claiming that a perfectly smooth surface is fastest, the next year they're all wet sanding the bottoms to provide a very fine texture to eliminate "suction" and speed up the boat. Some of the America's Cup boats over the years have even been covered with peel and stick sheets of film covered with tiny ridges. The same thing gets done to the bottom of cross country racing skis, since skis slide on a thin film of friction-melted water. Honestly, on a canoe it isn't going to matter. For every mile you paddle, missing a couple strokes while you swat a fly or reach for your water bottle is going to cost you more time than a "speed doctored surface" is likely to gain.
     
  3. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Dave, I always put a coat of quality marine wax on my canoes after I finish them. Cleans much better after the water scum line develops, certainly the bug splatter from car-topping and occasional pitch or bird droppings.
     
  4. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    With today's paints, Interlux, Pettit, epifanes you really don't need anything more. As long as you take care of it. It's a personal preference, it may help with keeping it clean. Probably best on a paint job that's had a few years of use on her to clean and freshen her up.
     
  5. Gary

    Gary Canoe Grampa

    Hi Dave,
    I'm no expert but Jack Lapointe of Wesport Canoes told me to always wax the hull after painting as it can take up to 5-6 weeks for the paint to "cure" or reach it's finished hardened state. He only uses a carnauba wax which is a natural product practically insoluble in water, and one of the hardest of natural waxes. The idea being that the wax when applied and buffed off gives the paint a layer of protection while you get the canoe in the water as soon as possible after painting it. Lets face it no one wants to wait to get her out for a paddle after all that hard work of getting her back to a water ready state. I've included a photo of a UFO I restored this summer showing the waxed hull.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Blott

    Blott LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I waxed my Chestnut with carnauba wax after finishing her with Epifanes.

    When the canoe is wet, getting her back on the car roof give bystanders entertainment as its rather like lifting a greased pig!! :)

    Nick
     

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