Larry Meyer

Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
A ways back there was a reference to silicon products and a poster weighed in that silicon products are to be avoided like the plague on wooden boats. It seems like that is an opinion shared by guitar builders and repairers too.

I recently went looking for some products to clean up my acoustic guitars. At Stewart MacDonald (Stew-Mac, as its widely known—a first class supplier of parts etc, for guitar makers) I found a discussion lamenting the widespread use of silicon in guitar polishes, waxes, etc. Their view was that silicon has no place in acoustic guitars: builds up, is difficult to remove, harms varnish, and inhibits gluing when repairs are required.

They sell a silicon free guitar polish—Preservation Polish--that I bought and used on my instruments and it did an outstanding job. Not sure how economical it would be to use on small boat varnishes, but it sure did a good job on my guitars.
Another really good one that you can usually find in the automotive department at Target, among other places, is called "Zymol - cleaner/wax". I first heard about it from a guy who is probably the top Rickenbacker guitar refinisher in the country. I had to think long and hard about dropping $12 on a 16 oz. bottle of car wax, but the stuff really does a beautiful job and a little bit goes a long way. All natural, no silicones and what a shine! Now I know that if I had the energy to wet sand my canoes up through 4,000 grit, machine buff and finish with Zymol, they'd shine like my guitars.


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Looks like a Rickenbacker 12? Mine's a 000-18 Martin and oddball acoustic 12 made by a Maine guy.
try a pure carnauba wax. fibreglass suppliers have these as mold release waxes, + some of the car detailing products as well. old style floor waxes were carnauba too. have used it for years on my strip cedar 45' six-man outrigger canoe.
I think that Silicon, Silicone, Wax, are all bad news on wooden boat finishes. If the finish looks like it needs something, it probably needs a fresh coat of whatever it is. This short cut to luster a dull coat of paint or varnish gives only temporary satisfaction and can be quite troublesome when the time comes to do it right. Further, most of these products, regardless of what they are made of, work by abrading, ( I'm sure the container lable says "polishing") the surface of the finish, deminishing its ability to withstand UV and other elements. Of course, there are exceptions to all of that as well....