View Full Version : The order of things

Sep 20th, 2009, 05:44 PM
I have an older boat that I would like to make look newer. I have experimented with several things and have hired people to help me. Most of the boat folks use 3m so typically they use either a compound or imperial and then a cleaner wax to finish the surface. I have tried to use the #45 polish ti make the gelcoat look good an then a pure wax. I have read that the flagship wax is better, but there has never been an adequate explanation as to why.

My question is this: Can I apply the #45 Polish over a wax?
Is it effective if applied over a wax?
If I apply more wax over the polish, will it seal out the polish for the next time?
How do I know whether to use the #45 or the #63?

I hate all these numbers since one cannot go from low to high, so I am trying to understand. BTW, the boat is large enough that it is a continual process to wash and wax it, so I must go around and around applying products over and over, so any help is appreciated.


Sep 20th, 2009, 08:00 PM
My question is this: Can I apply the #45 Polish over a wax?

You would want the polish before the wax. It will be much more effective to use a pure polish on a clean surface, then seal it in.

#45 is a pure polish, with no cleaning ability. Ideally, you would want to use a product with some cleaning ability before this, or just use a cleaner/polish, something like the #44 Color Restorer. Then wax.

Sep 21st, 2009, 05:44 AM
Thanks for the quick reply. I should explain my situation a little better when I am not setting down my wine glass to type:). The boat in question is fairly large, at least large enough that one cannot detail it in one sitting. I am trying to build a routine so that I can keep the maximum protection as well as the best shine (it is a 1998). All the "boat guys" use 3m product, starbright products or a hodgepodge mix of several items. They don't seem to use the products in the right order, and they all swear by how they do it and have several anecdotal stories to prove them right.

I, on the other hand, want to research it and do it right. So far the testing I have done with megs products look the best, so I think I will stick with them, I just want to know how to provide the best layering without stripping down to gel coat each time. It is too time consuming to do so.

So my thoughts are to use as little soap as possible; apply polish and wax (in that order) each time. I basically have to make a map of the boat and just do one section at a time and move on the the next section another day so it is a continual process that will never end. I just applied polish of their wax and it made a huge difference, then I applied the pure wax and it looks great.

So I am trying to find out if I can/should follow this process even though I am not stripping it down to pure gel coat each time. Or is there a better way to use megs product line. Thanks again.

Sep 21st, 2009, 07:36 AM
Are you working by hand or with a machine? I have been detailing fiberglass RVs for many years and get great results with #50 cleaner/wax using a G110 and the maroon cutting pad. Topping that with a wax is an extra step I often do to even out the finish and add a bit more gloss.

Michael Stoops
Sep 21st, 2009, 08:12 AM
Let's see if we can help clear up some confusion for you.

A "pure wax" in Meguiar's terminology is a wax that does one thing only - offer protection. That means it contains no cleaners or polishing oils, but it can be either primarily carnauba based, fully synthetic or a blend of the two. Flagship Premium Marine Wax offers some light cleaning ability coupled with premium polymer protection that gives the longest lasting protection of our marine/RV specific products. Especially when dealing with a very large RV or boat, this is definitely the product of choice as your LSP.

The M45 Polish you're using is what we call a "pure polish" meaning once again that it contains no cleaning ability. But those polishing oils will really soak into the pores of a gel coat, especially a gel coat that's a decade or more older. Keep in mind that a pure polish won't last long at all if it's used as your LSP. Yes, it will make the finish look fantastic, but it isn't offering any protection.

Gel coats are much thicker and harder than automotive paint, and the pores are much larger. When they start to dry out and oxidize those pores really open up and can drink in fairly large amounts of a pure polish. This can give the visual impression that color is being restored, that the finish is being rejuvenated. But a product like M45 is not actually removing the oxidation, it's just masking it. What you most likely should do, and probably really need to do, is use at least a mild cleaner like M44 Color Restorer to deep clean that gel coat, remove the oxidation and other fine defects, and then apply the M45 to really bring up the gloss level - that is what M45 was designed to do. After that you can apply a coat of Flagship Premium Marine Wax to seal in the polish and protect the finish.

Now the good news is that if you regularly apply M45 and Flagship Premium you shouldn't have to do the full M44 Color Restorer step of removing oxidation, etc. If you map out the boat like you've suggested, with each area looked upon as it's own sub-project so to speak, you can evaluate each of those sections and treat them accordingly. Some areas might be fairly oxidation free depending on exposure while in the marina, whether a horizontal or vertical surface, etc. These areas may be fine with just M45 and Flaship while other areas will benefit from M44. Work the M44 in the areas that need it, but complete the polish/wax step for that section at the same time. If the boat is large enough, and you work each of the mapped out sections with a bit of time between each session (a week, two weeks, or you just do one area a month), you may find that when you finish the last section it's time to go back to the first section.

Evaluate the surface each time you work on it. You may not need to use M44 every time you work a section if you keep it well protected. You don't need to strip the wax prior to an application of M45, especially if a few months have passed since the last application - there most likely isn't a whole lot of wax left anyway. Waxes will degrade over time, plain and simple - 6 months of nonstop exposure will take its toll on any wax, regardless of manufacturers claims.

Do keep in mind, however, that with your gel coat being almost 12 years old it's going to be showing its age - no matter how well it's been taken care of. A good cleaning can make a world of difference in the appearance.

Sep 21st, 2009, 03:54 PM
That is EXACTLY what I was looking for. This confirms the steps that I need to take to maintain the finish on the boat. It is a never ending process so I will never be bored. Thanks again. It is this type of information that makes these my products of choice.