The 7 Best Boat Waxes of 2023

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Best Boat Waxes

Chloe Jeong / TripSavvy

Anyone who owns a boat will acknowledge that they’re a money pit—and that the joys of boating (mostly) justify all those expenses. But one way to help keep a boat from becoming even more expensive with repairs is by regularly applying a wax coating to the surfaces of your vessel. That will help combat oxidation, protect the craft from UV and saltwater damage, and add a “like-new” shine to the boat.

From the best spray bottles to two-in-one cleaner/wax combos, these are the best boat waxes.

Best Overall

Meguiar's Flagship Premium Marine Boat Wax



What We Like
  • Reliable

  • Bomber protection

What We Don't Like
  • Some may prefer the ease of a spray application

The aptly-named Flagship Premium Marine Boat Wax from Meguiar’s provides long-lasting polymer protection and a deep gloss treatment to fiberglass and gel coat surfaces. It effectively removes oxidation and dullness, restores the boat’s original shine, and protects from UV damage. Suitable for applications by hand or a dual-action polisher, the easy-to-use formula goes on smoothly. It is also easy to wipe off, delivering the stellar protection—and peace of mind—that every boater needs.

Price at time of publish: $36

Best Budget

Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Quick Spray Wax



What We Like
  • Very versatile

  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like
  • This wax is used more to maintain an overall shine, not full-on protection

Applied via an easy-to-use spray bottle, the Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Quick Spray Wax comes in 16-ounce containers that let you use the wax quickly—just spray and wipe. The formula provides high-quality carnauba wax protection and adds a deep gloss while simultaneously cleaning the surface to remove water spots and light contamination. Compatible with fiberglass, gel coats, painted surfaces like aluminum, stainless steel, clear plastic, and other non-porous surfaces, you can apply on wet or dry conditions, making it one of the more versatile options available.

Price at time of publish: $18

Best Splurge

Collinite Heavy-Duty Fleetwax



What We Like
  • Also sold in less expensive 16-ounce bottles

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t remove moderate to heavy or aged oxidation, and isn’t suitable for clear coat paint defects

The Collinite Heavy-Duty Fleetwax polymer is available in half-gallon jugs and engineered to remove mild oxidation, black streaks, and tough stains that a standard wash compound can’t combat, making for a reliable wax-and-clean combo. It can be applied via hand or a rotary and provides two to three months of weather protection. Bonus: The carnauba wax delivers a solid shine. A high-luster finish reduces water drag and protects against UV damage and salt spray—which will come in handy if you plan to visit the Salton Sea before it disappears.

Price at time of publish: $67

Best for Fiberglass Boats

Star Brite Premium Restorer Wax



What We Like
  • Easy application

What We Don't Like
  • Those looking to apply wax to non-fiberglass surfaces would have to either use multiple waxes or go with something more versatile

The heavy-duty Premium Restorer Wax from Star Brite provides a one-step formula to quickly remove heavy oxidation and chalk that might mar your boat’s surface, leaving behind a durable, protective coating that’ll keep out stains and fight UV damage. Ideal for colored fiberglass hulls, the powerful formula doesn’t require hard rubbing or buffing and can be applied by hand or with a buffer.

Price at time of publish: $21

Best for Oxidation

Marine 31 Gel Coat Heavy-Cut Cleaner Wax



What We Like
  • One-step application

  • Advanced UVA and UVB absorbers

What We Don't Like
  • Only works on gel coat

  • Best applied using a dual-action/random orbital polisher or a circular rotary

Marine 31 Gel Coat Heavy-Cut Cleaner Wax is a one-step solution to remove moderate to heavy oxidation and stain on a standard or painted gel coat. It uses advanced micro-abrasives, nourishing oils, and proprietary cleaning agents to provide max color, gloss, surface smoothness, and a protective high-gloss wax layer. Plus, it contains the brand’s most advanced UVA and UVB absorbers, doesn’t dust or cake up, and lets you spend less time waxing and polishing and more time boating.

Price at time of publish: $43

Best Spray

Boat Bling Quickie Sauce Spray



What We Like
  • Ease of use

What We Don't Like
  • Some traditional wax products boast a longer degree of protection

Offering the protection of traditional wax with the ease of a spray bottle, the Quickie Sauce from Bling Sauce will protect the most exposed surfaces and the hull around the waterline. Made of premier Monton wax sealants, it’ll supply solid protection with little effort—spray on the wax, let it dry to a haze after the initial buffing, and then buff it off with a microfiber towel. It works with paints, gel coats, fiberglass, vinyl, and decals. Expect three to four months of complete UV protection.

Best Cleaner and Wax Combo

3M Marine Cleaner and Wax



What We Like
  • Two-in-one convenience

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal for handling heavy oxidation

The time-saving 3M Marine Cleaner and Wax uses a liquid compound combined with a blend of waxes to clean, polish, and protect fiberglass and gel coat. Light to medium oxidation levels come off easily. It also handles filmy residue, rust deposits, exhaust stains, and skid marks, leaving behind a clean, polished finish that restores the boat’s shine and color while adding UV protection. And the quicker you have your rig sparkling, the quicker you'll be sliding into your sailing shoes.

Price at time of publish: $28

Final Verdict

Easy to apply and powerful enough to remove oxidation and dullness, Meguiar’s Flagship Premium Boat Wax (view at Amazon) wins out, providing long-lasting polymer protection against UV damage. It restores your boat’s original shine and works on fiberglass and gel coat surfaces.

But if you want a quick and easy way to apply a layer of wax, consider the Bling Sauce Quickie Sauce (view at Amazon). This spray bottle uses Monton wax sealants and works on painted and gel coats and fiberglass, vinyl, and decals.

What to Look for in a Boat Wax

Ease of Application

The application is generally the same whether you’re using a spray wax or a liquid version. Spray or wipe on the product, let it dry, and buff it to a shine. But some wax products partner with micro-abrasions and other solutions to let you clean and wax the boat in one application. All work with a hand-held dual-action/random orbital polisher or a circular rotary, drastically reducing the time it takes to apply the wax.

Type of Boat

All surfaces on a boat are subject to chalky oxidation, water damage, and other stains. Most boat waxes work with gel coats and painted surfaces and fiberglass, metal, vinyl, and other common materials. But some wax products specialize in treating particular surfaces, using a chemical composition that aligns with the porosity and other characteristics of various nautical materials. Look for one that will cover all your bases or a material-specific product if you’re focusing on treating one surface type.


UV rays cause oxidation—the chalky, porous texture on the boat’s surfaces. The offending rays slowly break down the protective layers initially added to the vessel by the manufacturer. Beyond aesthetics, untreated oxidation can impact the life of your boat, which is why it’s essential first to clean off any instances of oxidation, and then apply wax to prevent surfaces from generating oxidation in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is boat wax the same as car wax?

    Nope. Boat wax carries chemical compositions capable of combating the specifics of a boat, like total water immersion, prolonged exposure to the sun, and more extreme high and low temperatures. Boat wax also works with common marine materials like fiberglass. Whereas car wax caters to the needs of the open road—you could use car wax on your boat, but it’ll require more layers and more frequent waxing. Note that RV wax and boat wax are commonly the same product because they both use the same surface materials and treatments.

  • How do I wax a boat?

    First, give the target areas a thorough washing to get any dirt or debris off, and then let the boat dry. Then polish the vessel using an abrasive cleaner to remove any oxidation or corrosion, and dry thoroughly (though some waxes do clean and remove heavy oxidation on their own). After that, you’re ready to apply the wax, which will seal the hull and surfaces from UV damage, fend off corrosion and oxidation, and add a shine.

    The specific application will depend on the product (wiping a paste wax with a cloth, using a hand-held buffing machine, using a spray bottle, etc.). Some products require more than one application to provide the protection you want. Follow all the instructions outlined by the manufacturer for best results.

  • Why do I need to wax my boat?

    Applying wax will prolong the life of your boat and protect the vessel from the damaging impacts of oxidation and corrosion. During the application, you can also remove any existing oxidation and buff out scratches and dings.

  • How often should I wax my boat?

    The frequency of waxing your boat is influenced by where you store your vessel. If you keep it protected from the sun and out of the water, the wax will last longer, requiring new application about once a year. But if your boat is in the water, you should wax at least twice a year and monitor the surfaces of your boat regularly, should you see any sort of corrosion or oxidation–which means it’s time to clean and a new layer of wax.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Nathan Borchelt has been rating, reviewing, and testing outdoor products for decades, and he’s also spent the last decade exploring the waters of the Chesapeake Bay by both sailboat and power craft. In reviewing the selections, all factors were taken into account, including ease of application, level and duration of protection, price, cleaning elements, wax quality, and the types of surfaces that each wax protects. This was combined with verified user reviews and professional ratings to collate the final list of recommendations.

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