Interesting stuff carnauba wax. According to Wikipedia, it is sometimes known as the Queen of Waxes and used in lipstick, paper coatings, the manufacture of phonographic cylinders, and of course polish. I started using it because Phil Speight told me to and as I regard Phil as some kind of demi god when it comes to paint and all that, I dutifully obeyed.
Lots of people get a super wax finish on their boat with products like Mer, which is all very well until you have to touch up the paint or have a repaint. Then you could have trouble because these products rely on silicone and coach paint won’t stick to even the tiniest bit of silicone.
Carnauba is silicone free, so I started out using Phil’s Craftmaster carnauba wax polish on Herbie.
To start with, I couldn’t get on with it, and ended up with a streaky finish. Then I watched people at Braunston using it to polish their boats and asked them how they did it. Apply it with a circular motion was the advice. So I did, but I reckon I was rubbing too hard. I might even have been damaging the surface of the paint. Finally I am getting the hang of it. Circular motion with a fairly light touch to ensure coverage and then buff off. I think also that it works better after a few applications and you have built up a bit of a layer of the stuff.
After a quick wash and a 20 minute polish (one side) I can now get Herbie to look like this.
That was done at Thrupp this autumn, and it used the last of my bottle of wax. I needed to do the other side of the boat, so I was on the lookout for more polish. The Craftmaster stuff isn’t sold everywhere, so at Aynho I bought another product which I had seen demonstrated at the Crick show. Bullet polish.
This is a spray of diluted Carnauba wax and comes in a spray bottle with two microfibre cloths for applying and buffing, and costs roughly the same as a bottle of the Craftmaster wax. Both cost in the region of £18+.
The wax in the Bullet polish is pretty dilute. Having washed the boat I applied the spray liberally and using the supplied cloths began buffing. I have to tell you I was very disappointed. It clearly does put on a very thin film of wax but nowhere near as much as the Craftmaster stuff. Not enough to polish out the water marks from washing even. I suspect it might be alright for touching up detailing on your car, but I can’t recommend it for a boat I’m afraid. When we came back through Braunston, I popped into Wharf House and got a bottle of Craftmaster, which I will now stick to.
Interestingly the Wikipedia entry mentioned that carnauba wax dulls with time rather than coming off, which might explain why it’s so easy to revive once you have a base coat of it.