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Ceramic Coatings vs. Wax

Posted by Glidecoat

Most people are used to using wax on their boats, as this has been the traditional method of protecting your boat from the elements. As ceramic coatings are becoming more popular, a lot of boat owners ask us “What is the difference between ceramic coatings and wax?” The short answer – A LOT!

Video Transcript

Christian Westhorpe: Alright, so another question that we get often is "what's the difference between a ceramic coating and a wax?" Because people have been using wax on their boat for a long time and they're used to that routine. They're trying to figure out why to switch to ceramic coatings.


One of the biggest differences is a wax is a very temporary solution to an ongoing problem in owning a boat. It will protect to an extent, but it doesn't do a very effective job. Wax is not really going to fill in the pores as much as a ceramic coating is. It sits on top and it doesn't bond with the surface. So, each time you use the boat, you come and rinse it down, wash it, you're effectively taking some of that protection off of the surface making it more susceptible to salt and sun damage, creating oxidization. Whereas the ceramic coating is going to fill in the pores of the gel coat and the when it cures, it's going to solidify, creating a hard barrier. Protecting the gel coat, paint, or whatever surface that its going on. And this allows us to help from the salt getting into the pores, helping from sun damage creating that oxidization... preventing that.

But it's also making it super easy to clean. So I can come and hose the boat down with water and I'm going to rinse the surface free of all that salt. We know that salt with a mixture of sun is what causes most of the problems in the marine industry, specifically here in South Florida.

Cost and Time Required

Another main difference in a wax job to a ceramic job is most of the time you're going to pay a cheaper price to get the wax done. More often than not, somebody is going to come to the boat, a boat like this here, they're going to run past it once with compound and then they're going to come back and they're going to put a wax on... maybe two coats of wax. They're going to be there for three to four hours on a hull. Whiz down, come back, put a wax on it and they are done.

It's going to be a lot cheaper than a ceramic job, but they're spending three to four hours where we would come to a job on a boat like this and we're going to spend three to four days on your boat. Making sure every that every little bit is perfect. We're going to come and touch a surface a minimum of five to six times. Running over it several times with compounds and polishes to make sure that every imperfection we can get out is out. Then we're going to clean the surface and we're applying two coats of the ceramic coating.

A wax is like going to a fast food restaurant and putting a ceramic coating is like going to a five star restaurant. We're going to give you that white glove experience that you want and make sure everything is perfect. That way the coating will succeed and give you protection that is far superior to a wax.