Waxing the bottom of boat? Waxing the bottom of boat?
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    Waxing the bottom of boat?
from Craig (  
5/11/1999 9:39:00 PM


 Does waxing the bottom of the boat increase or decrease speed and why? I have heard people say both. Thanks for and help given!!

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   Waxing will most definitely slow the boat down!! from Al (  5/11/1999 9:46:00 PM
 Craig: I can't give you the proper explanation as to why, (although I'm sure someone else will be able to),but waxing will allow the water to "stick" to the bottom of the boat more than a clean bottom will. Something to do with the hydrodynamics of water, (almost sounds like I know what I'm talking about). I used to think that if you made the bottom real slick your boat would go faster, no, it will go slower. You shouldn't even wax your prop. When they blueprint the bottom of a boat to take out imperfections they will leave it sanded, which will help to improve the speed. Wax the sides and the rest of the boat, but don't wax the bottom. Take care, Al
   Just doesn't figure from Jeffro (  5/11/1999 10:37:00 PM
 Not disputing you Al, but just can't help thinking how water will bead up and roll off a truck with a good wax job, but will spread out and hang on to one without it. Maybe I'm missing something. Guess I shouldn't have slept through science class. ...Jeffro...
   I'm no expert, but... from Chris A. (  5/11/1999 10:47:00 PM
 the bottom of my boat doesn't even touch the water when i'm concerned about speed. I say shine it up.
   Try it again from Jeffro (  5/11/1999 10:51:00 PM
 Not trying to dispute you Al, but can't help thinking how water will bead up and roll off a truck with a good wax job, but will just spread out and hang on to one that isn't. Would like to hear an explanation. Most guys I know seem to think it helps. Would enjoy proving them wrong! ...Jeffro...
   Guess I screwed up......... no msg from Jeffro (  5/11/1999 10:55:00 PM
   no wax from Scott (  5/11/1999 10:59:00 PM
 Al is on the right track. A smooth bottom will not create air bubbles on the bottom. A semi-rough surface will, which creates less friction and in turn creates more speed. When a boat has it's bottom blue printed, a product called speed coat is often used on the bottom. The surface is rather bumping creating less drag by creating air under the boat. Have you ever noticed your boat having a better top speed while running on a slight chop instead of smooth water? The extra air under the boat means that your bottom isn't completely wetted creating less drag. Good luck. Chaparral Scott
   Speed from Thunder runner (  5/11/1999 11:24:00 PM
  Think of it as air hockey, the air cushion between the surface and the water is less resistance...makes her smoke on the water.....If you are just fishing, I would wax her, if your neck and neck with your buddy, you need every advantage you can get. Finding the right prop is more important if you ask me, can be more expensive too.

PS, do not wax the gauges...


   WAxing bottom of boat from Skip (  5/11/1999 11:31:00 PM
 If you rub your finger on something smooth,like glass it will stick to it. This is called "surface tension". If you rub your finger on something smooth that has been sanded it will slide along on it. Sand the last 6 feet with 400 sandpaper, this will break up the surface tension. Sand with strokes going front to rear not side to side. this was good for 1 or 2 mph on Mod VP boats even back in the 1970s. It is an old trick that works as good or better today. The faster the boat the better it works. Skip
   time for class from Tc (  5/11/1999 11:34:00 PM
 Craig, Hopefully this will answer your question and explain the above statements as well. First let me answer your question, Yes, wax will increase your boats speed but only SLIGHTLY. Now, let me explain. The wax repels water, not "sticks to it". This allows for a lesser drag-factor which in-turn allows for more of the engines power to be used for forward motion and not for pushing water. Now I know that it has been said that a boat with a rough surface will create air bubbles that will displace water from the boats hull at the trailing edge. WRONG, What it creates is vacuum pockets (negative air pressure). It takes positive air pressure to provide the cushion of air that is needed to obtain higher speeds. (Positive air pressure has a lower drag-factor than water) This explains why you indeed go faster with a chop on the water surface. Now to comment on the roughened surface by others. There are those who will put convex "dimples" on certain areas of the boat's hull. These people (that know what there doing) are dealing with EXTREME HIGH PERFORMANCE boats that will never carry a rod and reel. With that said I will not comment further on that other than even those people will wax the hull, even in the areas with dimples. I hope this has answered more questions than it raises. Tc
   Waxing boat bottom from Skip (  5/11/1999 11:54:00 PM
 Never wax the bottom of a boat! Wax holds water. If you do not believe me , look at the hood of your car or truck in the rain just after a wax job. The water beads up and sticks to the hood instead of running off. Years ago there was a flurocarbon product that would repell water. you could put water on it and it would run right off. If you used a flurocarbon today the EPA would probably hang you or worse. Skip
   Boat speed from David (  5/12/1999 12:31:00 AM
 Listen to the boys from California. They are correct about increased boat speed with a "wet sanded" bottom. 400 grit does a nice job. What wasn't mentioned is that you will need to maintain this "finish" regularly. A sanded bottom will grow algae and slime quicker than a waxed one. If the boat is trailered sand it. If it stays in wax it.
   rainx works from Dave (  5/12/1999 1:16:00 AM
 my dad used to drag race jet boats and would rainx the bottom of his boat when racing, it seemed to give 2-3mph in the 1/4mi, his boat would run low 70s in the 1/4 so that my give you some idea on what its worth the only problem is it doesnt last long at all.

Later, Dave

   Wax ! from waxxin n waynin (  5/12/1999 6:50:00 AM
 aint this pro tec country heck that stuff cures the sick autta put at least 10 mph on your speedo ............
   wax from Bassman (  5/12/1999 8:07:00 AM
  I'm not racing,i'm fishing. I bought some Pro-Tec sealent from Mike W and so far it is the only stuff that has kept my black boat looking good. If waxing slows my boat down by 1 mph on a 60 MILE run my buddy is going to beat me to the honey hole by one min. On a 2 mile run i'm going to be on him so hard he is not going to throttle back, he'll just keep going . Wax it !!!!!!
   Wax on wax off? from Eric (  5/12/1999 8:31:00 AM
 Question: Why do u wax a car? Could it be to protect the painted surfaces by repelling the water? A waxed hood of a car beads up, yes this is true. But why? I don't hardly think it's because it attracts or holds water. It will repel it,This is why it forms into little beads that will roll right off the hood. (sorry Skip). Wax doesnt attract water, it repells it! The bottom of my boat is painted but if it wasent I'd wax it. As far as wet sanding with 400 grit goes Skip, I think it's a slick idea. And I'd do that also.

   smoothness, not wax is the issue from Marty Hoskins (  5/12/1999 9:03:00 AM
 Let me preface this by saying that I have masters degree in chemical engineering and have been involved with golf ball design. The issue that we are dealing with here is one of fluid dynamics. Any fluid flowing over a smooth surface at high velocity will produce more drag than one flowing over a surface with some roughness to it. This is the main reason that a golf ball has dimples. The first golf balls did not have dimples until golfers found that the ball would fly farther after it had been scuffed up a bit. The issue is the level of turbulence in the fluid in contact with the surface. If the fluid flows over the surface in essentially a straight line (laminar) flow, drag is higher than if the flow is more irradic (turbulent). Dimples on golf balls induce this turbulence. It is likely that the roughened surface produced by wet sanding will induce turbulence as the water flows over the hull of the boat at high speed. At lower velocity the surface imperfections cannot induce turbulence and essentially the fluid most flow over a greater surface area. What does this mean? This means that at higher speeds a roughened surface will reduce drag, but at lower speeds the drag will be higher than a smooth surface. Essentially, wet sanding should improve top end (assuming the speed is sufficient for the surface imperfections to create turbulence in the fluid) but will reduce hole shot due to the increased surface area that the water must flow over. The reduction in performance at the low end can be overcome by reducing the coeficient of friction between the solid and fluid. This could be accomplished by waxing the surface, so long as the wax does not fill in the imperfections you should be able to have the best of both worlds: i.e. decent hole shot due to less friction with the water, and better top end due to more turbulence at the hull water interface.


   Wow! I like this thread from preppneck (  5/12/1999 9:30:00 AM
 I grew up with SkiNautiques and Mastercrafts. We use to always wax the hull because it increased speed at lower rpms therefore, we thought it saved on gas. But I have to say, the golf ball guy makes more sense than anyone so far. But if what golf ball guy says is true, then why don't airplane wings have roughed up surfaces on them? Not trying to challenge you, just trying to understand a little better. Great info, fellas! preppneck
   As far as wings. from BottomFisher (  5/12/1999 10:26:00 AM
 I work at Boeing in Seattle so I'll address the wing question previously mentioned. We paint the wings with what is called "Aero-flex", this paint is used on both the upper and lower surfaces of the wings and the horizontal stabilizer at the tail. The paint is not smooth but is more on the order of 600 grit sandpaper, the paint was designed to not have a smooth surface to help reduce drag by creating near microscopic air pockets which allow an air-to-air surface which is "slippier" than an air to paint surface. Now mind you, our 747 wings are zipping through the air at 350 knots so I don't know how much of a difference a smooth boat bottom versus a slightly rough bottom would really matter. I suppose since water is quite denser than air it might actually matter quite a bit, however, the way I look at it is THE LESS waxing I have to do (or pay the kids to do) the better.
   Speed from Bass Cat (  5/12/1999 10:40:00 AM
 Marty is very accurate in his assessment of flow and laminar breakup. There are the surface tension factors and others which can be addressed. While sanding will VERY slightly reduce hole shot it will increase speed and little difference can be found in acceleration due the the opposing issues. 400 grit may be a little rough to address the issue on hulls. They tend to run on water and thus the fluid characteristics are different than those of the air and is moisture content. Today we have really good 1000 grit paper, not once readily available, which does a better job and provides an excellent surface once prepared and flattened. Having dealt with this for a number of years, Yes! wax slows you down and sanding speeds you up. In reality though most of us will never know the difference in our bass boats. But then those new Pinnacle and Titleist designs haven't improved my golf game either. Just making a comparison we can relate to. Great Post Marty!
   Aircraft wings... from Craig (  5/12/1999 11:07:00 AM
 Aircraft wings perform a different function than the hull/water interface of a boat. The purpose of the wing is to control the airspeeds across the top and bottom surfaces, so as to provide lift in the up direction (faster air across the top than the bottom). There are a whole lot of other factors that go into the overall speed of a plane in the forward direction.
   Sorry BottomFisher... from Craig (  5/12/1999 11:15:00 AM
 I wasn't trying to step on your reply. Your's just poped up before I finished mine. You're obviously more knowledgable.
   Craig from Craig (  5/12/1999 11:50:00 AM
 No problem Craig, but I must say that if those boat and motor manufacturers get much better...bass boats will be flying rather than boating. About the only thing left in the water anymore is the prop and a bass must be wondering what the heck that thing is comming at him at 80mph!!!
   Marty & Bottomfisher from Rob (  5/12/1999 1:23:00 PM
 Will it work for Mark Martin????? if Mark sands and puts dimples on the nose of that Taurus, will it help him to out run that snot nosed kid????
   Listen to the engineer! from djd (  5/12/1999 1:55:00 PM
 Marty explained it perfectly! I received my Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Michigan and thats exactly how it was taught there. In fact we did a similar study on smooth and rough surfaces in my Fluid Dynamics laboratory. Result: The rougher surfaces had less force on them at higher fluid (air) velocities. Sand it!
   Votes are in from BottomFisher (  5/12/1999 2:27:00 PM
 Ok, sounds like the votes are in. If you have a golf ball and a Taurus..go with dimples and roughness. If you have a degree, go with hydrodynamics...um is that spelled right? If you have a bass boat go with wax on... wax off, that way you're right half the time. If you build airplanes (that's me) dimples work best at 350 knot's but bass boats have a hard time reaching that without the right jackplate. Past experiance has shown others that Rain-X is the ticket, however, fishing in the rain sucks so I'll give up the supposed couple mph. I'd say that we're all in agreement in the following statement: Wax it or rough it up, the decideing factor is: The faster we get out there the faster we get back to the ramp to deal with the world of land lovers...I think I'll take my time and get back late because I was busy sliding bass up my rain-x'd, roughed up, dimpled, aero-flexed, I'm sure it could go faster boat. Enjoyed the string ya'll. Ron
   Thanks! from Craig (  5/12/1999 2:42:00 PM
 Wow! Thanks for the great information!!!
   Waxing - Another Problem from Melvin (  5/12/1999 3:36:00 PM
 Acouple of years ago, a friend of mine (NOT even a blonde) waxed the bottom his ChampioN . The next day at the boat ramp, the boat slid easily off the trailer - five feet short of the water. If you decide to wax it, keep it tied down until it is in the water!
   BottomFisher, you made my day! from Marty Hoskins (  5/12/1999 3:36:00 PM
 That last post was hilarious. I loved it. By the way, I understood this from a golf ball perspective, but since I fish out of a 1975 fiberglass tri-hull Sears Gamefisher with a 1994 15 hp Sears Gamefisher tiller motor, I have a hard time relating to the high speed bass boat thing. However, since it takes me longer to get to the fishing holes and longer to get back to the ramp, I spend more time on the water per trip so there is a silver lining. Glad I could be of some help.


   SlipSlid'n from Bassdrc (  5/12/1999 8:05:00 PM
 Hey Melvin from Texas I wanna know how your buddy waxed between the runner on the trailer and the hull of the boat. If he waxed it on the trailer it would have no effect on that portion sitting on the bunks. So how come he slid it off the trailer? uh?
   You are all wrong from Jerry (  5/12/1999 8:36:00 PM
 I subscribe to both theories. My boat only runs on the last foot or so and that is only about a foot wide so I divided it into 144 square inches and alternately waxed and sanded them...to get the best of both worlds.

Whichever is faster, I'll bet most of us could get the same speed improvement by throwing our beer, coke or sunglasses over the side.

   wow from Bassman (  5/12/1999 10:50:00 PM
 Had alot of post, to a simple question. I think this is the way this board is suppose to be. BUT i'm still waxing my boat.
   wax on, wax off from Garylee (  5/12/1999 11:16:00 PM
 I'll try to keep this short. I have been blueprinting and repairing hulls for 20 years. The answer to the question is no wax and 320-400 grit scratches for maximum performance. In boats that run up to 65-70 mph it makes very little difference. In boats that run 100+ waxing can cause serious problems. What happens is the heat created by the speed can cause the wax to melt and ball up and seriously upset the top speed handling of the boat. The most important thing to remember is to keep the pad of the boat clean and without nicks and chips. If you do not want to sand that shiny bottom thats OK. Once in a while get some automotive polishing compound and buff the bottom. This is not wax but will clean impurities out of the gelcoat. HEY! I got a idea. Will all of you guys send me one new golf ball and I'll cut them up and glue them on the bottom of my Gambler and see if it flies higher than it did before. Just kidding, I'd probably learn to golf. Take it all lightly and have a great day Garylee

   Miracle Wax from Melvin (  5/13/1999 12:19:00 AM
 Hey Bassdrc, that is a good question, I'll remember to ask it the next time the story is told at a club meeting. Good logic always messes up a good story! Actually, everything worked out fine..after the boat hit the ramp, it had gravel size dimples (like a golf ball) all over the back six feet of the hull. He tried to sand these out with some 400 grit sandpaper, but finally gave up and just waxed over them. He now has the best hole shot and the fastest top end of anyone in the club. Until now, we never understood why. Stay safe..



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