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Boat Buffing Tips & Tricks


Buffing your boat is key part of maintenance to keep a high-quality look over time. But buffing can be difficult. It can be time-consuming. It comes with its own set of techniques, and you’ll want to use them if you’re going to make quick work of your boat hull. To make things easier for you, here are a few boat buffing tips and tricks we’ve found to work.

Rent a Power-Buffer

This is admittedly the “oldest trick in the book,” but for some boats, it might be essential. A power buffer will help you make quick work of polish, allowing you to cover much more space in a shorter amount of time. Unless you want to spend hours and hours on end buffing a large boat or shelling out money for others to do the same, a power buffer can be a relatively frugal investment that leaves your boat looking cleanly polished. One bonus tip: try to find a power buffer with varying speeds so that you can apply different pressure to different areas of the boat.

Clean First

If you’re not working on a clean surface, just about anything you do to your boat’s hull will be less effective. If possible, it’s best to work on a clean, rinsed, and thoroughly dried surface so that the hull is as fresh as it can be. At the very least, work to remove the obvious debris and dust that tends to collect over time so you’re working with a smooth hull. Cleaning your hull also removes salt residue, for example, that may be more difficult to see. Even if your hull appears clean, make sure to wash it and hose it down before letting it dry. We recommend our dedicated Boat Cleaner to help you make quick work of this task.

Use Newer Buffing Pads

A quality boat buffing job is only as good as the buff pad you’re using. If you notice that your pad is old and doesn’t have the same texture it once did, you can secure a new pad for cheap at a local hardware store. This is one small change that will add up to a better overall boat polish. And since your polish should last you a long time, it can be worth the extra few minutes it takes to secure a new buff pad.

Apply Consistent Pressure

This boat buffing tip applies to the hull at large—not smaller areas that might need different pressure. The idea here is to move in small, moderate-pressure strokes. But you don’t want to buff too strong in one area and simply gloss over another. Instead, try to keep your strokes the same size while moving at a consistent speed throughout. Buffing your boat is all about creating a smooth texture, after all—and that means consistency and patience are virtues.

Use the Right Products

Boat buffing doesn’t have to be an intensive chore—not if you use the right equipment and techniques. And it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of great products, either. PolyShine is a fantastic boat polish that can last years when used in combination with Life Wax. If you don’t like buffing, it doesn’t hurt to have a solution that will last you as long as possible!

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