Thursday, November 12, 2015

Waxing lyrical about Carnauba

Well, I goofed weeks ago, in that I didn't take advantage of the mild, sunny weather for waxing the boat. But I got to make up for it this morning, in some part at least. The day started sunny and bright. The wind had subsided considerably. Here was the break I needed!

The plan was to wash the boat quickly with the hose - I'd done a soapier job not long ago, and there was going to be no significant dirt to get off - shammy it over, then leave it to dry off for half an hour. There was enough wind to be helpful here. When it came to applying the wax, I had a few reservations about it. Not least that it would be too cold for the wax to be soft enough to use. Also, that the small tub of Dio Wax - Carnauba paste wax - we have (part of the touch-up kit given to us by John Barnard, after he'd finished painting Kantara) wouldn't be enough to treat a 60' boat adequately.
There was no need for concern on either count. I applied the wax with my fingers and palm, as recommended. That may sound messy, but it's not that bad. Application by hand means that the heat from your skin softens the wax a bit, helping it to spread. Also, the trouble with using some kind of cloth is that it absorbs the wax, and becomes very clogged and messy. I know that from using wax furniture polish. And the palm of your hand is a large, smooth surface, which makes it ideal for covering a large area of paintwork. The instructions on the tub emphasise the need to spread the wax as thinly as possible, and the sense of touch in your skin helps you to do just that.

As for the pot of wax not lasting long... side of the cabin hardly made a dent in it! It wasn't right up to the rim in the first place. This tub's going to last for years.

So I got my hands waxy, and Grace followed along with a microfibre cloth, buffing the wax off the boat before it dried. The result was very pleasing! Now we wait for the next couple of hours of sunshine to arrive, and we'll complete the job. Port side, stern and bow. She'll then be waterproof against the worst that the UK weather can throw at her.

OK, I'll be honest about those photos. They were actually taken when the paintwork was brand new, but I didn't get the chance to take any pics today, and it really does look that good after the waxing!

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