canoe wax...

what do people use to wax their canoes or clean them.... it seems nobody is ever too eager to reveal their secret waxes, but if anyone wants to share a little info about what they use and where you can find it, that'd be great...

Submitted by luke on Wed, 02/04/2004 - 1:10pm

is that a hint that i've let your beloved Spica get all dirty? :)

#1 Wed, 02/04/2004 - 1:28pm

Aloha Guys, When doing a final clean on the Gel coat, a "Static Release " formula should be used. Avoid using the average car wax, i.e. Turltle wax, and other polishes.
A can of WD-40 actually does the job best as a finish product, after a mild soap/ warm water is used for washing any dirt or grime.
Spray on the WD-40, then wipe away with a paper towel. Avoid using regular rags because of lint. This application will release the positive & negative charges in the water.

#2 Wed, 02/04/2004 - 3:55pm

Great topic!

I've always wondered whether an OC-1 or OC-6 would move faster through the water with a waxed, smooth or rough surface. People have told me not to wax the underside of an OC-1 or OC-6 'cause it will make the boat slower. Some have even told me that they know of people who roughen up the bottom sides of their canoes to make them faster. Nobody has been able to explain why it makes the boat faster. It must a ploy to slow me down :) If this is in fact true, I have an idea as to why but would like someone to provide me with some solid info. Anybody have information on this topic?

#3 Wed, 02/04/2004 - 5:59pm

Here's an excellent article I found on the topic of waxing.

#4 Wed, 02/04/2004 - 6:45pm

haha, no zach it wasn't really dirty... i had absolutely nothing to do today so i went and bought some polish for it and washed the canoe and the car at a self car wash place (which is a terrible terrible place, they use your money so quickly and you have to keep putting more quarters in cause your cars covered in soap) so shit... i kinda already used car polish on the canoe, but it said it was for Fiberglass boats too.. I have always used polish just to clean it and halfheartedly believe that it makes the canoe faster, it at least makes it look nicer.. anyways, on to exploring roughness in a canoe..

Me and a friend did two years worth of research on the effect of dimples (as in a golfball) on hydrodynamic drag, which included 4 different boat designs and well over 1000 tests. The results were positive enough that we have been exploring the idea of a patent: the dimples significantly increased the speed in all hull types. Our second year of testing was related to the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns; although normally related to economics it is useful in many other aspects. The law tells us that everything has an optimum performance level, more is not necessarily better.. normally it would be related to somthing like worker productivity, too many workers will reduce productivity, or a more common example is fertiliser in plants, too little is the same as using too much fertiliser, there will always be an optimum level somewhere in the middle. So using the law we knew that somewhere was an optimum coverage for the boat, before it would start to slow down... for our dimple size, and for our hull shape, we found the optimum number of dimples, but we know so little about the actual effects of the dimple that it is nearly impossible to find the perfect size and shape without years of testing..
a general roughening up of a canoe will increase the reynolds number which will.... do something (Keizo can help me out, cause i dont understand the reynolds number thing at all) All i remember about it is an example about throwing a ping pong ball.. try and throw one.. it goes then all of a sudden will fall.. when the reynolds number reaches a certain point the drag is too much for the object and it will drastically lose speed.. But i must be remembering something pretty wrong here, cause if increasing roughness increases the reynolds number.. then i would think it would more quickly reach that point where the drag overcomes it?? anyways.. so forget about the reynolds number
what i understand about the golfball is that normally air will flow straight over the sides, which makes the entire back of the ball have a lower (I'm pretty sure it's lower) pressure than the front, which causes nearly 50% of the drag. The dimple (somehow) holds the air to the ball longer, making it curve over the back nearly eliminating that low pressure area in the rear.. eliminating A LOT of the drag
In a boat it's incredibly different since it's not a circle.. but, a canoe does curve in at the rear and has a rocker... which makes you think that you could follow the same general principle, which you couldn't follow in a normal power boat, or a car (unless you dimpled the back windshield), or even really a plane.... but, i'm kinda guessing here, i dont really know whats happening (engineer keizo does, or will now soon)... only that the dimple has a very bright future, especially for outrigger canoeing

#5 Wed, 02/04/2004 - 6:52pm

nice article snarfblat

#6 Wed, 02/04/2004 - 7:17pm

I thought the dimples worked on the golf ball because it was rotating. Darnit! I gotta read the article again.

#7 Wed, 02/04/2004 - 8:38pm

the article did say that, but from all of our research that was not the case. It didnt matter if the ball was rotating, it would still reduce drag. Rotation gives it lift only

#8 Wed, 02/04/2004 - 9:16pm

luke don't reveal the secret man. haha nah jus remeber 3 years from now man. at the shop before we send off our canoes we give a good machine polish with surfboard polish and then a good layer of teflon which we remove of course. i dunno if its better to wax it or not but i guess surfboard wax is to jus get it more glossy and i notice that after being tefloned a boat cannot be masking taped it just falls right off so it must repel and jus get a really slick surface that nothing can bond to which i think might reduce drag a little. so i think its all about the teflon. just a little word from a shop worker.

#9 Wed, 02/04/2004 - 10:55pm

Another informative link:

#10 Wed, 02/04/2004 - 10:57pm

Good points taken on this important subject when it comes to the proper finish on a Gel Coat for the bottom hull. The Rough finish that I use is a direction sand using a normal scrubbing pad that is made for washing dishes. ( equivalent to about a #800 grit). This is not very visually noticable to the eye, but the fine scratches in the Gel coat moves the water in a direction pattern for a clean flow and release. This has been proven in the Boating ( Sailing and Motor powered) world for increased speed, along with the Aerodynamics of Airplanes using this concept.

Not to get into too much details, this theory, along with the Static release polish, will only give a SLIGHT edge on the overall boat speed.

If you really want to go Faster, just lose a few more pounds in your body weight, and train harder !

More on my next post on the Dimple effect..

#11 Thu, 02/05/2004 - 7:29am

Yeah, its sort of like biking. A lot of people spend thousands of dollars to get a light road bike made out of the latest material when they can easily shed 5lbs for free.

#12 Thu, 02/05/2004 - 3:43pm

Just paddle harder...............

#13 Wed, 02/11/2004 - 1:12pm

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