Our Opinion on Waxes & Polishes
Waxing a fiberglass glider is very important. Sealing the surface from moisture and dirt will absolutely prolong the life of your gel coat.
We wax our gliders twice a year.
There are some theories about performance and weather you should wax or not wax your glider. If you believe the glider's performance is better without wax, then you might consider removing the wax before a contest.
Not waxing your glider will create finish problems that are very expensive. It is very unlikely you will every notice any performance difference if the glider is waxed or not, and it is also unlikely that the difference of being waxed or not will make any difference in your final contest score.
The very best wax to use is a pure carnuba wax. Interestingly, this wax is very difficult to find in the USA. We have called all the wax companies and have found none that do not have polymers &/or silicones.
We buy and stock a pure carnuba wax we obtain from Germany. This wax must be installed with the aid of a high speed polishing machine. We recommend a Mikita variable speed polisher for amateur use so you have less chance of burning the glider finish, or doing other damage.
It is also wise to hire an automotive finisher for a few hours to polish your glider. He has the skills, and probably the tools, to do the job, and he will probably do your whole glider for $50 or so.
Some cans of car wax have a statement such as "100% Pure Carnuba Wax." We phoned the company and they verified the wax in their product is pure carnuba wax, but it also contains 40% polymers!
Polymers and silicone that penetrate the glider structure can make it difficult to obtain a good repair if you damage the glider.
We had extensive conversations with a representative of Mother's wax products. They have recently come out with a product called "Mother's Gold Natural Formula" that has the least amount of polymers or silicones of any automotive wax product we know. We also checked around for prices at discount supplies and our price of $21 is the lowest of all.
This product is easy to apply by hand, and is a possible compromise. We are using it on our Ventus 2.
Wonder products seen on TV that give a lifetime finish, or resist laser beams and fire should never be used on your fiberglass glider.
Klaus Holighaus introduced us to a product in Germany called "Stahlfix" for polishing the glider, and removing tape residue and bugs. It is simply the very best product to polish your glider before waxing. It is also great around the house for polishing stainless steel and removing those black streaks on your motorhome or boat.
For cleaning canopies, nothing beats soap and water. For the final touch, you might try a product that makes the canopy static electricity proof. Static electricity attracts dust which then cause scratches when you clean the canopy.
We like a product called "Miraguard". Doris used to go around cleaning a small spot on someone's canopy with "Miraguard" after they had cleaned the canopy. Sold a bunch and made some believers.
We also have the popular "Prist" and of course "Mirror Glaze Polish" and "Mirror Glaze Cleaner".
Products such as "Lemon Pledge" leave a wax build up which must be frequently removed with alcohol.
We also stock a paper towel specially made for cleaning canopies. A normal paper towel should never be used as they can scratch the plastic surface. The EX-L non abrasive tissue is also good to place in the leading edge wing pad on the bottom of some trailers to keep dirt from damaging the wing.
Finally, we caution you not use acetone or other harsh solvents. You can clean tape residue with naphtha, or 3M makes a special tape residue solvent available at better hardware stores.