How To Wax A
Non-Skid Boat Deck

Paul Luisi
by Paul

Waxing and polishing a non-skid boat deck will leave the deck paint with a shine and gloss finish.

It will also act as a sealant and add a protective coating to the boat deck.

To wax a non-skid boat deck:

  1. Wash the deck before waxing
  2. Apply a boat wax over the deck in sections
  3. Buff in the wax with a polisher machine or pad
  4. Wipe away excess wax with cloth

After waxing, the boat deck paint will look clean and be protected against future weathering.

Polishing the boat deck will also help prevent oxidation.

1. Wash Boat Deck Before Waxing

Clean the boat deck with a sponge, warm water and deck cleaner. Cleaning the boat deck before polishing and waxing will: 

  • Remove dirt, grime, grease and mold: Cleaning the boat deck before polishing and waxing will remove all the dirt and grease.
  • Prepare the deck for the ultimate shine: Waxing an already clean boat deck means the boat paint will shine and gloss easier.
  • Prevent boat deck damage: Cleaning the boat deck first will remove harmful corrosive dirt materials.  

Make sure to dry the boat deck with a towel after washing. The boat deck needs to be completely dry before applying polish.

Non skid boat deck cleaning should take approximately 20 minutes to complete, depending on the size and condition of the deck.

Clean the boat deck with warm water and boat deck cleaner. This will remove dirt and prepare the deck for waxing and polishing.

2. Apply Boat Wax To The Deck In Sections

Use a boat wax or polish and pour it onto the boat deck in sections.

Applying the boat polish to the deck in sections will: 

  • Ensure waxing is tidy: Applying the polish and buffing in sections will ensure it's much more tidy. than simply pouring the polish all over the deck before buffing.
  • Create a great paint shine: Working in sections will ensure the boat deck is shining and has a gloss finish.

Use a boat polish with a UV protective formula included. This will add an extra coating to protect against weathering and sun damage.

Apply a boat polish to the deck. Simply pour the polish onto the deck in sections. This will make it easy to buff.

3. Buff In The Boat Wax

Use a buff/polisher machine or buff pad to rub the polish into the boat deck.

Using a buff polisher machine or buff pad will: 

  • Ensure the polish is evenly spread across the deck: Using a polisher machine or pad will help make sure that the polish is spread evenly without any patches or stains.
  • Protect the paint: A polisher machine or pad will help protect the boat paint by ensuring the polish or wax is ground in to the boat deck.
  • Prevent polish stains: Using a polisher machine or pad will ensure there are no streak or polish stains.
  • Add a gloss finish: A polisher machine will help enhance the shine of the deck and give a high gloss finish.

Buffing the boat deck with polish should take 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the size of it.

Buff in the polish using a buffing machine or buffing pad. Rub in the polish in a circular motion.

4. Wipe Excess Wax Off Boat Deck With Cloth

Use a microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess boat polish or wax.

Wiping away the excess boat polish from the non skid boat deck will: 

  • Prevent stains: Too much polish in one area will cause visible stains in the boat deck.
  • Prevents discoloration: Having excess polish in one section of the boat would mean color fading spots on the deck as one section is more protected than another.
  • Enhance aesthetics: This final step of removing the excess polish will enhance the overall look and aesthetics of the boat deck.

Wiping away the excess polish should take approximately 5 - 10 minutes.

SummaryWipe away any excess polish or wax with a cloth. This will prevent staining of the boat deck paint.

Products To Use When Waxing Boat Deck

The products needed for waxing a boat deck are: 

  • Boat Wax: Use a wax for boat decks when waxing the deck.
  • Polisher Machine: A polisher machine will help buff the wax into the deck.
  • Polisher Pad: This will help with any scuff marks left over.
  • A cloth or towel: Use this to remove any excess wax on the deck.

These products are all that is needed to completely wax a non-skid boat deck.

Boat polish, a polisher machine and a towel are needed for polishing and waxing a boat deck.

How Often Should A Non Skid Boat Deck Be Waxed?

A non-skid boat deck should be waxed once every 3 months. Most marine grade polishes provide a protective coating for this duration.

Most protective coatings in boat wax last 3 months.


Using a boat polish or wax and buffing it into the boat deck will help make your boat shine again.

Use a marine grade polish to ensure the best results. A polisher machine will make polishing and waxing a non skid boat deck much easier.