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There have been numerous discussions on some of the
message boards about whether
or not to wax the pad on a bassboat.
Well, hopefully the following will answer the question once and for
all. In my opinion, from everything that I've read on the subject,
I would not wax the pad on my bassboat.
I hope the following helps a bit; I do know that full
blueprinting of a hull involves sanding of the surface to ensure that it
is perfectly flat and without "hooks" or "rollers".
When this is completed, the surface is not polished and waxed, but left
|Scott from Oregon:
A smooth bottom will not create air bubbles on the bottom. A
semi-rough surface will, which creates less friction and in turn creates
more speed. When a boat has its bottom blueprinted, a product called
SpeedCoat is often used on the bottom. The surface is rather
bumpy, creating less drag by creating air under the boat. Have you
ever noticed your boat having a better top speed while running on a
slight chop instead of smooth water? The extra air under the boat means
that your bottom isn't completely wetted creating less drag.
If you rub your finger on something smooth, like glass, your finger will
stick to it. This is called "surface tension". If you
rub your finger on something smooth that has been sanded, it will slide
along on it. Sand the last 6 feet with 400 sandpaper; this will
break up the surface tension. Sand with strokes going from front
to read, not side to side. This was good for 1 or 2 mph on Mod VP
boats even back in the '70's. It is an old trick that works as
good or better today. The faster the boat the better it works.
|Marty Hoskins from Georgia:
I would not wax the pad. Let me qualify this in that I have no
data to back this up, but I am an engineer with some fluid dynamics
background. Here is why I say not to wax the pad. When fluid
flows over the surface at relatively low speeds, (speeds that a typical
bassboat would run are relatively low compared to many other
applications such as air over a jetliner wing), it flows in what is
called a laminar flow pattern. Essentially it flows smoothly and
evenly over the surface. This smooth flow has a particular drag
coefficient. When the flow reaches a high enough speed the flow
pattern changes to what is known as turbulent flow.
Under turbulent flow conditions the drag coefficient is
significantly reduced as compared to the drag coefficient under laminar
flow conditions. Here is where waxing comes in: Turbulence at the
surface/fluid interface can be induced at lower velocities by roughness
of the surface. In other words, a smooth surface would facilitate
a smoother flow pattern and thus higher drag than a rough surface.
One of the best practical examples of this effect is golf balls.
The first solid golf balls were smooth with no dimples. It did not
take the pros of that day long to figure out that a ball that had been
hit several time, scuffing up the surface, would fly farther than a new
ball right out of the box. Pros began to use their practice rounds
to hit all of the balls that they would use in the actual tournament
rounds to scuff them up before the tournament began. Once the
manufacturers understood what the pros were doing they began to produce
balls with the pre-made "scuffs" and thus the birth of the
modern dimpled golf ball.
My conclusion is that I would not wax the pad on a bassboat. I do
not know if a typical bassboat's speeds are fast enough to take
advantage of this effect of the surface roughness, but if so you will
gain. If not, you will lose nothing.
|Garylee from Minnesota:
I have been blueprinting and repairing hulls for 20 years. The
answer to the question is no wax and 320-400 grit scratches for maximum
performance. In boats that run up to 65-70 mph it makes very
little difference. In boats that run 100+ waxing can cause serious
problems. What happens is the heat created by the speed can cause
the wax to melt and ball up and seriously upset the top speed handling
of the boat. The most important thing to remember is to keep the
pad of the boat clean and without nicks and chips. If you do not
want to sand that shiny bottom that's OK. Once in a while get some
automotive polishing compound and buff the bottom. This is not wax
but will clean impurities out of the gelcoat.