If you’re like me, you like your boat to shine so brightly that the astronauts close the window blinds on the International Space Station when they drift overhead. And in the never-ending battle to make your boat beautiful, you’ve probably tried dozens of cleaners, protectants, waxes, and polymers. Well, here’s a new one for you: BTS (for “bow to stern.”) But this one has a new twist: instead of being designed for gel coat, or for vinyl, or for plastic, it’s made for all of the above.
BTS falls into the polymer category, which essentially means it creates a glossy micro-layer of protectant ontop of the surfaces it’s applied to. Usually, this would be one type of surface or another. But in this case, they engineered BTS to contain a combination of different polymers so it could be applied to different surfaces. But, does it work? They sent me a couple of bottles of the stuff to try out, so Iapplied it to the gel coat on my 22′ Glacier Bay. It gave it an excellent gloss, and a surface that’s smooth to the touch. Next, I tried it on the seat cushions. Same result. Then, I tried it on the plastic stowage box in my leaning post. Check this out:
Upper left, BTS-treated section. Lower right, un-treated section.
Talk about a HUGE difference! So, what’s the deal? BTS works by loosening the contaminents in the surfaces’ pores, expelling it, filling the pore, and drying in place. And there’s one more advantage this stuff has over regular polymers: it can be applied in direct sunlight. Most similar products have to be applied in the shade, on a cool surface.
The manufacturer claims BTS lasts for several months, so you’ll get 90 days or so of hassle-free good looks before you have to pick up the buffer again – or so they say. Naturally, I won’t take their word for it. So, how do we know that the gleam will remain come March? Check back here – in 30, 60, and again in 90 days, I’ll take new pictures. At the end of the test, I’ll show you exactly how BTS held up over the long haul.
Cost is $16 for a 32-ounce bottle. (You can get it via their web site, www.btsproducts.com.) The final verdict: A good shine on fiberglass and vinyl, and incredible results on plastic, but the jury remains out on longevity. I just hope using it doesn’t trigger too many complaints from NASA.