Do you want to make your boat’s gel coat gleam? Of course you do – every good boat owner wants his pride and joy to shine so brightly, it’s visible from space. But you can’t get this kind of awesome mirror-like finish from plain old waxing alone. Follow these steps, to make Mom’s Mink shine like the sun.

Make your boat shine so brightly, it's visible from outer space.

Make your boat shine so brightly, it's visible from outer space.

Step I: The Cleaning. First, you’ll need to clean the gel coat. We’re not talking about a simple wash, we’re talking about a full-blown scrub-down followed by the use of rubbing compound on any blemishes and oxidation, and then a thorough rinse.

Step II: The Base Coat. With all of the contaminants removed, give the boat a healthy coat of a bee’s wax-based paste wax. It’s important to use bee’s wax for this step, because even though it doesn’t have the best shine, it’s the longest lasting, most protective variety. You’re done? Good—now start all over again, and give the boat a second coat.

Step III: The Gloss Coat. It’s time to give that finish some gloss, and for this, you’ll need carnauba wax. Though carnauba wax doesn’t hold up well and fades after a week or two, it’s a lot shinier than bee’s wax and gives your gel coat the reflective patina we’re looking for.

Step IV: The Coup de Grace. Now get a can of Yacht Brite Serious Shine (made by Shurhold) and spritze every square inch of the boat from stem to stern. This stuff not only gives you a reflective boost, it has UV inhibitors that help protect the carnauba wax.

STEP V: The Regular Maintenance. Keep the shine going by washing the boat with a wash-n-wax product containing carnauba wax after every use or once a week, whichever comes first. Every other week give it a completely fresh coat of carnauba wax and every six weeks, strip it down and start all over again.

Use this five-step program to make your gel coat gleam, and you’ll be the envy of everyone in the marina—plus the guys looking down from the international space station.

- Lenny Rudow