Meguiars RV and Marine Boat Cleaners and Waxes; Test Results

Lyle Ellerbee

One of the most famous and popular brands in the wax industry is Meguiar’s. Meguiar’s has stood the test of time as a brand name. Some of the after market competitors of theirs as well as the larger users of the product have complained that Meguiar’s has turned their back on the professional user market for the consumer market through their newest and largest customer Wal-Mart. Many in the auto, aircraft and boat detailing industries have even been critical of Meguair’s recently because they feel this is a slap in the face to the loyal operator who has paid premium prices for quality products and now can see those with the Meguiar’s brand name on the shelves.

We tested the RV and Boat product lines from Meguiars. What we like about Meguiar’s RV and Boats detailing products line is that they have made a step by step guide for different levels of oxidation, surfaces and paints. Their Flagship soap Number 65 is excellent as well as their Gel Wash (Number 54) made for all gel coat surfaces. We felt that for a professional Boat Cleaning Business that these products were somewhat over priced and admit they work well but too costly for a small 16-ounce bottle. Unless you buy it online you will find the price outrageous at the local Marinas and Boat Stores such as the Marine West chain.

We did enjoy the sheeting action on the surfaces after use of the product. Using inline injection from a bucket of soapy water did not work very well. The product did appear very benign so we do not feel that a little soap getting into the water around the Marina would be any issue. On their cleaners and polishes for the Marine Industry we found ourselves okay with these products, but felt we had once again paid to much for them. Although the competition “Star Brite” is also heavy handed on the price points. I guess assuming that boat owners will be willing to pay more since it is for a boat. We did not see all that much difference between these products from the marine industries to that of the auto industry Meguiar’s product line. Perhaps a few small ingredient changes for UV gel coat protection and fancy repackaging, but you will have to be the judge on that.

Meguiar’s Color Restorer seems to be okay for what it is being able to remove small marks and scuffs, but we also found that a polymer solvent wax did the same for instance Auto Magic’s Sealer Wax or the Diamond Shine Products. We did not see the reason to purchase this product for professional use other than to keep the brands you use consistent. Also we found that these other waxes with solvent did not damage anything and actually worked better than the Color Restorer (Number 44) and the next up product Oxidation Remover (Number 49). The One Step Compound by Meguiar’s (Number 67) is not too impressive, but we are not fond of compounds anyway and the product is hard to use, thick and under whelming, although the results were decent, it did most of what you would expect it too. It did seem to have one other property that most products that we use in the industry did not have and that is that it seemed to put some properties back into the fiberglass. Someone had come up to me today and asked what was the best wax to use on an RV and fiberglass area. A lot has to do with the decals, surface, paint and level of oxidation. This same premise goes for boats, personal watercraft and yachts. The Waxes in the Meguiar’s line we were somewhat impressed with and we are relatively hard to please. So this is a thumbs-up for them. Their premium flagship wax it seemed to be adequate, on ease of use we give it a 5 on a scale of 1-10. It is said to last a long time, but on a salt-water boat we question what that means. Meguiar’s Pure Boat Wax (Number 56) seemed to work good yet we found it had in it Silicone, polymer blend with Brazilian Carnauba and the problem with this blend although the shine was excellent is that on Polyurethane there are issues with some silicones and with Imron there are issues with carnauba waxes. So if you take this special boat wax and apply it to the RV’s with custom paints we have to wonder if we may cause issues. So this may not be the best for our team to use on the trucks but certainly good enough for the average citizen with a boat. When the average person washes their RV there are definite issues, read this article

Now for a good touch up product for a Boat Show account we did like the Quick Wax Marine Number 59, with a trigger spray and also the same product in an aerosol can. We also thought that it was smart of Meguiar’s to custom label all the car care products for their boat line. Similar to the way that Zep Chemicals often changes their product labels to conveniently be ready for another cleaning use. MSDS

of course exactly the same for they have the same contents and ingredients and the directions the same as well. Now then the specialty cleaners for Meguiars Marine did also have non-skid deck and hull cleaner which worked well and the Hard Water Spot remover was good enough for government work and is of value for other uses as well. The Meguiars Gold Teak Oil seemed above average in quality and the test spot we did made us want to complete the entire boat deck, so we are very bullish on that product.

The All metal polish for bright work, was also very good and seemed better than the Never Dull Product for shine and better than the Mother’s Aluminum Polish for ease of use. When we tried the Bilge Cleaner by Meguiars we laughed because it seems a little over doing it to make a specific product for that need. It did dissolve the grease but so does Simple Green for a lot less money. Here is a page on the Meguiar’s website where you can order the most popular of their Marine Products.

Also if you are a private boat owner you can go to the Meguiar’s web site and they can give you a custom guide to which products to buy from them to help you clean your boat properly and wax it.


Which is a nifty value added service for the retail B2C online part of their business strategy, but to me it seems if they are going to peddle their wares art Wal-Mart why pay $30.00 for the Boat kit, $12.00 for the soap, all those cleaners and then shipping? We are always interested to see what types of marketing stuff or vendors and suppliers do and what type of strategies they employ. It is interesting to see them try new things and then change them later. Interactivity in web strategy is important and Meguiar’s seems to understand this very well and has obviously put some serious dollars into their website. At 2004 SEMA Show this year we noticed they had the same truck on display as our Blitz Mobile sitting on the corner of Convention Center Drive. Their unit was gloss black with the Meguiar’s Paint Scheme and during the show they had beautiful displays as always with information on their New Wipe Products as well as a re-introduction to their Marine Line.

All in all the Meguiar’s Marine Line is definitely complete and a player in the market, and they seem to be attacking it well, over time to hold any market share they attain, they will need to improve on a few of their products. However with their brand name recognition in the auto care industry, which has significant competition they should be able to carry this strong image into the future with the Marine Industry. StarBrite Products sell quite well and tend to out sell the Meguiar’s by only a little bit now, originally they were just about the only game in town. But we are seeing the Meguiar’s line fight for market share. What we found is that you cannot always find a complete line of StarBrite products at your local Marina, as most companies are not carrying the full line and neither are they willing to carry the Meguiar’s full line. So there are issues already. Wal-Mart does carry the RV Wash and Boat Waxes from Meguiar’s and other automotive products in the Meguiar’s Line. We feel that the better products for efficiency and ease of use definitely come from the professional detail products companies such as Auto Magic, Pro , Beauty Shine, Stoner, etc. And we do not discount Meguiar’s mainstay products such as the Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze or their excellent buffing compounds. But then again in the buffing compound arena we also prefer much of what 3M has to offer:


and they too have a Marine Line of great products. But as of yet we are not overly excited about the rest of Megiuar’s retail line. The new wipes are cool enough and it appears have entered the market along with the other brands such as Lexol for their leather cleaner wipes. All in all we totally applaud the Meguiar’s line of Marine Products and feel comfortable with about six of the products, which our tea will most likely be using. These are the products, which we felt did favorably in our tests. We are hard on all our suppliers. And to the credit of Meguiar’s they are a tireless company with regards to upgrading and listening to their customers. And we all know good things come with age.

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