The BTS Difference

Most people consider gel coat as just a cosmetic finish on a boat when in fact; it is the primary protective layer for underlying fiberglass. It protects the structural fiberglass from water and the sun. In essence it is the skin that protects the hull structure.


No one debates the need to seal and protect gel coat finishes, but there is disagreement over how best to do it. While many people still use automotive carnauba waxes, the fiberglass industry and boat manufacturers are increasingly recommending only gel coat sealing protectants. There are a number of valid reasons for this. While carnauba-containing waxes may be fine for vehicles, its durability and value on gel coat is very limited and in many cases is counter-productive. The problem shared by both carnauba waxes and automotive sealants has to do with the very nature of gel coats. Gel coat is naturally semi-porous, pigmented, polyester resin. Seen under a microscope, your boat's flat, smooth gel coat surface has millions of tiny pores per square inch! These pores, or holes systematically fill with microscopic grime. Carbon from exhaust, dissolved mineral, microorganisms from the water and oils from human use. It is this contamination in conjunction with photo-oxidation from sun light that promotes gel coat oxidation, staining and wear.


Another culprit in surface deterioration is bacteria. Believe it or not, bacteria, which we know is everywhere, live in these small pores. Most people will tell you that an oxidized boat has seen too much sun and to a greater degree they are correct! What very few people realize is that some of the damage is the work of bacteria. Think about the damage that bacteria can do to your teeth; well it is doing the same to your gel coat. Bacterial waste (acids) in the pores of your gel coat are deteriorating the gel coat from the inside; filling the pores with dull chalky debris. As this chalk fills more and more pores, the entire gel coat surface will take on a dull, faded appearance. BTS is the only product that removes this bacterial contamination effectively with out damaging gel coat. Think of this oxidation as "plastic rust". Carnauba waxes and automotive sealants do not remove pre-existing micro-contamination in the pores. They seal the contamination in place where it continues to oxidize from the inside, under that so-called "protective wax". Ironically, in many cases this wax coating is actually being eaten by these microorganisms rendering it ineffective even faster. The surface may shine with a wax coat for a while but there is trouble under that shine. In addition, waxes start to melt around 120 degrees. With the addition of direct and reflected UV and thermal radiation any wax protection is literally melting off your gel coat. Many "over the counter" sealants/waxes contain strong petroleum solvents and/or abrasives. These ingredients are great for removing tree sap and road contamination from your car, but they are damaging to gel coat; they can actually accelerate gel coat deterioration by thinning the gel surface. Bottom line; don't use automotive sealants, waxes or other polishes on gel coat or other plastic finishes. Use only polishes and sealants that are designed for marine gel coated surfaces. If you see any color on your application pad when treating your boat, stop using that product! It is literally removing the surface that you are trying to protect.


Bow To Stern Marine Protectant's chemists are all boaters and spent 5 years in the development of BTS. When we started on this project, we defined the properties we wanted BTS to have, of which included:

  1. Offer highest sunscreen protection factor available.
  2. Provide a formula that keeps the UV screens in place on the surface.
  3. Can be used on any part of a boat, gel coat, vinyl seats, windscreens, motors or carpet or cloth (eliminating the need for multiple products).
  4. Would clean the debris and organisms out of the pores of surfaces that most other solutions and detergents miss, without the use of abrasives or harsh chemicals.
  5. Would stop the discoloring and stains related to mold, mildew and bacteria.
  6. Would reinforce the built-in plasticizers/UV filters that manufacturers build into boat materials that help retard deterioration.
  7. Would leave a long lasting and durable protection and shine.


Bow To Stern is a highly complex combination of polymers, each with a specific job to accomplish in the process of protecting your boat's surfaces. Each alone do a superior job in there own right, but in combination their protective abilities are unsurpassed. The sealants in Bow to Stern Protectant have much better bonding characteristics, better abrasion resistance than carnauba waxes and can withstand temperatures of 250+ degrees.


To begin with, a BTS application cleans the surface and extracts micro contamination like no other boating product on the market. And it does it without the use of harmful toxic solvents or harsh abrasives that are found in many other products. After loosening the micro contamination, our BTS polymer shield fills the surface pores and cures to a super durable finish that repels subsequent contamination from returning into the pores of the surface. This long lasting protection will greatly retard the oxidation process and add years to the life of your boat's finish.


Unlike most other products, BTS can be applied in direct sun light. On the first application of BTS (after washing your boat), you may notice a smeary residue on the gel coat after the BTS application has dried. This is normal during the first application and is nothing more then the old wax and contamination being cleaned out of the pores in the surface. Simply rinse the boat off or wipe this residue off with a clean damp cloth to remove it. This residue is normally seen only on the first application of BTS. With subsequent treatments the use of a soft cloth is all that's required to wipe the high gloss finish back into your gel coat. The synthetic sealants in BTS will outlast carnauba waxes 3:1 and will typically produce a brighter shine. BTS sealant protection will last 90 days and more, even in salt water.


Don't forget that BTS protection is just as effective on protecting the vinyl and plastics on your boat, tow vehicle, motor home and bike and works great on leather also. Mold and mildew staining on your seats and odor in storage areas of your boat will be a thing of the past with regular use. This combined with the ultra high UV screen and sealant properties in BTS keep your seats and canvas looking and feeling new for years.

BTS is the preferred protectant of the following boat manufacturers:


Legend Boats Logo


Phoenix Boats Logo