303 vs Armorall

Someone did a test on PFDs
They 303’ed one half of the back and left the other half untreated, took photos before and after. There was a remarkable difference in fading between the two halves in the “after” photo.

I don’t use either on my kayaks, except for the rubber hatch lids. My negative experiences with Armor-All drying out rubber and vinyl was on automotive dashboards. 303 does not dry them out.

Foil slick
in my wake? I think night paddling is the answer.

I find Armorall leaves a sticky film
in the car. I started using 303 and don’t get the dust build-up I did with Armorall.

The not being water proof is stupid
No one is looking for water proofing, that’s the job of the boat surface. 303 washes off from use and I suspect at the same rate as Armor All and the rest.

Anyone who claims a ‘slick’ in the H2o
has not followed the instructions, and has apparently lathered their hull in the stuff! Have used 303 for years, per their instructions, and have NEVER seen any ‘slick’ coming off my boats! It doesn’t take much and I guess it takes a certain amount of trust, apparently lacking in the nay sayers, who infer that if you can’t see it… it can’t be doing anything, so they lather it on and get a ‘slick’. Kinda like sun screen on your arms, you can’t see it once it’s rubbed in, but I’m gonna believe it’s doing it’s job. My skincoat kevlar hulls have spent some 15 years baking on my car in S. Illinois sun, and still look newer, and lighter color, than customers who haven’t used it on like hulls only a couple years old. I still remember rubbing down my windsurfing sails years ago the day I got 'em, and they never showed as much sun fade compaired to friends untreated sails, with as much usage. I gotta believe anyone claiming it washes off and leaves a ‘slick’, has as I mentioned above put way too much of the stuff on. IF you buff it in as recommended, it will be dry to the touch, and leave absolutely no ‘slick’. If you wanna know how it works, give the folks at 303 a call. I’ve spoken with them concerning it’s use on my sails years ago, and currently on my kevlar skincoat canoes. You will get a lot of information, if you care to actually learn something about how the product works, and more importantly…its proper application and usage. For the record I’ve used Mcnetts product also, with equal results.

Application as per instructions
with a 10" suare piece of a washed, old cotton terry towel not quite saturated with 303 on a 15 yr. old RX canoe. Have never slathered the stuff on, as I am a ‘frugal Yankee’(tightwad) and the stuff’s not cheap. Buffed off, with the dry, clean remainder of said towel, as much as my 6’,220# frame is capable of while applying moderate to heavy pressure. No discernable ‘greasy’ feel, but lo, there’s that irridescent ribbon reflecting off the surface surrounding my boat! Perhaps the slightly chalked vinyl is holding onto more ‘protectant’ than your skincoat? Also, it seems, after only an hour or two of lilydipping, the wetted surface seems as dull and dry as before application. I’m glad that you’ve had good results with these products, Rick. I,however, remain skeptical and for goodness’ sake, man, GET SOME SLEEP!

what about the OTHER non-armorall UV protectants, some are silicon based. Like I said I think 303, washes off too fast, and its too expensive, and its hard to find.

It is a UV inhibitor (sunscreen!), not a ‘shine’ product. It is not intended to leave a ‘shine’, and is akin to an application of sunscreen on your body, which I’ve never seen leave any visible sign it’s on my skin. I usually apply 303 and after buffing it in, with consecutively (I’ve never been able to use just one rag to buff dry) new clean and dry rags, it has no ‘shine’ and leaves no ‘slick’ when in the H2o. I might add the hull always sits at least 24 hours before it sees the H2o again. IF a ‘shine’ is what you are using it for, you will probably see no results. And that goes the same for royalex. The ONLY time I’ve ever seen 303 leave a ‘shine’ was on a badly faded Bell royalex hull I recently sold to a customer, He on the other hand had applied a LOT of 303 to his faded hull and let it sit a spell, and used a power car wax buffer for over 2 hours to buff the surface. Frankly, I was shocked, as the hull looked new/unfaded after that, and felt as if I’d given the boat away! His results/method of application were out of the ordinary but did leave an ‘as new’ appearance to his royalex hull. I would again recommend giving the folks at 303 a call, and ask about the results you are getting. They have always been more than happy to talk to me whenever I’ve called.

303 is a snake oil pollutant
303 is a pollutant and should not be used on boats. The company fails to offer any proof that it works to protect boats from UV.

Will you back up your claims this time?
You never did the last time. If your claims are true, you should have some proof of it.

I don’t know much…
but I know one thing, back in '92 I used Armorall

on my vinyl jeep top, and it ate some holes in the top. For that reason alone, I won’t use it on my vinyl skinned boat. I don’t know that 303 works any better, but it’s never seemed to have caused any damage to anything I’ve used it on.


From the OT FAQ Section
This came from the Old Town website in their FAQ section. I didn’t see a previous reference.

HULL EXTERIOR: Wash with mild soap and water. You can also use Murphy’s Oil Soap. To beautify, we suggest a vinyl protectant product such as Armor All®, 303 Products or Pledge. These are safe for use on any of our PolyLink3™, Oltonar/Royalex®, CrossLink, SuperLink3™ and Fiberglass canoes or kayaks.

If it’s really
that finicky to apply properly, then I’m not interested. C’mon, Rick. I’d rather lick my hull clean than spend that much time on a boat that’s already more than halfway through its’ life anyway!

Your right…
rubbing it with more than one cloth till it’s dry (10-20 minute job) and letting it sit overnight is way too finicky and probably not worth it as far as protecting my hull. I’ll stop this senseless procedure along with the truely finicky act of rubbing my wood gunwhales down with oil for maybe 30 minutes a year also. Both hulls are 15+ years old anyway, senseless to protect and keep 'em looking new any longer.

303 is safe for Jeep tops
I used it on both the softtop and the hardtop when I had a Jeep.

I hate Armor-All. Ever notice that it does nasty things to your hands, too?

“Spray on. Wipe dry.
Apply every 3-5 weeks for maximum UV protection.” That’s the extent of instructions on my bottle of 303. I’ve spent way more than a half hour trying to rub off as much of the sparing amount that I applied, let it sit for a couple of days, tied it to the roof of my car, driven 5 hours, camped overnight, and still witnessed residue sheen in the water. I understand that 303 is not advertised as a restorative product, but one that retards cumulative damage from exposure. I’m not saying that I know it doesn’t work. It seems like you’ve got some time and effort invested in this product and that you believe that it’s worth it. I hear ya, Stick, but with nothing other than anecdotal evidence to the contrary, I’m going with my own experience. Paddle in peace, brother.

Don’t use regular Armor All. It’s not good for the boat. However, Armor All makes a special Kayak Restorer and Protector that is ideal, especially for inflatables. It’s only around $11.00 a bottle on Amazon, and it is all I use on my Sevylor Rio and Advanced Elements Convertible. Both are over 10 years old and still look like new, despite probably over 100 fishing trips on lakes and rivers (and once through the Everglades…).

To each his or hers own, but for us it has been Armorall on the plastic boats and 303 on the composite canoes and kayaks.
Two of the plastic yaks are now 30 years old
We use 393 on the vehicle dash boards

What do you use on you? Must be good stuff! B)

I have used Armor-all on plastic boats and composite boats. I have used 303 on both as well. I have not observed any adverse effects from using Armor-all on either plastic boats, vinyl clad Royalex boats, or composite boats.