Fluid-Film on canoe/kayak hulls

I did a search before posting and found little on the topic.


I have used this product for many years for many different applications and it has worked well. I did some google searches and found some chatter in some of the sailboat and other boating forums of using it on boat hulls to bring back the colors and give the surface a slick finish.

It has many marine applications and has a lanolin base made from the waste product of cleaning/striping wool of the natural oils that are in it. So it is food processing safe and safe for every surface I have ever tried it on.

I don’t have any in stock right now so I ordered some and will give it a try on the OT poly hull this week. I will get some before and after photos.

I was wondering if any others have tried it and what their experiences with it were? :canoe:

I’ve never tried that, but it’s an interesting idea.

I’ve used 303 with very good results. I clean up the hull and then apply 303 and it helps keep it clean. 303 Marine Aerospace Protectant for Boat Surfaces | Gold Eagle Co

I have seen a lot written on 303 and it sounds like a great product. I have read where others use a 50/50 mix of linseed oil and mineral spirits, I’m assuming it is raw linseed oil and not boiled. Some talk about car wax and such also.

I like the idea of a green product seeing as how I’m placing it in waterways and from using it on the bottom sides of my cars and truck I see how the fluid-film resists water. I guess it is why sheep stay dry in the rain.

I will have to just give it a try and see how it does. I will start out with the old canoe and if it works give it a try on her kayak. :canoe:

Fluid film is mostly petroleum. Read the MSDS. There’s certainly lanolin in it, but non-toxic it ain’t!

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Fluid-Film by their product literature is claimed to be non-toxic and non-hazardous.

Under their FAQ they have the question, What effect does fluid film have on the environment? They claim:

FLUID FILM is classified as non-toxic and non-hazardous and contains less than one percent VOC content, helping to eliminate the use of ozone-depleting chemicals in the atmosphere. FLUID FILM contains no solvents, phenols, heavy metals, arsenic, pcb’s, pc’s, tcdd’s or other dioxin related substances. It is manufactured using an all natural lanolin base.”

I wouldn’t go as far as eating it, but it is approved for use on farm equipment that comes in contact with food sources.

I was basically saying I felt it could be safer than a mineral spirits mixture. I actually don’t know if it would work on a boat hull, the reason I was asking.

Used for rust proofing on vehicles. It does need to be reapplied in areas because it does wash off.

Raw linseed oil makes dirt and dust cling to it.

I’ve used it on vehicles and trailers as well and know that I would not want to be smelling it while paddling or touching it while handling the boat

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Hmmm, maybe just me but, I’m a bit suspicious of any product that feels it needs to boast it does not contain the nastiest of the nasty chemicals. “Honey, dinner time. And I didn’t put any arsenic in your meat loaf!”

On the other hand, for corrosion resistance for which this product is intended, I’ve been using Boeshield or CRC corrosion inhibitor. I’m guessing they have nastier chemicals than lanolin. For that it’s worth a look.

Fluid Film’s website didn’t mention anything about slathering it on boat hulls and pretty clearly targets it at inhibiting metal corrosion. I don’t see how that would make it a good choice to put on a boat hull but I’m no chemist. As far as bringing back color, I’d guess it merely and temporarily fills in the scratches with its shiny lanolin. Maybe it works but I’ve never run across anyone or any boat yard that uses it. The only exception is some try putting it on props and shafts but it seems it comes off in a short time.

I use 303 for a number of plastic things but, I use boat wax for the kayak.


Thanks for the input guys. That was what I was looking for.

I just googled “fluid film boat hull” and I won’t post a lot of links but a lot of people on boating forums are saying it is the same as Woody Wax. I never heard of woody wax but it also is a lanoline-based product and is quite pricey. They are saying it provides 2 months of protection on watercraft and that is my guess as well with fluid film. To apply it to a canoe hull would only take a couple minutes to mist the surface and polish it on.

Having used fluid film for many years on my cars and trucks people applying it to the underside and trying to get a years protection lay it on pretty heavy like spraying oil coatings. If I try it on the canoe now that I have read about how others are using it on fiberglass and aluminum boat hulls similar to woody wax I just plan to spray a thin film and polish it off with a cloth. I wouldn’t expect it to feel oily and if it does smell a little it isn’t a bad smell. Who knows maybe it will attract fish, I know guys that say WD40 does.


That definitely is weird that it keeps stuff from sticking to non-skid but isn’t slippery to walk on. Upon the recommendation of the guy who waxes my boat, I use Woody Wax boat soap. It does seem to help between waxing better than other boat soaps. And most important it smells piney fresh.

I read a few places people saying the same about it not being overly slippery. Quite a few using it on boat seats and the video shows him spraying the ships wheel with fluid film. If it was oily to the touch I would think that would be the last place you would advise using it.

When I do the bottom of my truck I take some precautions to keep it off me but I always end up with it on my hands and arms to some degree. I would actually say it feels pretty good on the skin and I have never had any adverse reaction to it.

It is an old canoe and worst case it will wear off in a couple months so I will give it a try. I store it at least during the summer months upside down on saw horses so unlike a cars bottom it wouldn’t take much to wipe it down from time to time if it looks like it has any benefit.

The Fluid Film MSDS states that the product is 40-80% refined petroleum oil, 1-25% liquified sweetened petroleum gases, and 1-25% calcium petroleum sulfonate (exact percentages not revealed because they’re a trade secret).

I don’t know what the legal definition of non-toxic is, but I would certainly hesitate to put Fluid Film on a boat hull for fear of contaminating the water.

at the MIL’s house that would be an endorsement.

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I’m unclear on why you would use this on a canoe or kayak — the marine applications cited for the product are all related to anti-corrosion treatment of shipboard metals.

For a poly hull, is the idea just to keep gunk off? That must be it, because I don’t see how it will provide any additional benefit.

Woody wax is not like fluid film. I use it on my boat deck and kayak. You need so little a can on a kayak would last year’s and years. I use 303 most of the time.

I just read the MSDS on 303 Aerospace Protectant and it comes with a hazard statement of causes serious eye irritation.

It looks like it is water based 75-100% and ethylene glycol 0-22% with some 0-15% secret stuff and then a handful of less than 1% other secret stuff. Some of them listed as eye irritants others showing a variety of toxicity concerns.

I have no idea if leaching into water is a big concern, but with a water based product one would think it also a possibility.

I looked but couldn’t find a MSDS on Woody Wax.

I did find some interesting commentary on the usefulness of MSDS on these products anymore as they have so many things listed as priority items or trade secrets they are hard to draw conclusions.

As to the comparison between Woody Wax and Fluid Film I can only comment it is widely talked about on power and sailing boat forums and the wide consensus is they are about the same and you use about the same amount. A can of fluid film would likely last years also if just doing a canoe hull.

All these products are used for cosmetic purposes along with adding UV protection and making clean up easier prevent staining etc. I have no idea if they will make the hull move easier thru water.

Understood about cleaning and UV protection. I can answer the last part, the answer is no, the coatings will not decrease drag.

I didn’t think it would or such a small percent it couldn’t be measured.

There is something to be said for appearance, for some it is more important than others. To be honest a poly canoe would likely last and perform the same length of time stored outside under a tree year round as being kept in climate controlled and waxed and cleaned after each use. The one might look a lot better and have better resale, but they both will get the job done.

Actually what i’m finding if when stored upside down if the hull is blocked in a few key spots before storing the hull keeps its shape much better and that IMO will help it move thru the water better, and that only takes a couple minutes to do as well. :canoe: