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Old 04-20-2018, 01:00 PM   #1
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Fiberglass

When we purchased our boat, it had oxidation and we have tried several products but it hasnít worked to make her shine again.
Suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 04-20-2018, 01:07 PM   #2
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look up winty on YouTube he has a video doing his .I'm going to try it at some point.
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Old 04-20-2018, 01:16 PM   #3
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You may find, as I did, that Awlgrip or equal is the only solution. Depends on how advanced the deterioration is. My 1976 gelcoat was just done.
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Old 04-20-2018, 01:19 PM   #4
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Mine was quite dull, it took a total buffing with 3M heavy oxidation compound and then another buff with 3M Finess It polishing compound with wax. Once the gel coat is too far gone painting it will probably be your only option.

Buffing by hand isn't an option that will work. Wax over the finished surface (which restored the original color and shine) and plan on repeating the Finess It about every two years and waxing to maintain the finish.

That's my story... There are other threads on this topic here on the Forum.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:30 PM   #5
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I’ve seen companies in Florida wet sand with 400 grit and go finer, then polish and wax. Lasts a lot longer. But gelcoat needs to be thick enough for this treatment.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:42 PM   #6
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Fisheries Supplies carries a product called Sea Solve
First time I used it the water turned white from all the oxidation run off
Took about 3 washes to get it 100% . Worked for me
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:52 PM   #7
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Whatever you do, don't use any silicone based products. If later you decide to paint, silicone is incompatible with marine paint.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:49 PM   #8
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If you canít buff and wax it back the way you want it, there is an option other than paint. Wrap it in vinyl. You can do it in a solid color or put some fancy graphics on it. Iím starting to see a lot of this on sport fish boats.

About ten years ago I had a wrap put on my building. It lasted about five years before it started to peal off the concrete in places. A magazine article I just read says you can expect about seven years on gel coat. https://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/m...420_pmy_weekly
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
If you canít buff and wax it back the way you want it, there is an option other than paint. Wrap it in vinyl. You can do it in a solid color or put some fancy graphics on it. Iím starting to see a lot of this on sport fish boats.

About ten years ago I had a wrap put on my building. It lasted about five years before it started to peal off the concrete in places. A magazine article I just read says you can expect about seven years on gel coat. https://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/m...420_pmy_weekly
Great option for the areas that do not get wear we have at least 5 boats on our dock that got a partial wrap it looks amazing. The areas that are going to rub fenders etc do not work but such a great look for a fraction of the cost .

On the sanding option you can try a small area I have seen the best results wet sanded with a higher grit then the mentioned 400. We bought another 2 years on our gel coat
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:19 PM   #10
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Don't bother with wax or polish. You can buff it with Finesse-It, but it won't last. What happens with quick jobs and any product that promises easy and quick results is that the micro cracks and rough surface (micro- in that it's not visible to the naked eye- that's what makes the surface dull) are filled in with the polish, giving you a shiny reflective surface. You're ecstatic for a while, then the oxidation of the stuff that filled all the micro cracks starts to break down the surface and all of a sudden in 2 months it looks terrible again. So you blame the product you used or the one who applied it.

Truth be told, there's no shortcut to glossy gelcoat. Even awlgrip requires substantial preparation, and it's expensive. If the gelcoat is oxidized, the only lasting solution other than a new surface (paint), is to re-surface the gelcoat. You must make the surface as smooth as you can. The more micro-cracks and crazing on the surface, the more surface area that's exposed to the sun, and the faster it will oxidize. So removing the micro cracks (oxidation) is the only way to achieve a lasting glossy surface. The more perfect the surface, the longer it will stay that way.

Depending on the degree of oxidation, the only solution might be to sand. A badly oxidized surface might need to start with 400, then progressively finer, then gelcoat compound (I'm using Presta) with a cutting pad, and for a real fine finish, wrap up with glazing compound (finesse-it) or other glazing compound with an appropriate buffing pad. My 19 yr old hull is to the point that I must use gelcoat compound and a cutting wheel first, or it won't last more than 3 months. With the Presta, following with Finesse-it, it will stay shiny for nearly a year. But man, it's a LOT of work, and it doesn't last much more than a year, no matter what marketing you're listening to!!

I've had good success with Permanon, but it won't last without compounding and polishing first. I've also had success in applying wax over the Permanon. If you start with a highly polished surface, it lasts nearly a year, and it can be re-applied mid-cycle with just a strong cleaning and skipping the compounding. Not inexpensive, but easy to use and it does work as advertised.

Results are directly proportional to the amount of effort expended. Getting gelcoat to shine like new is A LOT of work. Not everyone places a high priority on that sort of thing, so it's up to the individual to determine how much effort (or ca$h!) they're willing to expend to achieve those results!
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:05 AM   #11
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Here's a link to a BoatWorksToday YouTube video showing the care & feeding of gelcoat and the products he used on both dark & light colored gelcoat. Maybe something to try before biting the mega-boat-buck paint process.

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