View Full Version : Gelcoat..?
08-07-2003, 10:21 PM
Is there a point to where you will no longer be able to remove oxidation from your gelcoat, and if there is, how do you know that you are at that point?
My boat has good color where one of the last owners had it's registration numbers (he had put it on the black in the middle, instead of the cream at the top of the hull) but the rest it fairly oxidized, marbly gray and black color instead of a glossy black. You can still see a good reflection after and normal coat of wax (carnuba w/teflon) though. You can also tell that he replaced the side decals as well because he was a little off with the placement of the new.
You can try Mequire's Boat Polish...Overton's carries it, I think. 3M also has some hand polishing products made specifically for boats, Walmart's carries them in the boating supplies section.
Try a spot with whatever hand polish you choose, and see if it removes the oxidation to your satisfaction. If that doesn't work, you could try using an electric polisher, but they must be used with caution. They can take off a lot very quickly.
I don't think that a one time polishing with an electric buffer and mild polishing compound would do the gelcoat any harm.
Once you get the oxidation off, use a carnuba based wax to protect the finish. ;)
08-10-2003, 04:57 PM
Walmart's carries some products in their boating section that may help, I've seen some 3M polishes there. Any mild polishing compound should remove the oxidation, if not by hand then with an electric buffer. The buffer should be used with caution, as it can remove a lot very quickly depending on how abrasive the compound is and how much pressure is applied to the surface. I don't think a one time polishing with a buffer would jeopordize the gelcoat, but try hand polishing first.
After you bring up the shine to your satisfaction, apply a coat of carnuba based wax to the finish, then go show off your boat! ;)
08-11-2003, 02:52 PM
sounds like it needs a good compounding or maybe even wet sanding if the oxidation is deeper. the gel coat is somewhere near as thick as a credit card so you've got lots to work with. you don't want to leave swirls and stuff but you'll need to get through the oxidized outer layer. compound doesn't wear through the gel coat (unless you get carried away), it loosens the outer imperfections so they can be wiped out. don't over do it, you'll see the surface start to clean up once you get the compound worked in.
i've used 3m heavy duty compound with an electric buffer, it did wonders. the walmart orbital buffers are junk, though, stay away. get a bunch of extra bonnets for the buffer and change them often. they get nasty quick and you don't want to wipe a dirty bonnet with rubbing compound on your beautiful boat.
if the compound doesn't do the trick, you may have to wet sand with something like 2000 grit paper and a running hose. then the compound, and either way you'll have to wax afterward. get a quality wax, everyone has a favorite, and don't put too much on. more thin coats are better than a few thick coats.
if you want to read tons of posts on oxidized boats, check out www.boatered.com and look for the detailing section. do a search, some of them even post part #'s.
enjoy your workout....take pics for us to see the results
08-11-2003, 02:55 PM
a lack of uv exposure has kept the gel coat under the decals like-new, it's very unlikely you'll be able to get the rest of the boat to match.
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