Written by: Alpha Waterfront Services
If you have a boat with gel coat that is oxidized, scratched, faded, or just looking a little warn, don't fret, it can almost certainly be brought back to life! If you simply want to protect your gel coat without restoring it first, you can skip right to step three, but if you want to restore that perfect finish before you protect your boat, read the whole article!
Before You Begin!
Before starting any gel coat work, make sure your boat is well washed and stripped of any previous wax or coatings. Next, you'll want to take a good look around your boat and inspect the gel coat. If the boat has a chalky look or feel, that is oxidation.
Exactly where and how you start the process depends on the condition of your particular boat, but in general, here is the order of how the gel coat work should go...
1. Wet Sand & Or Buff
Unless you boat is severally oxidized or faded, you can likely skip the sanding step. Buffing can be done with foam or wool pads on a rotary buffer, and uses a compound to cut through oxidation. There are many different compounds and pads out there so make sure you get ones that fit your needs!
After cutting through oxidation with by buffing, you'll want to switch to a polish (and a dual action or forced rotation polisher if you have one) to work away at any scratches. You'll need to use a polishing foam pad or microfiber pad for this step. Keep in mind, you may have to buff or polish multiple times to get the desired results!
3. Protect Your Gel Coat
Nowadays, there are many options out there for protecting your gel coat. Ceramic coatings are a fantastic option but are expensive and can require training to install. Traditional carnauba waxes are still available, but consider using a polymer sealant for a longer, more protective finish. Polymer sealants can be applied by hand or with a machine, and will leave with a beautiful result!
If you have any questions about the contents of this article, feel free to reach out! We'd be happy to chat and help you through the process! Or, if you're in the Lake Winnipesaukee, NH area, and need your boat detailed, book with us today!
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