Gel coat oxidation can be seen by the fading of color as well as the chalky feel that is on the surface. Oxidation which is caused by UV degradation of the gel coat is caused by several factors ranging from chemical exposure to environmental.
1. Surface Prep, Gel Coat Oxidation and Scratch Removal
To effectively remove oxidation and deep scratches the surface of your boat’s hull needs to be abraded starting with wet sanding in severe cases or more commonly by using a polishing compound. The use of marine grade formulas such as Crush Liquid Compound or Riptide Liquid Compound will quickly and effectively remove oxidation from the surface exposing fresh gel coat and fiberglass.
Selecting the appropriate pad for your dual action and rotary polisher is important for removing oxidation and scratches from gel coat and fiberglass surfaces. Wool cutting pads, along with the appropriate detailing product, will provide your most effective results.
We recommend that you work in areas no larger than 3’x3′. Overlap areas, wipe down with a microfiber cloth and keep your pads clean. We do not recommend that you overload pads with products. Plan on using several pads for each step in the process.
2. Gel Coat and Fiberglass Surface Polish and Cleaning
This freshly exposed gel coat needs to be polished with a light cutting product like Hang Ten Cleaner Wax. Applying wax to your fiberglass and gel coat surfaces improve gloss and remove any swirls left behind from the compounding stage. In order to preserve the freshly polished gel coat and impede UV degradation it is very important to protect the surface with a high quality gel coat and fiberglass sealant.
Each step in the gel coat and fiberglass restoration process requires the right pad. We recommend that you use a Green Foam Polishing Pad with your rotary or dual action polisher.
3. Gel Coat and Fiberglass Sealing
Big Kahuna Polymer Sealant offers great UV protection and seals the gel coat pores from water penetration and staining.
4. More Resources
Visit our Boat Detailing Education Center to watch videos on gel coat restoration, sealing your fiberglass and gel coat or cleaning your marine grade vinyl.