How to Restore Gelcoat on Your Boat the Right Way?


The reason behind the shiny and well-maintained boat is its gelcoat. It is a part of regular maintenance which needs to be done to restore the original grace of the vessel. With time, the coating becomes dull and scrapped off. It ruins the appearance of your boat and makes it look old.

Like cleaning, you cannot maintain the Gelcoat regularly, but it should be done once in two or three years. In the entire process of Gelcoat restoration, all the stains and scratches are removed, and polishing is done to regain its original shine. In the following write-up, you will learn the simple steps to do the Gelcoat restoration of your boat correctly.

Proper maintenance of your boat will make it look brand new and enhance its overall life. You must include the process even if you need to invest a little time and money. But make sure that the process needs to be done correctly by following simple steps.

1. Regular Cleaning


You must start the Gelcoat restoration process by cleaning your boat thoroughly. You require a soap solution along with warm water. It is better to prefer a soap solution that is commonly used to clean vessels due to its eco-friendly feature.

You must mix the solution with water and dip your mop to clean all the surfaces thoroughly. You need to clean every surface to remove dirt and debris. The cleaning process will take time, so you must have the patience to deal with it.

2. Check and Repair Cracks


When you thoroughly clean your boat, all the cracks and dents will be visible. It is necessary to check every crack and try to repair it. By using epoxy, you can easily repair minor hairline cracks. But if the cracks are deep, you need to contact a professional for classic boat restoration.

If you repair all the cracks when you observe them, you can enhance your vessel’s life for more years. The cracks will be easily visible only when all the dirt and debris are cleared from the surface. If you want to restore the gelcoat, you must repair all the repairs you observe.

3. Remove Stains and Damaged Fittings


Your boat may develop stubborn stains caused by seawater. You need to take a stain removal which should be of acid type. Before using the remover, protect your hands by wearing gloves. Once you apply the stain remover, you need to keep it for a few minutes and remove it later.

It will clear all stains, like rust, scratches, mold, etc. You must apply the coat of remover as much as you need to clear all the stains from your vessel. It is necessary to check all the damaged fittings that need to be removed or replaced. Ensure you remove all the damaged parts from the boat to prevent future faults or accidents.

4. Surface Polishing

Once you are done with the cleaning process and removing stains, you need to concentrate on surface polishing. You need to take a soft cloth and get a Gelcoat polish. This product is easily available in the market. The product you take in a soft cloth should not be too much in quantity. Take small sections of the boat and do polishing carefully.

The portion you select from the surface should not be more than 1 foot. On the gelcoat, you need to take the polish on the cloth and move it in a circular motion. It is necessary to rub until the surface looks shiny. When you are done with one small section, you need to switch to another surface and get it done correctly.

5. Wax Application


Before you start making the wax application, it is necessary to wear safety gear to protect your hands and eyes from harmful chemicals. You must wear goggles and gloves because chemicals in the wax can damage your skin and eyes.

It is essential to cover your mouth as well to avoid inhaling it. You need to take a small piece of foam or a soft cloth. Take boat wax in small quantities from the container. It is better to prefer marine wax for Gelcoat restoration.

You can use this product on your boat safely; hence, it is also waterproof. You can also prefer car wax if you do not have a specific product. If you are using your hand for wax application, then you can take a cloth, else use a foam pad for application with a buffer. Your preference depends on the size of the vessel.

If your boat size is small, then you can apply wax by hand in a circular motion. Make sure that you move your hand in a single direction. But if you own a large vessel, you must simplify your task using a buffer machine. You can attach a piece of foam and turn the device. It will move quickly in a circular mode and do your job without much effort.

When you apply the wax completely, keep your boat for some time till it dries. If you have applied too much wax, ensure to remove the excess. All the pits in the Gelcoat will automatically be filled, and it will look shiny. If your boat is still looking dull, you need to apply the wax again.

The Bottom Line

If you desire to do Gelcoat restoration of your boat correctly, you must follow all the mentioned steps. You can make your old vessel shiny by correcting the Gelcoat. The overall process is simple as it starts with regular cleaning. It is necessary to remove the stains and replace all the damaged parts.

Once the cleaning is done, you must complete the polishing and wax application. In the end, you will see better results. But if you do not get the desired results, you can reapply the wax and polish the surface. The entire process consumes a lot of time, and you must prepare yourself by keeping calm.