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Gell Coat ???

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I looked at a glass boat today and if everything goes well tomarrow with the mechanical testing and what not it may find a new home in my driveway. But this 25 year old boat was a boat lift dolly and has some bad UV damage to the gell goat. In some spots it is a little rough to the touch.

Now I have been a "tin can" boat guy for my entire adult life, but when I was a kid, my dad had a glass boat. I seem to remember him buffing the rough spots with turtle wax and a buffer pad on the drill. Is that an option? Or would it take more work and a re-gell? I am just looking for a little shine, and some protection.

Any Ideas?

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I have a 20 year old fiberglass fish & ski boat the last couple of years the hull was getting oxidised (turning from gloosy gray to a dull white) and the upper part had a gritty feel to it.

I found a product at Gander called 3M MARINE RESTORER & WAX

It recommended using a buffer but I used elbow grease and a cotton sock.

When I was done oxidation was gone and gritty feel was gone. Incredibly the boat looked as knew except for the deep scratches. I beleive it was $12 for 17 ounces.

Later I'm going back with the buffer but for now I'm fishing.

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Re-gelling is a HUGE job. Thousands of dollars. But that gelcoat is about a 1/4 inch thick. We haven't had a boat yet that we weren't able to resurrect. The extent of the damage will dictate how aggressive you'll need to get. The way you described it, it'll need alot more than turtle wax, but it's salvageable nonetheless. You'll need some 3m marine gelcoat rubbing compound. Try this first and if it does the trick then you're good to go. If not, then you'll have to break out the sandpaper. We've had to go as coarse as 320. Work your way backward though, cuz you don't want to go coarser than you have to. Then work your way back up, doubling the grit size with each step. Then finish it off with the compound and finally, your dad's turtle wax. The results will amaze you.

Good luck

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My boat has the same roughness, but it is metalflake. can I sand this?

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO....NO. I worked a warrior boats in maple lake mn. For 1 year (i got laid off) and i was working with gel coat. if you have not done any gel coat reapair with metal flake dont touch it. the most you can do is take 800 grit or finer and lighty sand it smooth with a spounge (no with your fingers because you will have a low spot with your fingers). then take a buffer and a heavy compound like 3m extra cut compound (around $30 a bottel). then buff the gel with a wool pad. then take a foam pad with swril remover and that will take out the finer scearches. if once you go thin in metal flake you screwed you going to have to live with it your get it repaired. The best you can do to shine your gel coat is buff with swril remover and and wax your boat. just ask if you have questions.

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Well, since I am the type of guy that can't leave anything alone and have a hard time being told that things cant be done....... I went with doing it wrong, and wouldn't you know IT WORKED!!!!!

I ended up buying the boat in question and after using it for a while, thinking about my options, and doing the research on redoing the gel coat I made a decision. Why put $3,000 into a new gel coat when I only spent $1500 on the boat? The gel coat was already trashed, (smooth like 80 grit sand paper eek ) so what did I have to loose right?

So I Spar Varnished it. 5 coats right over the metal flake until there was enough build up to begin sanding without harming the flake. Then I sanded with 600 wet sand between coats for 5 more coats. After the final coat, I buffed it with a buffer and some lemon pledge and the final finish is like glass. It is a mirror smooth finish. Not only that, but it has put the sparkle and the depth back into the finish. I am very happy with the result. So far it has held up to several days in the water, including a 12 hour day, without any clouding of the finish at all. The big test will be how it winters, but worse case I put on another coat in the spring.

The guy who lives across the street works for the boat industry and thought I was nuts at first, but now that it is done, he can find nothing wrong with the way I did it, or the way it has held up.

Not figuring for my time, about 20 - 30 hours or so, total cost was less than $250.00. Can't beat that.....

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