View Full Version : Can my boats gel coat be restored

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07-19-2016, 08:11 PM
My boat has been sitting for 5 years in the open weather and has built up the oxidation/faded look as seen in the photo. Tomorrow I'm going to paint correction to the hull.

What grit sand paper for wet sanding should I use I was thinking 1200 grit?

I'm going to use my Mikita rotary with a wool pad and Meg's marine compound to remove the wet sand scratches.

Follow up with polishing with my mt300 6" black thin foam pad

And wax with PC using a black hex waxing pad.

Will this work I haven't choosing my polish or wax to use yet I was thinking HD speed but idk if I should test that on a boat or not.

07-19-2016, 08:15 PM
Hate to rain on your parade,but that thing is toast.maybe some poly wipe.

07-19-2016, 08:17 PM
Hate to rain on your parade,but that thing is toast.maybe some poly wipe.

You don't think wet sanding the gel coat then compounding will remove the oxidation? I don't have much experience on boats I try to stay away from them but I would like to see what happens

07-19-2016, 08:22 PM
You can do what ever you want to it,work on it till 2018 it will fade right back.I don't think it's worth your time.

07-19-2016, 08:24 PM
So basically your saying yea it will look good but once it touches the water again it's going to build all the oxidation right back up

07-19-2016, 08:37 PM
Correct I'm greedy,but I would walk from that if you called me.Try some poly that is used on floors.wipe it on instant shine that will last maybe a year.

07-19-2016, 08:40 PM
I've seen it applied to rv surfaces.How much could that cost to repaint maybe 1500?

07-20-2016, 09:51 AM
I am not sure why a gel coat cant be revived. Its not like paint on a car. Before you get deep into sanding, start off with maybe a heavy compound and see how that does. A friend of mine restored the gel coat of a boat with just a compound, and his boat looks like brand new. If you keep protection on it, whatever restoration you do should hold up.

I suppose its possible the pigment in the color may have faded, or it just could be the top layer of oxidation. I would definitely try to restore it.

07-20-2016, 10:12 AM
I would try a heavy cut compound first in a test spot .You may find wet sanding is not needed. If it works,whatever the end result is,if you don't put some type of wax or sealant on it regularly,it will keep oxidizing. A full boat cover would help a lot! Good luck!

07-20-2016, 12:02 PM
Do a search here on boat detailing as I know in the past it's been discussed. I don't do them but recall you'll need a rotary buffer and will pads. It's some hard work but I say go for it. It's your boat and sweat equity is inexpensive. If it works out it will be very rewarding.

07-20-2016, 04:25 PM

07-20-2016, 04:29 PM
I'm having problems with just the back part of the boat 1000 grit wet sand and compounded with rotary and still looks like this any suggestions?


07-20-2016, 04:47 PM
The gel coat may be too far gone.

You could try doing test a spot with 800 dry, 1000 wet, compound, polish.

I know of some who have gone to 400 dry and then worked their way up.

To remove the 1000 grit marks, you're going to need an aggressive compound than can remove 800 grit marks (there are some out there for boats), with rotary and wool pad.

If you don't have the aggressive compound then use 1500 or 2000 grit after the 1000 grit and work your way up until the sanding marks can be compounded out.

07-20-2016, 05:18 PM
Alright I just don't want to burn thro the gel coat with 600 it seems like a lot even 800 does... How will you know if you burnt thro it?

07-20-2016, 06:11 PM
Alright I just don't want to burn thro the gel coat with 600 it seems like a lot even 800 does... How will you know if you burnt thro it?

Gel coat is much thicker than the clear coat on a car and you will have much more to work with.

I know of some professional boat detailers who regularly start with 800 dry on very oxidized high end boats and sometimes go even lower.

You can always try a small section and see how it goes.

If you don't get an answer here you can check out the Marine 31 forum or join some boat detailer groups on FB (I'm a member of a couple of them) and post the same question.