View Full Version : Restoring fiberglas boat finish gelcoat & metalflake?

09-17-2012, 07:08 PM
EDIT, my bad I didn't realize there was a whole section dedicated to marine detailing, if a moderator could move this for me. Sorry.

I recently purchased an extremely faded/oxidized '81 Vanguard Banshee speed boat, (Same as a Glastron GT150 which more might be familiar with) Not knowing alot about gelcoat, fiberglass, etc I tried the M105/M205 with decent results.
However still not the depth to the color that I know it has the potential to have. I did a little research and tried 3M Marine restorer & wax. It got rid of the majority of oxidation, but still didnt have much depth or gloss to the color, I was in a rush to take the boat out, so I cheated and used a tire dressing temporarily which I read is what some cheaters use & to be honest the depth of the paint looked amazingly deep and glossy, however its greasy, attracts dirt, hard to clean & like I said, temporary.
I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions for products/methods to bring it back to life, I am only a little nervouse cutting too hard into the metal flake as there was no cover over the bow for some years so part of it I know will remain faded and the odd flake was coming off when I was using the wool pad. Ill post a couple pictures

This is what it looked like before I touched it

After M105/205

After I cheated with with a plastic/vinyl dressing so I could get it out on the water, sure it looks good in the photo, but it was a greasy mess which I regret. If I could polish it to look this good I would be satisfied, hope I can get some recommendations on how to do this right.http://i46.tinypic.com/bj8zg2.jpg

09-18-2012, 07:38 AM
What machine are you using? DA, rotary, hand?

This will help to (hopefully) guide you.


Mike Phillips
09-18-2012, 08:41 AM
I'm sorry I don't have a lot of time to post this week to the forum but real quick, after you remove the oxidation the next thing you want to do is to start rubbing that gel-coat out with some #3 or #7 Meguiar's and get some of their polishing oils into it as that will bring out the full richness of color and also help stave off future oxidation.

See this article here, same kind of idea...

The Secret to Removing Oxidation and Restoring a Show Car Finish to Antique Single Stage Paints (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/how-articles/25304-secret-removing-oxidation-restoring-show-car-finish-antique-single-stage-paints.html)

Also, I used #7 on my Sanger Drag boat all the years I owned it as the Hugger Orange Gel-coat was borderline "Unstable".


The definition of Unstable is on page 37 of my how-to book or right here,

Page 37 - Paint Condition Categories (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/ask-expert-featuring-mike-phillips/51281-page-37-paint-condition-categories.html)


Mike Phillips
09-18-2012, 08:41 AM
Aso, very cool boat which makes this a very cool project.


Mike Phillips
09-18-2012, 08:43 AM
Also, be very careful about doing any aggressive cutting on large metallic flake finishes like you have here as you'll cut right into the flake itself.


02-04-2013, 10:20 PM
I'm a jerk for never following up or saying thank you, I guess I was too exited to get the boat out on the water & did just that, but thank you for the suggestions, after compounding to a certain point I realized if I went to far I was going to start taking metal flake off seeing as the boat was fairly neglected. So I got it quite presentable, A few friends were blown away with how the color came back to life, even though it still isn't up to my standards, as I hadn't had the time to do 100%, plus you can only put so much lipstick on a pig (in this case #7). Thank you for the tip on #7, it really seemed to 'nourish' the gel coat, it soaked it up like a dry sponge and left it with a much glossier finish than I had previously. I protected it with FK1000p & it held up for the remainder of the summer.


02-04-2013, 10:38 PM
looks awesome!!!