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 Restoring the finish
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1st Mate

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98 Posts

Initially Posted - 05/22/2017 :  17:27:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking for fiberglass care tips. I work by hand, not having an orbital or other power polisher, and until now did not have dock power.

Over nearly 15 years , I've polished the topsides a few times, but the gelcoat doesn't quite have that shine. I wash, then remove oxidation with liquid rubbing compound, finishing with polish with PETF. On occasion I've applied an "aerospace protectant " for UV protection before the polish, but can't tell over time if it's made a difference. (This last on the advice of a friendly salesman at West Marine.)

Also, are there any good products for removing that nasty grey mold, and inhibiting its growth?

Does anyone have favorite products or techniques? Especially if they make the job less strenuous, as all the elbow grease gets tiring!

Fred Johnson
250 WK #669

1st Mate

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74 Posts

Response Posted - 05/22/2017 :  17:46:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been doing hull work this Spring before I launched. Rick Swathmore gave me a link to a link that is exhaustive, figuratively and literally...

Kevin J. Kiely
Rockport, MA
Hull # 407
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WK 727

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13 Posts

Response Posted - 05/23/2017 :  18:44:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My favorite products are the Meguiar's 49 heavy duty oxidation remover followed by the Meguiar's 50 cleaner wax. Using the Ryobi 10" buffing wheel, I buffed it three times with the 49 compound followed by one coat of the 50 wax. The ryobi is not that powerful (or expensive) which turns out to be a very nice solution of not over-grinding the compound into the surface (but I had to apply is multiple times). The finished surface looks great considering that the boat had not been maintained for 4 or 5 years and the surface showed it.

For general cleaning and mold removal, it is hard to compete with Star Brite Non-skid deck cleaner with PTEF.
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Master Marine Consultant

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3984 Posts

Response Posted - 05/23/2017 :  20:45:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You gotta be really dead honest with yourself on the state of the gelcoat. Is it still salvageable or has it seen better days?
If the former, then by all means, clean, scrape, remove oxidation and use a mildly acidic cleaner - oxalic acid or ketchup, add vinegar. Bartenders Friend is good too. Then wax, polish - just like the Karate Kid - wax on, wax off. A buffer is a time saver. The harder the wax, the better.
If the latter, there's no need to worry. Acrylic is the answer! Better living through chemistry! Use Poli-Prep to clean your boat. Then scrub the crap and sand (220) off the really hard stuff. Smooth with 000 steel wool, clean with Acetone.
Get rid of every stain, clean up the streaks and remove the oxidation. Then coat the boat with light swipes of Poli-Glow. Don't lay it on too thickly or else you'll get streaks. 5-10 thin coats are better than 5 thick ones.
Good luck on that.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain Stratford & Milford, CT
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Jack Schafer

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107 Posts

Response Posted - 06/01/2017 :  21:29:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have used POLY GLO on my hull. It is easy to apply lasts for years. first time I used it lasted 7 years with only washing down and applying two coats each year. Last year I removed all the finish with the poly glo stripper and applied 7 coats of Poly Glo. Job completed in two 4 hour shifts by myself. Check it out and follow the directions. no buffing or polishing. Get the kit of stripper, cleaner, and finish.

Jack Schafer, 250WB #106, "2nd Wind", sailing & racing Lake Geneva,WI

2nd Wind
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