Wet sanding oxidized gelcoat

ktm300ktm300 Posts: 453 Solid Baller
edited April 2012 in Boat Talk
I have a boat that has been faded out by the sun. Was going to have it wet sanded but, the guy was nice enough to tell me that it would not last. He said he could make it look shiny like brand new but that the fade would return within a year. When I asked how that could be so given that he is removing material permanently, he just smiled and said it is a mystery but, nonetheless, true. Is he correct? Thanks.


  • WishWish Posts: 8,547 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'd get a second opinion. And a third. Also depends on where it sits during sunlight hours. I had mine done more than 8 months ago by a pro that does nothing but boats. It's in the shade and is whipped down after use. I also occasionally use Turtle Wax Dry and Wax. Spray on while boat is wet (water beads as soon as product hits boat) and whipe down. I truly don't anticipate calling him back for 2 yrs. He told me as long as I'm doing what I'm doing, it will be longer.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    There is a chemical reaction that keeps on going, so he is right. If you use a good wax with UV inhibitor, it stays dark a lot longer. Red is the worst, blue the second worst for fading. Waxing every few weeks during the summer will keep it good for many years, but it is maintenance intensive. I use Nu-Finish and it works extremely well. For after skiing wipe downs, I use 303 (it does leave a little streaking on dark colors), based upon another skier who has an '80's MC whose gel coat still looks new.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • scuppersscuppers Posts: 572 Crazy Baller
    @ktm300 The guy is correct!
    Chuck Link, Deland Florida
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Solid Baller
    I detail cars and boats on the side. If you are looking to restore your boat use Meguairs Heavy OXidation Remover until the color comes back, then use the Mequiars One Step Cleaner Wax right away. If you can do this while your boat in in a garage it will keep the oxidation from coming back until you get the cleaner wax on. Both are marine waxes. I had 1 boat I ended up doing 2 coats of heavy oxidation remover and 2 coats of cleaner wax. After that, keep waxing the boat monthly with the one step Cleaner wax. Nu Finish is good, but wait on that until the fading stops. 3M makes a paste wax that is good as a top off coat. Nu Finish is good, but since it is automotive the protection will not last as long. I use it when I wax my boat trailer. Wetsanding is a last resort only if my suggestions don't work. Top off with 3M Ultra performance Paste Wax. It protects better than anything.

    3M makes a restorer and wax, it works great, but harder to work with than meguiars.

    Step 1 Meguiars Oxidation remover
    Step 2 Oxidation remover or 3M restorer and wax
    Step 3 Meguiars Cleaner Wax
    Step 4 3M Ultra Performance Paste Wax

    Mequiar's cleaner wax monthly after that. Gelcoat is always hungry for wax. I had a 1993 Ski Nautique that I detailed for a customer in 2008 in Ohio. It had never been waxed. I brought it back to 95% looking new..
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • jefflymanjefflyman Posts: 111 Baller
    with 30 year of experience, everyone is right with one exception. Wax is the killer. This is how a Dupont chemist explained it years ago. First most if not all waxes are a form of oil. If you put oil in your body and set in the sun for days what happens? You burn! Over waxing increase the suns uv rays to burn the pigment out of the gel coat color or even paint. I was told waxing is good for helping the dirt wash off period. Spray furniture polish all over the boat its almost the same stuff. Heavy buffing to get the oxidized gel off then keep it covered. Now clear coat on cars looks great for a long time because of the UV protectint in it, gel doesnt have that.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,547 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    The pro I had do mine, (which wasn't bad) and my buddies yellow Gekko (which was really bad) used bars. Looked like big long soap bars. He called them by their color. White bar, brown bar. He would trigger his high speed buffer and set the bar on the pad and basically filled the buffer pad with bar residue. Then worked small sections with the buffer. Really couldn't tell you which bar was first second or how many there were, but this was literally a 4-6 hour process of many steps on the boat. He completely covered every square inch of the boats interior and trailor with plastic as this stuff flew everywhere. Looked like it snowed around the boat. Buddies boat got the same treatment. The before and after on his boat was stunning. If you can find someone who knows what they are doing and uses the bars, hire them. Not cheap but so worth it. 8 months later and his and mine are still stunning.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • buechsrbuechsr Posts: 194 Baller
    In my experience waxing greatly prolongs the color of gel, not the other way around.

    I recently used a product called Colonel Brassy which is EXTREMELY abrasive. So much that you can feel the grit rubbing it in your fingers. It worked pretty well, then followed up with a 3m rubbing compound then 3m finesse it polishing compound then cleaner then wax. Results were good. Collinite's marine wax is the best finish wax I've come across though it is hard to find.
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Solid Baller
    I was able to go 3 months without waxing after I topped it off with the 3M Ultra Performance paste wax.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • jefflymanjefflyman Posts: 111 Baller
    Wax...on Wax.....off Wax....on Wax....off and keep those detail and body shops busy beavers, we love the business!
  • wski1831wski1831 Posts: 171 Baller
    It was explained to me like jefflyman said, the oil gets washed out with the water. One of the better fiberglass repair shops highly recommended 3m products. He said they were a chemical process not just filling with oil. I bought a Porter Cable buffer and a couple different pads and use either 3m color/gloss restorer and or 3m perfect-it rubbing compound once a year. I've had good luck with it.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 6,113 Mega Baller
    Regular wax for 21 years, the occasional cleaner wax to buff out a tiny nick, she looks like new.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • bajabaja Posts: 251 Baller
    5 minutes every month with Pledge furniture spray keeps everything slick and spot free. May not be the best compared to pro wax job, but it's fast and easy to add to the boat wipe down routine.
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,566 Mega Baller
    I use Nu Finish. Not a wax. Developed for aerospace. 02 SN still looks show room new. Has a deep clear shine!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
Sign In or Register to comment.