Let’s discuss how to keep your Boats Gelcoat in top condition!
We’ve outlines some basics to both help you restore your Gelcoat, and maintain it to keep it looking better for longer.
What is Gelcoat?
Gelcoat is the coating sprayed up against a highly polished mould at the beginning of the fiberglass layup process, your boats “outer skin”. On new boats, this surface is very smooth, High Gloss Shine mirror-like and pleasing to the eye. As gelcoat ages, it becomes porous. The more porous it becomes, the more easily it stains, the worse it looks and the harder it is to clean. The good news is that almost all gelcoat can be restored, providing it is not completely worn through.
First Step – Clean Gelcoat
Our Gelcoat Cleaner & Restorer wash is a unique blend of advanced cleaning surfactants that will clean and restore your oxidised gelcoat.
Use this first as a pre-wash, to remove all oxidization, mineral brown staining, Pollution, contamination, dirt and debris. Just wet and hose down all surfaces, apply diluted Gelcoat Cleaner evenly over the entire surface using a wash broom or wash sponge (some scrubbing action may be required).
Allow the cleaner to soak and penetrate the surface for approximately 5 minutes (do not allow it to dry in hot sun), and then thoroughly rinse and clean all surfaces.
Second Step – Cut & Polish
While our Gelcoat Celaner does remove oxidation and will enhance the gloss shine, its doesn’t bring back the shine completely. For that, you need to follow up with a marine cut & polish such as our SupACut Fast Medium Cut & Polish, or ExtraACut Heavy Cut and polish.
CleanAWORX SUPACUT is a blend of Fast Medium Cut and polish Aluminium oxides and will provide a natural high gloss surface shine.
Once you have a clean dry restored surface you can begin the polishing process. Use by hand rubbing or a Variable Speed polishing machine.
For Hand Polishing – Apply SupACut onto soft clean dry polishing cloth, in a circular horizontal motion with downward pressure. Rub the surface hard and evenly (be sure to create an even thorough surface coverage). Leave it to dry for approximately 2-3 minutes, and then using a second clean dry soft polishing cloth, polish the surface up to a high gloss shine.
For Machine Polishing – Apply SupACut evenly on to the surface, using a variable speed polishing machine fitted with a Wool buffing pad or a Foam buffing pad. Machine polish the gelcoat up to a high gloss shine.
Third Step – Seal it
Today’s top marine waxes protect gelcoat finishes and create a barrier between the finish and contaminants. Our CleanAWORX SupASeal-It is a liquid long life sealer polish which provides a high gloss shine protection and adds UV protection to help prevent the sun from dulling gelcoat.
For Hand Polishing – Apply SupASeal-IT onto soft clean DAMP polishing cloth or foam applicator pad, in a circular horizontal motion with downward pressure. Rub the surface hard and evenly (be sure to create an even thorough surface coverage). Leave it to dry to a haze for approximately 2-3 minutes, and then using a second clean dry soft polishing cloth, polish the surface up to a high gloss shine. ( repeat as necessary, Use Soft polishing cloths – microfibre)
For Machine Polishing – Apply SupASeal-IT evenly on to clean dry restored surface using a RANDOM ORBITAL polishing machine fitted with a soft foam finishing pad (black). Keep SupASeal-IT wet on the surface during machine operation, Massage SupASeal-IT deep into the gelcoat. Leave to dry to a haze for approximately 2-3 minutes, then polish off to a high gloss shine.( polish off using soft clean microfibre cloths)
Four Step – Maintain
Applying a coat of quality marine wax three or four times a year will help keep the gelcoat looking good and if your boat is kept outside this is especially important to protect it from sun damage.
Between applications of wax, we recommend using our CleanAWORX Wash & Wax Boaties Premium Gold, and use the SupaACut for additional surface conditioning as needed.
This process can be done by a professional boat details or can follow the steps and do it yourself. It will take some elbow grease and old fashion TLC, but if you follow this maintenance program you’ll have a Gel Coat that looks great and is easier to maintain.
Happy Boating 🙂