Please note this thread has been inactive for 90 days. For the best results, please start a new thread.
Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Petty Officer 3rd Class
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    88

    Cool Making Fiberglass shine again

    Any good ideas on how to bring back the luster and shine of an older fiberglass boat?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    If it is gelcoat (and it most likely is) it can be wet sanded and polished back to a shine. A way to test is to get some Meguires Heavy Duty Oxidation Remover (from any marine supply store) and rub some on a spot. Push really hard and rub until all of the polish disappears. If the area is acceptably shiny, then a buffer and a lot of work will bring it back. The wet sanding just takes less time than trying to buff off all of the oxidation. Use 800 grit sandpaper and a rubber sanding block. Stay off of hard edges(the buffer will do these areas) and just use a bucket of water to keep the paper "cutting". Do the entire area with the sand paper then use the oxidation remover to buff out the scratches left by the sanding process. Good luck with your project.

  3. #3
    Seaman Apprentice
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    There are tons of methods used. Do a search and ye shall find. Me?
    I used 3M Super Duty compound, 7" polisher, maguire cut pad. Excellent results. Brought back a 1986 heavily oxidised blue gelcoat to near showroom. Like I said there are alot of opinions on this READ ON!!

  4. #4
    Lieutenant Commander
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida / west coast
    Posts
    1,819

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again


  5. #5
    Petty Officer 3rd Class
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Thanks for all of the great suggestions. Is it normal to do only the the upper half of the boat (above the water line), or, do you the underside as well? If so, how do you work around the trailer rollers?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Petty Officer 3rd Class
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    One more question, what about pin striping, some of mine is starting to come off. Is it better to remove it altogether. If so, what is the best way.

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Senior Chief Petty Officer Nova II 260's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    S.W Ohio
    Posts
    681

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Heat gun and credit card scraper will remove stripes.

  8. #8
    Petty Officer 1st Class Big Keepers's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    I just compounded my MFG for the first time in probably its life. I bought some 3M Restorer and wax for fiberglass gelcoat hulls. I used my friend's variable speed Dewalt wheel. Set for 1200 rpm with a compounding pad on it, I used two large bottles to do the entire boat. I did everything from the waterline/bottom paint and up. The sides, the top everything. I even did the inside by hand with a rag. Then I waxed it with 3M Scotchguard. It looks 1,000 times better. Next season I'll hit up the tops again with another compounding. It will improve the shine even more. The sides I may let be for a while. They came out really nice.

  9. #9
    Lieutenant reeldutch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    westhampton long island
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    hey big keepers,

    are you all done at wilson tech?

  10. #10
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bel Air/Rock Hall, MD
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Quote Originally Posted by rndcomp View Post
    One more question, what about pin striping, some of mine is starting to come off. Is it better to remove it altogether. If so, what is the best way.

    Thanks
    Rubber pinstripe wheel was recommended to me and I found the results extremely good.

  11. #11
    Lieutenant woosterken's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    wooster,ohio
    Posts
    1,410

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    check this out cheep and easy,by iboats very own Mark

    http://www.shareaproject.com/pages/p...t,p,27,00.html

    woosterken

  12. #12
    Lieutenant cbavier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Roscommon, MI
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Quote Originally Posted by rndcomp View Post
    One more question, what about pin striping, some of mine is starting to come off. Is it better to remove it altogether. If so, what is the best way.

    Thanks
    Be aware if you remove the pinstriping you will have a shadow where the stripiing was and it WILL NOT EVER POLISH OUT same with any decals , stickers or A Boat Name. There will always be a shadow.
    Chuck
    "OWN-IT II"
    1986 Four Winns Horizon 190
    1982 Aqua Patio
    50 Hp Two stroke

  13. #13
    Chief Petty Officer jserb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Grosse Ile michigan
    Posts
    406

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Quote Originally Posted by cbavier View Post
    Be aware if you remove the pinstriping you will have a shadow where the stripiing was and it WILL NOT EVER POLISH OUT same with any decals , stickers or A Boat Name. There will always be a shadow.
    Why cant you get these out>? I have on the side of my hull where the letters were you can see the difference, Why cant you uselike an 800 grit here and then step it up to a 1000 in this area and then buff it out? I dont see why a good buffing wouldnt take it out anyway. You thoughts?
    Its all done with mirrors.....

  14. #14
    Lieutenant cbavier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Roscommon, MI
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Quote Originally Posted by jserb View Post
    Why cant you get these out>? I have on the side of my hull where the letters were you can see the difference, Why cant you uselike an 800 grit here and then step it up to a 1000 in this area and then buff it out? I dont see why a good buffing wouldnt take it out anyway. You thoughts?
    Because when the boat is new and the decals are put on. The Fiberglass and Gel coat are new. Fiberglass fades and oxidizes from Sunlight and UV rays. When you sand or polish you actually remove some of the Gel Gloss/coat but you can never bring the fiberglass back to it's original state unless you take it all off and apply a new Gel coat. The shadow will always be there. I know some people think well it will age and fade with the sun and eventually blend in but that's not true because the parts where the stripes, Decals, Boat Letters, Boat Name, State Registration stickers were not, will also fade as well as the protected ares by the stickers. I have found the best process for restoration to be. Follow the manufactures instructions to the letter.

    1- An acid wash to rid the fiberglass of oxidation is necessary.
    2- If Oxidation is bad? You'll know it when you swipe your hand and you get oxidation on your hands or clothes. Use 3M Color/ Gloss restorer # 09089
    3- If oxidation is light use 3M 09009 wait two days and then wax again.
    4- If you use Use 3M Color/ Gloss restorer # 09089. After the boat sits for a couple days to harden. Then use a good Marine Wax before ever putting it in the water. Wax- Wax-Wax. Or you will be back in the same boat in a couple years. Pun Intended. A good rule is wax in the early Spring, Mid summer and late Summer. Then after twice a year Spring and Mid Summer.


    I've tried different products and have found these to work the best. I don't have time or the energy to try products that don't work.

    "Chuck's Fiberglass and Color Restore"

    With all that said and I know I'll get some repraisals. I just know what works.

    Use a Commercial Variable speed buffer starting slow and increasing your speed. The walmart waxer and Polisher won't last even half the boat.

    The Deadliest thing to Fiberglass is UV rays. The wax protects the fiberglass from the UV Rays. The hardest thing on a Fiberglass boat is sitting on a boat hoist all summer because it not only gets the rays from the sun directly but it also gets it bouncing off the water. So the boats on a hoist get a double wammy. If I were to keep a boat on a hoist I would cover the boat all the way to the water with a tarp. Maybe using milk jugs filled with water and tied to the grommets of the tarp.


    No I don't work for 3m

    Now you have just had a brief lesson in Fiberglass care and repair. Oh the 3m
    products probably can be bought at your local Marine Dealer but they are
    not cheap. So the decision to remove stripes and decals are up to you. As far as the Shadow though. You will just have to live with it.
    Chuck
    "OWN-IT II"
    1986 Four Winns Horizon 190
    1982 Aqua Patio
    50 Hp Two stroke

  15. #15
    Senior Chief Petty Officer boat1010's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    When I got my boat it was a mess. I wet sanded it with 400 grit then again with 1000. Buffed it with a variable speed buffer and Maguires buffing compound diamond cut. then a good marine wax. Looks great now. And they sell a pinstripe remover tool. It is a air grinder with what it looks like is a bug eraser. Really slick takes the pinstripe right off.
    "Spend a little money, save a lot of time"

  16. #16
    Cadet Love Boating's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    where can I find Mequires products at Because I to am looking to bring back shine to my Boat, plus removing all stickers and decals maybe replacing with new decals if I can find them.

  17. #17
    Lieutenant cbavier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Roscommon, MI
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Quote Originally Posted by Love Boating View Post
    where can I find Mequires products at Because I to am looking to bring back shine to my Boat, plus removing all stickers and decals maybe replacing with new decals if I can find them.
    Any Marine Dealer and some Auto parts store
    Chuck
    "OWN-IT II"
    1986 Four Winns Horizon 190
    1982 Aqua Patio
    50 Hp Two stroke

  18. #18
    Senior Chief Petty Officer boat1010's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Quote Originally Posted by Love Boating View Post
    where can I find Mequires products at Because I to am looking to bring back shine to my Boat, plus removing all stickers and decals maybe replacing with new decals if I can find them.
    I got mine at a auto painting place.
    "Spend a little money, save a lot of time"

  19. #19
    Lieutenant cbavier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Roscommon, MI
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Quote Originally Posted by Love Boating View Post
    where can I find Mequires products at Because I to am looking to bring back shine to my Boat, plus removing all stickers and decals maybe replacing with new decals if I can find them.
    MeGuires just makes wax and cleaning suppplies. If you have oxidation you need more than MeGuires
    Chuck
    "OWN-IT II"
    1986 Four Winns Horizon 190
    1982 Aqua Patio
    50 Hp Two stroke

  20. #20
    Cadet Love Boating's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Thanks for info sorry for spelling can anyone give me info on how to upload pics

  21. #21
    Cadet Love Boating's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    I am new to this forum and what products do I need to bring back shine so far I have boat soap and restorer and wax by 3m what else Do I need to get started any info would help thanks

  22. #22
    Moderator Bob_VT's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    West Rutland, Vermont, United States
    Posts
    24,364

    Default Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

    Gentlemen this thread is close to 2 years old! I think we can stop answering it. It should have never been dragged to the surface. Consider it locked.

    We can devote our efforts and brainpower to CURRENT restores.
    This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
    Please, shop iboats first!!


Similar Threads

  1. No shine. What should I use to restore it?
    By cclemon in forum Boat Topics and Questions (not engine topics)
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: July 12th, 2007, 08:33 AM
  2. lost it's Shine
    By kissmybass in forum Boat Restoration, Building, and Hull Repair
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: July 19th, 2005, 03:43 PM
  3. how to get the shine back
    By wayne smelser in forum Boat Topics and Questions (not engine topics)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: March 25th, 2003, 12:24 PM
  4. My new woody needs a shine.
    By dpropson in forum Boat Restoration, Building, and Hull Repair
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: December 11th, 2002, 03:52 PM
  5. Restoring the shine to fiberglass
    By Beached in forum Sailing
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: August 21st, 2002, 07:06 PM
  1. iboats Forum Directory - Over 100,000 forum posts organized by topic