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We're excited to announce the launch of our NEW Fiberglass & Epoxy Boat Repair & Building section on iboats.com! See more details!

This new area was created specifically to meet the needs of those of you who participate in the iboats Boat Restoration, Building, and Hull Repair forum. To kick off the launch, we are giving away free product in every order over $100 as follows:

Spend $100-149: Get a free paint suit (Large only)
Spend $150-199: Get a free sandpaper finish pack & paint suit (Large only)
Spend $200-249: Get a free catalyst dispenser
Spend $250-299: Get a free Sufasolve hand wipes
Spend $300-349: Get a free Aqua Blue buffing compound (quart)
Spend $350-399: Get a free small tint kit
Spend $400+: Get a free Preval sprayer

To qualify for the free products, select any Fiberlay, Spectrum Fiberglass, System Three, or Gibco product.

Also, we have discounted our already low prices by another 5-15%. Stay tuned as we will be giving away 3 $100 iboats gift certificates from May to June to be used on the new fiberglass and epoxy products.

To view the new Fiberglass & Epoxy Boat Repair & Building, go to http://www.iboats.com/Boat-Paint-Repair-Maintenance-Gel-Coat-Cleaners-Carpet-Epoxy/dm/view_id.11
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Making Fiberglass shine again

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  • Making Fiberglass shine again

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

    Thanks!


  • #2
    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.

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    • #3
      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!!

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      • #4
        Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

        http://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/01.htm
        Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance

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        • #5
          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!

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          • #6
            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

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

              Heat gun and credit card scraper will remove stripes.
              The Lead Dog has the best view.

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              • #8
                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.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

                  hey big keepers,

                  are you all done at wilson tech?

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

                    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.

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      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
                      woosterken
                      '74 MFG gypsy
                      '95 F150 4X4

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

                        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

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

                          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.....

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                          • #14
                            Re: Making Fiberglass shine again

                            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

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              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.
                              sigpic "Spend a little money, save a lot of time"

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