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​How to Restore Boat Gelcoat

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No matter how much you clean your boat, you might notice over time that your boat exterior tends to lose its luster. This isn’t because you’re doing anything wrong as a boat owner. Most likely, it’s that your boat’s gelcoat is simply succumbing to the rigors of boating. So what’s the best way to restore boat gelcoat? Let’s learn more about what you can do to get your boat looking new again.

What is Gelcoat, and Why Does it Matter?

True, the exterior of your boat is made from fiberglass. But on the outside of this fiberglass is a resin known as gelcoat. Though this gelcoat doesn’t really accomplish anything in terms of boating, it is essential in protecting the luster and shine of your boat hull as well as the fiberglass underneath.

Like many aspects of your boat, Father Time can erode your gelcoat once you’ve owned a boat long enough. If you’re interested in keeping your vessel looking new, then restoring the boat gelcoat should be your priority.

Invest in the Right Maintenance and Cleaning Products

While time and weather are the primary culprits responsible for a myriad of gelcoat problems, you should work to avoid damaging it yourself. You can do this by investing in the right maintenance and boat cleaning products along the way.

Boat Cleaner , for example, features a non-phosphate, biodegradable formula that will clean without removing wax from your fiberglass. Even better, using Boat Cleaner means you’re not using harsh chemicals that could do damage to your gelcoat and cost you more time and grief than it’s worth.

How to Restore Boat Gelcoat as Quickly as Possible

Now that you know the basics about your boat gelcoat, let’s discuss how to restore yours if it has degraded over time.

  • Thorough cleaning. The first step is to thoroughly clean your boat exterior so that you’re working with as even and high-quality a surface as possible.
  • Degreasing. You don’t want to use Life-Calk® Solvent and Cleaner on your gelcoat, necessarily, but it’s vital to remove any hints of grease before you restore a gelcoat.
  • Waxing and polishing. You can try to restore the luster of your gelcoat with a good polish. Invest in LifeWax® and Polyshine®. When used together, these two products can provide a protection to your boat’s luster that lasts for three years.

At this point, your boat should have gone a long way to restoring its original “like-new” looks. But if you still notice that the gelcoat needs help, some experts advocate using a rubbing compound . This step can be a little complicated, because it requires first removing a layer of wax with dewax solvent on rags, moving in one motion. Before you add on this additional step, be certain that you’re confident with the process.

The best way to restore boat gelcoat and get your craft looking its best again is to use the best cleaners and protectants—each of which should be designed specifically for boat care. Browse through all of our boat cleaning products to stock up on the essentials and see what you might be missing.



Life Industries Corporation
4060 Bridge View Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29405
United States of America

toll free: (800) 382-9706
local: (843) 566-1225
fax: (843) 566-1275
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