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Classic Fiberglass Boat Restoration Tips

There is nothing that makes a boat look new like quality fiberglass. If you’re restoring a classic boat, this can do wonders for its appearance. But that means unsightly fiberglass has the unfortunate effect of just the opposite: it ages your boat. To keep your boat looking great, you need to restore fiberglass to its original finish. But fiberglass can be a finicky material. To handle it, you’ll need more than just a few products. Here are a few classic fiberglass boat restoration tips to help you with your project.

While Cleaning, Don’t Use Products that Remove the Gelcoat

If you’re giving your classic fiberglass boat a complete fiberglass restoration, you’ll need to remove the gelcoat so you can work with the fiberglass surface directly. That’s part of the process.

But in the meantime, make sure you buy boat cleaners that won’t harm your fiberglass gelcoat. This gelcoat is there to maintain your fiberglass’s appearance and protect it against everything that your boat faces on a regular basis.

When Your Boat Looks Faded or Worn, It’s Time for a New Gelcoat

Maybe you ignored the previous tip for a long time. In that case, now is a good time for a full fiberglass restoration process that removes and replaces the gelcoat.

In addition to using a detergent to clean off your boat first, consider using an acetone to remove the gelcoat on your fiberglass. Wear strong rubber gloves for this process to protect your hands. After properly applied, your fiberglass will be ready for a new waxing and polishing.

Combine Waxing and Polishing at the Same Time

Many boat owners give their fiberglass a wax in the hope that it will gussy up its shine. And that’s great. But what will really give you the long-term protection you need is using wax in conjunction with polish.

Our PolyShine product, when combined with LifeWax, will extend the wax protection on your boat’s hull for about three years. That means you won’t have to continually rub new wax into the fiberglass to keep your boat’s hull protected.

When You Expose Fiberglass, Use a Fiberglass Rubbing Compound

Fiberglass Rubbing Compound is designed to minimize gel coat damage while preparing your hull for a wax. This can be applied to “spot clean” common problems like oxidation and stains without completely removing the gel coat layer in the process.

Remember to use this before adding a coat of wax to the boat, as this compound is designed to work with the fiberglass directly.

Consider an Electric Buffer

The key to all the classic fiberglass boat restoration tips above? You have to actually get yourself to do them. And doing them all by hand is sometimes an unenviable task, particularly if you’re working with a large boat.

An electric buffer is a great way to make quick work of fiberglass restoration without losing any of the quality. While you browse all our wax and polish products, don’t forget that an electric buffer is just as valuable an investment in the quality of your fiberglass—and ultimately, the quality of your boat.

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