There’s nothing more worrying to a boat owner than the hull
losing its color to oxidation, sun fading or staining. When a simple wash won’t
redeem the quality of your boat’s coat, it’s tempting to view it as a total loss.
Without replacement, you figure, your boat is permanently stuck with this
damage. But this isn’t always the case. With some know-how, boat clear coat
restoration is something you may be surprised to find that you can handle on
your own. Here’s what you need to know.
Step One: Clean The
The first thing you need to do is remove your boat from the
water and get it some place where you’ll have full access to the hull in a
safe, well-ventilated area.
When many boat owners hear this is the first step, their
first instinct is to think that the boat will need a complete re-painting. But there’s
a better way. Start with a cleaning of the boat using a boat-friendly cleaner
that can be mixed with water to provide greater coverage. This will help get
rid of any superficial stains as well as debris that might be locked onto the
At this stage, you might also consider using a scrub such as
a boat-scrubbing mitt to work the surface of your boat hull as thoroughly as
possible. This helps remove surface grime that may have been left over after
Step Two: Sanding
After a thorough rinsing, many boat owners recommend using a
fine-grit sandpaper without too much pressure. This will help get rid of the
problems at the outer level. Since there’s a lot to cover, you can work in
sections and take a lot of breaks throughout the process—otherwise, it can get
What does this accomplish? You’re getting rid of the old
clear coat, while hopefully doing no damage to the underlying paint and hull.
While this seems tricky, you’ll likely have no problem getting in between the
two if you’re working with the right materials—especially a fine-grit
Step Three: Apply the
New Clear Coat
Once the boat is rinsed and dried, you can then tape off all
the areas that won’t receive the new clear coat. This is a process that’s a lot
like painting—you don’t want the clear coat to get into sensitive areas on the
boat and corners where it doesn’t otherwise belong.
With a tarp under your boat to catch any leavings, you can
then apply the clear coat with a brush, working from top to bottom as you move
the brush side to side. You can be patient here—you want a smooth, even
application of the clear coat so that it will perform as consistently as
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