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
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.
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 the
Fiberglass, Use a Rubbing Compound Specifically Designed for the Material
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
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
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
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