Few things on your boat will give it that original luster quite
like the quality of its fiberglass. Yet this material can be tricky to deal
with. There’s paint to consider, and then there’s the gel coat. It’s more than
just a material you need to clean every so often. That’s why we’ve put together
a brief guide on what you’ll need to know when refinishing a fiberglass boat.
Repaint Or Refinish?
It might not sound like such an important distinction at first,
but the question gets to the heart of just how much work you plan to do with
your fiberglass. Refinishing a gel coat, for instance, can be relatively
pain-free if you have experience and the right tools at your disposal. Going
underneath the gel coat for a full repainting is a highly involved DIY project
that can sometimes require the assistance of a professional.
To restore your boat’s luster, it may be possible to get
away with a refinish. But keep in mind for older boats, a repainting might be
in order as well.
Tips For Dealing With
Refinishing your fiberglass boat means working primarily
with fiberglass. Here are a few tidbits you’ll need to know:
- Fiberglass often requires unique cleaners to
ensure you completely remove stains and oxidation. Although a general cleaner
can do a lot, a dedicated Fiberglass
Powder Cleaner is specifically designed to refinish the look of your
- The gel coat is the resin on the surface of your
fiberglass, meant to protect it long-term. Generally, refinishing a fiberglass
boat involves replacing this gel coat to ensure that the coat looks smooth and
continues to protect your fiberglass. When you clean in between refinishing
sessions, it’s important to use products that will not harm the gel coat.
- Repainting a boat is a great way to get it to
look like new, but as mentioned above, it will involve a lot more work. Before
you try that, it might be a better idea to polish and wax
your boat. A properly polished and waxed hull can last up to three years when
you use both LifeWax and PolyShine.
- If your boat is in relatively good shape but
needs a cosmetic update, it might be a good idea to use Color
Restorer instead of trying the full-on refinish. Color Restorer can remove
oxidation, chalking, and even fading, which gives much of your boat that “just
refinished” appearance—without the painstaking work involved with an entire
Although we can’t tell you what your boat needs, these tips
will go a long way in properly addressing the quality of your fiberglass.
Your Boat’s Fiberglass
Fiberglass might be complicated when it comes to boats. But
it’s not rocket science, either. It only takes some time, a little research,
and the dedication to using the right
boat products to ensure that you always have a boat that looks like new.