Fiberglass help/suggestions

Started by progator150c, January 31, 2012, 12:11:49 PM

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Just bought a 1993 Cajun 19ft bass boat as a restoration project...  I got the boat for a hell of a deal and see a lot of potential.  I have already ripped up all the carpeting, seats, rear live well cover, and flooring. 

I have read a lot about restoring a boat's gel coat, but to me I think the gel coat is gone.  The bottom half of the boat still has a nice shiny finish to it, but once you hit the sparkled coloring it is really rough like sandpaper, and everything I read always pertained to fiberglass that was dull not rough.  It almost seems as if some of the sparkles have fallen out?  I was wondering if anybody had any experience with something similar to this and how (if possible) do I restore that old sparkle?
Gator Bay 1900RG


From the sounds of it, your gel coat has worn down to the point of no return. The roughness you are  feeling is the flakes in the gell. Once it has gotten to that point, there is really nothing you can do to it to bring it back. You will need to either regell it, or paint it. Good luck with your project. Let us know how it comes out.


haha I sure will, might not be pretty but it will still float  ;D
Gator Bay 1900RG


First look at your boats gelcoat to see how much is left, look at it with a magnifying glass, and if you can see a lot of the metal flake still embedded in the gel coat. If so, try wet sanding it by hand, with automotive 400 grit sand paper followed by wet sanding with 600 grit then 800, 1200, and finally 3000 (Advanced Auto , Autozone or O'rileys has it in stock)  I recommend doing a 1ft x 1ft test spot first, just to see what your results will be like,  see if you can get a smooth semi shiney surface, if you can achieve that and you are satisfied with the results, next wash with a degreaser and rinse, then with a orbital buffer(walmart 30 bucks),  use 3m finesse it marine rubbing compound then, next using 3m marine restorer and wax with buff your orbital buffer, and lastly apply a coat of 3m scotch guard wax,do 3 coats of wax, it will take you about a weekend to do depending how bad your boats gelcoat is but it will be worth the effort. Or take it to a fibreglas repair shop and pay the $$$$$ for them to do it and what I have just explained to you is what they most likely going to do to it, depending on how bad your gelcoat is.....

Is your boat like the before? If so.... get the supplies and a 6pack of your favorite adult beverage and spent the weekend on your boat making it look good for next weekend!!!

One tip on the sanding....remember to take your time and sand in one direction back and forth not in circles, you will leave swirls, if to still have alot of metal flake on the topside of your boat then the gelcoat is still restorable and when you are finished you can stand back, smile :) and be proud of the the shiney boat you have.................then get a boat cover!!!!!!   Good luck.