That gleaming, high-gloss gelcoat is what makes your power boat look sharp on the water — and in your online classified boat ad when you’re ready to sell your boat online. But that glossy outer skin isn’t just cosmetic vanity; it also protects the body of your boat from harmful oxidation. A boat with a good-looking gelcoat will sell faster and for a better price than a boat with a gelcoat that has turned dull and chalky. A poorly maintained gelcoat makes your boat look sad and seedy and definitely older than its years.
Even if you don’t plan to sell your boat online this winter, keeping its gelcoat in good repair will protect your boat from damaging oxidation, ensuring you many more years of boating pleasure. Follow these steps to maintain your boat’s gelcoat:
- If the gelcoat shows only minor signs of oxidation — a few dull or cloudy patches — apply an oxidation-removing compound to restore shine.
- If the gelcoat is dull, pitted and largely non-reflective, oxidation is moderate. Using a mechanical buffer, apply fine-grain polishing compound to smooth out pits.
- If the gelcoat is heavily oxidized, the surface of your boat will be completely non-reflective and may feel chalky. Restoring a gelcoat this damaged is a major undertaking that will require considerable sanding and polishing. Unless boat restoration is your hobby, consider taking your boat to a professional.
- Failure to maintain the gelcoat will eventually forced you to repaint your boat.