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New Life For Old GelCoat – An Inexpensive Solution That Really Works! — 10 Comments

    • It’s pretty flexible as far as temp. I would suggest over 55 and below 90 but avoid really damp and humid conditions. Dampness on the surface will cause some spotting. It will dry faster at higher temps but that did not seem to be an issue as long as things are dry. I was working in close to 90F conditions and did not have any problems with the product – just my stamina! I had no issues in the New England summer sun, but there might be application issues in extremely hot and dry conditions. Hope that helps.

  1. Excellent article. I have buffed my boat many times already only to have it come back Chalky a couple of years later. I think Future Floor Shine maybe the same product that you describe. Bar Keepers Friend is also an excellent product in the marine version it’s $20 per can.Bar Keepers Friend is $2. For those that don’t know what this is It’s like a can of Ajax or comet.

    • Thanks! Remember though the acrylic still needs maintenance and upkeep. If you have good gel coat, wax might still be the path of least resistance. The acrylic needs maintenance at least every 6 months and if you let it go too far it’s a pain to revitalize. If your wax is lasting two years you might be better off sticking with that. The Collinite 885 Aircraft wax, as recommended by Practical Sailor Mag, is better than most and can hold up for at least a year in our experience.

  2. Very interesting and informative. Thank you. I have a boat with chalky white paint. How do I prepared the surface before applying the acrylic? What’s absolut minimum?

    • Thanks! Chalky paint? Not sure about that one. The chalk is the surface oxidizing. I suppose cleaning paint oxidation would be similar to gelcoat oxidation but could vary depending on its specific formulation.

      For gelcoat the ZEP Heavy Duty Floor Stripper Concentrate, or PoliOx as mentioned in the post, or a boat store gelcoat oxidation remover work nicely. You could try one of those on your paint but be careful and test in an inconspicuous area first. You also might ask at a paint store what they recommend, or contact the paint manufacturer for info if you know what product it is.

      Hope that helps and good luck with your project!

      • Thanks Rob for your quick response. I think what I have is the deteriorating gel coat since it is a 1999 Aquasport fiberglass boat. Horizontal surfaces have been more affected, do not have any shine and produce white chalky residue if rubbed. Perhaps calling it “paint” was incorrect. So the question is what would be the absolute minimum preparation assuming the surface is free of obvious dirt and stains. Is sanding necessary or Is it enough to simply use the Floor stripper you mentioned?

        • No, you shouldn’t need to sand unless there are stains that won’t come out or deep scratches you want to smooth out. The floor stripper or marine oxidation remover should do the trick. After you finish cleaning let the surface dry, wipe it with your hand and it’s ready to go if there’s no white residue on your skin. Make sure to remove any stains too. Even if there are some shiny and some dull areas the acrylic will produce an even shine after several coats.

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