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8 Ways to Make Your Gel Coat Last Longer

In our world, keeping things nice and shiny gives us that feeling of pride. A glance at the gel coat on your boat can do the same thing – give you a feeling of pride mingled with nostalgia.

Much like your own skin, proper care of the outer layer of your boat’s fiberglass hull is essential to maintain a fresh, youthful and simply great look! This layer of resin not only provides a glossy, colourful finish but also seals the fiberglass against water and moisture.

Here are some top tips to keep that alluring shine:

  1. It all starts with an oxidation remover and buffer to remove all those little imperfections. Sounds like a pain, but a little bit of elbow grease will go a long way.

  2. Once you have parted with the buffer, focus on the consistency of wax needed to apply as a base coat. Even though the liquid wax is much easier to apply, the thicker consistency is the better option for your hull. Not only will it last longer, but a thick paste will also provide better protection – so just put in that extra effort.

  3. Once you have applied the double coat of protective wax, now you can take the easy route for the final coat. Lean toward a wax with a liquid carnauba-based product.

  4. Fresh water is a definite ally and a great friend. After every jaunt out on the boat, be sure to give it a proper fresh water wash. You don’t want the saltwater to dry up and create those evil crystals that will just magnify the sun’s rays and cause havoc on your waxwork.

  5. Also in need of some TLC are your rub rails. Black rub rails just need a little automotive tire cleaner, which will do the trick and have them looking like new – a sure booster for the gel coat appearance.

  6. Don’t forget the chrome and stainless steel finish as well. Metal polish will have everything shining in no time and will just add to the beautiful gloss of your gel coat.

  7. If some dreaded staining does appear, then apply a dedicated hull cleaner and follow by re-waxing the gel coat. As effective as these cleaners are in removing those tough stains, they also contain acid that will eventually destroy the protective wax coating on your hull.

  8. Remember, when storing your boat, try to keep it in the shade as those UV rays will deteriorate the wax. Stay clear of direct sunlight.

Top tip: Avoid applying an acrylic coating or polymer over a waxed hull. Short term your hull will look great, but over time if any wax residue gets trapped between the coating barriers then it will turn yellow over time. Best to avoid this scenario.

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