Fiberglass Boat Restoration
Now Even Beginners Can Have Success!

best auto detailing tips

Back before the current boat polishers were introduced, fiberglass boat restoration was a task left only to professionals with years of experience.

Now due to advancements in tools and products, it is possible for beginners to achieve results that were commonly reserved for veteran boat and car detailers. There has always been a great divide between true beginners looking to polish their car's or boat's, and the skills necessary to perform this level of polishing that required the use a high-speed polisher.

The industry has responded with professional grade equipment by introducing high-speed polishers with soft start speed trigger controls, as well as ultra low RPM speeds settings that can be maintained with speed set dials.

Calling All Beginners!

Now any true beginner can pick up one of these latest offerings and expect to safely perform advanced levels of paint correction on cars, or fiberglass boat restoration; both of which require the higher speeds and friction that can only be produced through one of the few quality rotary (high-speed) buffers currently on the market.

fiberglass boat restoration

The (3) rotary polishers above are basically your choices when it comes to high-speed buffers. While there are entry level steps to restore your fiberglass boat by using a boat cleaner wax, if you are looking for professional grade results, you will require the use of a high-speed polisher.

If you are strictly looking for the best in an auto polisher do perform remove the oxidation from your boat and restore the shine, you can go to my review page of boat polishers.

"Like many areas of life, people will often over-simplify a subject. Boat polishing and car polishing just so happens to be one of these areas. By becoming an informed consumer you will be in a better position to make a more informed decision...that is where my experience can work for you."

Fiberglass Boat Restoration Made Simple

Admittedly, that headline just above is a little misleading. Removing and restoring the shine to the gelcoat of your boat is not something to be taken lightly as there is much work involved.

I believe that far more people are put off by the "unknown" of the process, rather than the amount of work required for the process. Just like the area of car paint correction, most people do not know of the latest in tools and products that make the user experience much more friendly for everyone, but also much more doable for true beginners.

Which side wold you rather have your boat look like? This is a before and after shot after the gel coat was restored to original shine and luster using a high-speed buffer. I taped off the section at the right so it would go untouched during the restoration process that I did on the section on left. The rub-rail is still covered with blue painters tape I recommend for protection during the process.

Gel Coat/Fiberglass Restoration Kits

Often what happens is a boat owner goes in search of a top rated boat polisher and quickly realizes that the very next problem is trying to figure out which gel coat or fiberglass polish is the best polish to use.

For this reason I am going to lay out complete fiberglass boat restoration kits and then offer my professional tips at the bottom.

Flex Boat Polishing System:

FLEX PE14-2-150 Marine 31 Boat Oxidation Removal Kit <font color=red>Includes FREE Flex Bag - $50 Value!</font>

FLEX PE14-2-150 Marine 31 Boat Oxidation Removal Kit Includes FREE Flex Bag - $50 Value!

  • The Mercedes of rotary polisher; German engineering at its best.
  • If you demand only the best, then this is it!
  • Suitable for any of your polishing needs for auto, boat, RV.

DeWalt Boat Polishing System:

DeWalt DWP-849X Marine 31 Boat Oxidation Removal Kit

DeWalt DWP-849X Marine 31 Boat Oxidation Removal Kit

  • One of the buffers I use professionally whether I am working on cars, boats, or RV's.
  • You will not be disappointed.
  • The included bale handle is ideal for polishing the boat sides.

Makita Boat Polishing System:

Makita 9227C Marine 31 Boat Oxidation Removal Kit <font color=red>FREE BONUS!</font>

Makita 9227C Marine 31 Boat Oxidation Removal Kit FREE BONUS!

  • Also one of the buffers I use professionally (you just can't go wrong with any of these buffers as they are all excellent pieces of equipment)
  • Ideal for all your polishing needs; car, boat, RV.
  • Also comes with a handy bale handle that is very useful for polishing the sides of the boat during your fiberglass boat restoration projects.

Additional Gel Coat Restoration Tools

Along with the complete kits above, the following tools will also be extremely helpful if you plan on tackling the job of gel coat restoration.

Lake Country Wool Pad Spur

Lake Country Wool Pad Spur

  • You will need this to clean the wool pad; none of the above kits include this useful tool.
  • I use this after every 2' x 2' section of polishing I do. Simply hold the polisher against your leg and press the spur into the pad as the buffer is spinning.
  • Releases the build-up of polish and oxidation.
  • Keeps wool pad fibers separated during use.

Marine 31 Universal Pad Washer <font color=red>Free Bonus!</font>

Marine 31 Universal Pad Washer Free Bonus!

  • I am a huge fan of this wondrous tool.
  • Was skeptical at first, but then I tried it!
  • Keeps the pad damp with water which helps in the actual polishing.
  • Can also be used dry if somehow you prefer to keep a dry polishing pad. As a rule, I prefer to use a damp polish pad regardless of the pad material, eg. wool, foam, micro-fiber.
  • Expensive tool, but if you are serious about results and understand exactly how the right (or wrong) tool can make or break your world.

Darren's Professional Tips for Polishing

gel coat restoration polishing

The picture at the right showing my 16 year old son using a high-speed buffer for the first time as he polishes the fender of the boat trailer. These buffers are so much more user friendly than previous generation polishers.

Darren's Extra Tips for Success:

  • It is common for people to make a comparison between car paint and working on gelcoat/ need to ditch that comparison as there is very little to compare.
  • Gelcoat/fiberglass is a very tough and durable material that is able to handle far more friction, heat, and aggressiveness than car paints.
  • If you have ever polished on your car before, restoring gel coat or fiberglass will require far more product, pressure, and speeds for true professional results when it comes to heavy layers of oxidation.
  • Use common blue painters tape to mask off any areas to protect from the buffer pad and sling from polish.
  • For heavy levels of oxidation, it will not be uncommon for me to go over the same section 2-3 times before desired results are achieved.
  • I use an RPM range between 12-1400 RPM's when polishing on boats. Many guys will go as high as 1800-2100 RPM's.
  • I apply approximately 10-15 pounds of pressure onto the buffer as I am working. (this is my best guess. The point is I apply substantial pressure as compared to that of car paint)

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