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.
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.
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."
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 to 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.
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:
DeWalt Boat Polishing System:
Makita Boat Polishing System:
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.
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:
How To Section
Fiberglass Boat Restoration