I have a 04 Ranger and the boat still looks good but my trailer is faded and looks dry cause it had to sit in the sun a few years til I got a carport . I was wondering if I could restore it myself. I want to get it shiny like it was when I bought it. Anyone know what products and the steps I need to get my gel coat on my trailer back to shining I would really appreciate the advice.
I am using a product called Vertglas on my boat right now and it is working great. The boat was heavily oxidized and the Vertglas is a 4 step process to eliminate the oxidation and restore shine on fiberglass. The website is www.MarineStore.com. Hope this helps.
Vertiglass is great until it wears off after a year of regular sun exposure. Ask me how I know. Nothing beats wetsanding until the oxidation is gone and buffing it back to shine. One way or the other, if you own the boat over a year you'll' wind up sanding in the end. Again, ask me how I know.
Ok so I looked a the vertiglass and I Ike it. Whats wet sanding and wht kind of tools do I need? Is this something I can do? The objective here my friends is to do it myself safe money so I can put 4 dollar gallon gas in my boat and go fishing. I don't mind the work I just need to know the details. Let me know. I don't mind doing the vertiglass once a year but if I can do it once every few years that's better. Im completely new at this so any help is great. Thanks
Vertglass, Poli Glow, NewGlass and other " quick fix ' gel coat " restorers " are nothing more than a co - polymer acrylic sealers.
Vertglass, and the like are all mostly hard acrylic coatings, like a super tough floor wax.
They're a water based acrylic, they suspend the acrylic resins in water with a few surfactants so when you wipe it on, the acrylics hopefully get spread out over the surface and the surfactants bring them to the top.
Not much difference in them and Future Floor Wax. ( Pledge with Future Shine ).......which is an Acrylic Polymer......
None of them will work on any gelcoat that is oxidized, you still need to remove all the oxidation by compounding or wet sanding and removing any contaminants on the gel for the acrylics to adhere to the gel.
Once they are applied, they may last 6 months to a year, but they also have a tendency to yellow from the sun and start to alligator craze and crack.
How to wetsand and compound gelcoat.
All the peripheral hardware should be removed from the boat, cleats, handrails, lights, windshields, decals, anything that can be unbolted from the top cap and consoles, etc will make the job easier....less obstructions when using the buffer.
You will need a high speed buffer, not an orbital buffer, the high speed produces the heat that makes the compound cut thru the faded gelcoat, you can use a cheap buffer, no need for an expensive model.
protec Pro-Tec Care Products
Wet Sandpaper in 1000/1200/and 1500 grit. The grit needs to be be matched to the severity of the oxidation......if it is real bad you may have to start with 800 grit and work up to 1200 grit.
3M Perfect It Rubbing Compound # 06085
3M Final Glaze # 06068
Any hard Carnauba Marine Wax
1st step is to remove all the hardware you can.
Make sure you cover the carpeting in the boat with a tarp or plastic to keep all the sanding/compound material off the rugs.
Wash the boat, remove any tar, bugs , etc stuck on the glass.
2nd step is to wet sand by hand with plenty of water, put a few drops of dishwashing liquid in the bucket of sanding water to make the paper slide easier, dunk the paper often to clean the sanded material off the paper.
Start with the lowest grit you need. Test a spot to see which grit will remove the oxidation till the sanding water runs off clear.
Sand the whole area to be redone. When you are sanding and dunking the paper, the water will be a milky color as you sand and open the pores in the gelcoat, the white oxidation will be removed and run off with the water. Sand with one grit until the sanding water runs clear.
Rinse off with the hose, repeat with the process with a higher grit, if you started with 800, move up to 1000 grit, and rinse, then sand again with the 1200 grit....this is very labor intensive , may take you a few days to get thru , don't sand too hard in one spot, keep feeling the sanded area, if you feel any of the polyflake ( rough , grainy after sanding ) stop sanding on that area or you will sand too deep and expose the flakes.
The initial lower grit will open the gelcoat pores and allow the white contamination to flush out with the water. The succeeding higher grits will remove the lower grit sanding marks and get any oxidation missed.
When the sanding is done , wash the boat again to get the glass clean of particles, it will look dull but not faded.
3rd step is using the high speed buffer with the white 3M pad and the rubbing compound, do small areas and move the buffer slowly, not keeping it in one spot or it might burn the gel.
The compound will remove all the sanding marks left from the paper and leave a uniform slightly dull finish to the gel.
When done compounding wash off the compound and dry the boat.
4th step is using the black 3M pad on the high speed buffer and the 3M final glaze to put on a high gloss glaze coat. The Glaze is a high end polish that will leave a high luster on the gel.
It will then need to be protected with a coat of wax or sealer.
Collonite Heavy Duty Fleetwax is one of the best for marine environments :
By this time if their was not any actual gelcoat damage the gel should look almost new again.
The final step is putting on a good coat of high carnauba paste wax....then keep the boat clean by wiping it down as soon as it comes out of the water with one of the spray wipes like Bass Boat Saver..