How to make your boat look new again

A question we occasionally might get asked when someone finds out I have fibreglass experience is – Do you have any ideas on how to make my boat look new again?

Basically there are 3 parts to making your boat look like new again.

Lets first take a look at the condition of your boat.

What Condition is Your Boat In?

Fibreglass Boats – The easiest boat surface you can rejuvenate is a Fibreglass boat that has never had the Gelcoat repainted.

Gelcoat over the years has a build-up of oxidation and the Gelcoat surface turns into a matt flat colour.

On a full gloss polished Gelcoat surface, the finish is glossy and smooth. There are a number of products you can use to make your boat look like new again.

Generally, this process will need a buffing machine. A buffing machine has been specifically designed for the sole purpose of buffing and polishing Gelcoat and other painted surfaces.

A buffing machine also has the right amount of RPM’s where it should not heat and burn your substrate surface.


Meguiars Oxidation Remover

The product I suggest is Meguiars Oxidation Remover – which is only suitable for fibreglass boats with original Gelcoat finish ONLY.

MORE product information can be found by clicking here.

Glue Residue remover

A boat that has a painted finish requires a different process.  For expertise advice consult with an experienced vehicle detailer.

Isopropyl alcohol

This is my go-to cleaner I use when I need to clean a vehicle or boat for a new sticker decal installation. This is an amazing cleaning product and can be found in the paint section of your local hardware store.

Does Your Boat Names or Rego Stickers Need Replacing?

Once your boat has been polished then next you need to do is to take a look at the decal stickers on your boat.

There is no point in having a nice shiny gel coat finish when your decals look chipped, cracked or even faded.

Does your boat name stickers need replacing? If they do you can order new boat names stickers and this will greatly enhance the look of your boat.

Boat Wraps

Large digitally printed decals is what a boat wrap is. Vehicle or Boat surfaces is where the wrap application takes place.

To protect the printed decal, laminate is used which is applied onto the surface of your boat wrap.

There are only 2 vinyl types I would recommend and I have used both.

Polymeric Vinyl – This is best suited for flat or semi-curved surface for partial wraps like a side of a boat.  A boat that is garaged when not in use and away from the Elements.

Cast Vinyl – These vinyls will outlive the ink themselves which has a 3-year outdoor total exposure rating.

What Situation Would You Recommend a Boat Wrap?

  • Fishing/Diving Charters – for added promotion.
  • TV fishing & Boating Shows – for added promotion.
  • Boat owners who want to hide chips and scratches.

Side Note: A Boat wraps may give a boat a busy look and feel from a design perspective.

How to make your boat look new Again with Marine Graphics

Another affordable way in making your boat look unique is by adding some marine graphics.

Marine Graphics are available in a range of colours and lengths.

Sizes up to 2.5 metres are available and a size around 2 metres would be sufficient for most boating applications.

Marine Graphics

What Condition is Your Trailer Boat?

What condition is your trailer frame?

If its a steel painted frame is there any rust?

If there is rust is it only surface rust?

Boat Trailer

You can remove surface rust by applying a surface rust removal product to the service.

The process goes something like this. First wire brush the surface rust section and wipe away.

For instance, then apply some surface rust to your substrate.

Make sure you follow the instructions and always wear gloves, face protection and a mask.

To keep your trailer looking good make sure you rinse it each time you come back from a boating trip.

A surface rust prevention product you can use us WD-40arly.

If rust has eaten through part some sections of your trailer please consult with a steel fabrication expert.

Remember to always stay safe and you may want to consider buying a new trailer.

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