Polishing a Boat

Step Two in our Series, Boat Care 101

See Step One: Washing a Boat

Polishing a boatFiberglass gelcoat oxidizes just like automotive paint. You’ve seen that white chalk on the hull? That’s oxidation. All it takes is a good boat polish and a free afternoon to make your boat shine again.

Depending on the size of your boat, you may find it much easier to use a polisher to do the job. A high speed rotary polisher, like the FLEX LK603VVB Circular Polisher, with a wool pad is ideal for cutting gel coat oxidation. An orbital polisher, like the Porter Cable 7424XP or Cyclo Orbital Polisher, can be used for mild oxidation removal and wax application.

There are many boat polishes to choose from but your boat’s condition will help you decide on the right polish. If your boat has heavy oxidation, 3M Marine Rubbing Compound has the cutting power to restore old gelcoat that has never been polished. It will also remove stains, scratches, and scuffs. This is where your rotary polisher and wool pad will come in handy.

If your boat has a mild case of white chalk, Meguiars Mirror Glaze #45 Marine/RV Polish has all the polishing power you need to restore the color and shine to your boat. For a newer boat, this is an excellent maintenance polish to keep oxidation from ever getting out of hand.

Gelcoat is similar to automotive clear coat but even harder. That’s why it’s important to choose a boat polish designed specifically for gel coat. You’ll find it easier to get the results you want with a designated boat polish.

The end of each boating season is a good time to polish a boat. By removing oxidation and algae stains and then sealing the boat with wax, you’ll ensure that it’s ready to go next year.

In our next boat care article, we’ll focus on boat waxes.

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