The outer surface of a FRP assault boat is usually a special resin called a gel coat. The gel coat has a small structural value - the base laminate of resin-saturated glass fabric provides - but the gel coat protects the hull and imparts color and luster.
When the gel coat is initially sprayed into the hull mold, like all gels, the shape and texture of the mold surface are presented. The ultra-high gloss of most new FRP assault boats is entirely due to the highly polished mirror-like surface of the mold used in the original structure of the assault boat. Time and exposure eventually erode the relatively soft surface of the gel coat, making it dull and fair. Fortunately, the gloss usually recovers.
The first step in restoring shine is to thoroughly clean the dull gel coat. Add a cup of detergent to a bucket of water - warm water is better - and wash the solution with a sponge. Be sure to protect your hands with rubber gloves.
If mildew is present, add a glass of household bleach to the cleaning solution. Stubborn stains such as fish blood and waterline scum may require direct use of concentrated cleaners made of fiberglass. Rinse thoroughly on the surface and allow it to dry.
For reliable results with wax or polishing, the gel coat surface must be completely free of oil and grease. Detergents typically do not completely remove these contaminants from the porous gel coat. Wipe the entire surface with a rag soaked in MEK (preferred) or acetone, often turning the rag and replacing it after using the cleaning area. Again, protect your skin with thick rubber gloves.
Keep the gel coat waxed and at the beginning, the FRP assault boat is new - this is the best way to extend its life. Regularly waxed gel coats can maintain a gloss of more than 15 years. The real use of a layer of wax is protection, but if the gel coat is not too weathered, the wax is also recoverable
Instructions for use vary by brand, but in general, you can use a cloth or foam pad to apply wax in a circular motion. Let the wax dry into a mist, then use a soft cloth (such as an old bath towel) to remove excess material. The remaining wax fills the micro-etch in the gel coat and provides a new, smooth reflective surface.
Polish is not a coating, but an abrasive, such as a very fine sandpaper. Polishing removes the pit surface instead of coating it. Use a soft cloth to polish a small area at a time and use a circular motion until the surface becomes glassy. After polishing, a layer of wax should be applied to protect the surface and improve gloss. Some polishing products include wax in their formulation.
Using a friction compound;
If the gel coat is severely weathered and polishing does not restore its luster, a stronger abrasive friction composite is required. The wax on the surface may cause the compound to cut unevenly, so first wipe the surface in one direction by a rag saturated with a dewaxing solvent or toluene - do not remove all wax back and forth.
A friction compound formulated as a glass fiber is selected, which is completely polished like a polishing, and is rubbed in a circular motion until the surface becomes glassy. The gel coat on your FRP assault boat is 10 times that of your car, so as long as you are careful not to rub it in one place for a while, the compound should not pass through it. If the gel coat begins to look transparent, stop.
After the surface is compounded, it is polished, then applied with wax and polished. Provide a gel coat with sufficient thickness - your assault boat may have been compounded - this process will restore gloss to fiberglass under almost any condition.
Do you need an electric buffer?
You can wipe the wax by hand and make up, but in addition to the smallest boat, your arm will become very tired. The electric damper keeps most of the work from keeping the boat shining and is cheaper and easier to use than the elbow replacement.
The electric damper operates at a relatively slow speed, so do not “do” with a grinding valve mounted on a disc sander or a grinding wheel on a grinding wheel. You will destroy the surface or destroy the tool. Buffers with orbital motion will leave fewer vortex marks.
In recent years, many products have entered the market requiring the restoration of the surface of the gel coat. The reductant formulation updates the gloss in essentially the same way as wax - by providing a new smooth surface - but without polishing. The results can be dramatic, but since the restorers are plastic (acrylic) coatings - similar to polyurethane varnishes - they can wear, peel off and occasionally discolor. The restorer kit typically includes a polishing agent that is ready for washing, and sometimes a restorer. There is also a need for a special release agent for removing old sealants.
The recommended application has changed, but in general it is the same as already described - clean, polished and jacketed. Acrylic sealers are generally water resistant, so applying them to a FRP assault boat hull is much easier than, for example, sticking wax. And it turns into a hard film, so no polishing is required. However, you have to apply a few coats - five are typical - to get a nice shine. If the product you choose does not include the applicator, use a sponge or a soft cloth to wipe the sealant onto the gel coat. The drying time is short, so the subsequent casing can usually be applied almost immediately.
The versatile application restores gloss to a weathered gel coat for up to a year, but if it needs to be renewed, the old sealant needs to be removed using the special stripper (or supplied separately) provided in the kit. With five fresh sealing machines, your FRP assault boat should stay shiny for a year.