03-30-2010, 12:40 AM
I recently purchased a 91 Tristar and its in need of some repair. The majority of gelcoat repair will need to be done on the hull near the stern. I believe the previous owner had some type of boat lift that had a wood bottom because on the bottom side of the hull its brownish colored and the side is where its got chips missing. Where shall i start? I haven't done Gelcoating before, but this area isn't an area I will care to much about color matching, just want to protect the boat. From reading around, I am thinking of purchasing gelcoat from http://www.spectrumcolor.com
Once I finish this, what would you recommend to add the shine back on the boat? Product names or links would be helpful.
03-30-2010, 01:46 AM
Hey Mike -
If you're into cheap, a Harbor Freight circular polisher:
I used one on my boat for a stem-to-stern gelcoat refurbishment, and it worked fine. 10 years from now, when I use it for the third time and it gives up, I'll replace it.
If you're into good quality tools (the "Buy it once, use it forever" school), the Porter-Cable 7424 XP has some strong fans here. http://www.amazon.com/Porter-Cable-7424XP-6-Inch-Variable-Polisher/dp/B002654I46
I had serious fading on the transom, and minor fading on the rest of the boat. I started with some Meguiars #49 heavy oxidation remover, some Meguiar's #44 color restorer, and some high-quality wax and got beautiful results. Others here have started with a wet-sand with grits as rough as 600. That concept scared me, so I went what I thought was the gentler route, and wouldn't do it any other way.
If you have a spare hour or two, search the forums here for "Gelcoat polish" for a million posts with a million points of view - and plenty of specific product recommendations. Shepard's thread (http://mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=12550), is probably as good a place to start as any.
Good luck, welcome, and feel free to ask all the questions you want.
03-30-2010, 01:48 AM
Protect your stickers with something before polishing. I didn't, and it took all the details off them.