View Full Version : Boat hull: where to start?

03-25-2006, 07:32 PM
I've had a 1988 Mastercraft Tristar for 3 years now. After receiving a serious case of sticker shock when touring the local Mastercraft dealer, I decided I'm going to be keeping this boat for a while. Boat runs really well, but the hull is worse for wear - water marks, faded trim, peeling decals.

Enclosed are a few photos. Where do I begin to refurbish the hull and bring this boat back to life? Paint job and new decals are a given, but are these the correct first steps? How to remove the water stains? Your advice is appreciated.


03-25-2006, 07:36 PM
I would start with a wet sand and then a good quality buffing. That should restore the gelcoat pretty well.

Then, go with ALL new decals. JIM@BAWS can help you get what you need. His number is in my signature below this post.

03-25-2006, 08:25 PM
Jump in that project with both feet. I have done several Mastercrafts in the last three years that started off looking like your boat. Search for gelcoat restoration on this board. Don't be shy, just go for it.

03-26-2006, 08:07 AM
Since you have got something to start with, take plenty of Before pictures, trace all your decal lettering for size purposes, try scrubbing the hull good with Tilex first, remove the decals and save pieces of the decals for color matching later on if OEM decals aren't available and you have to have some made to order. As previously stated there are numerous threads on gelcoat restortation, cause the last thing you want to have to do is re-gelcoat or paint the hull and deck

03-26-2006, 09:38 AM
I restored a 89 Tristar OB, and on mine the Blue gelcoat was beyond restoring. (The lite grey was pretty good after wetsanding). I tried wetsanding the color, and there was just no hope. I ended up painting the color portion with Dupont Imron, and replacing all the decals with some I got from MC. I skiped the thin striping that separated the color with lite grey- always hated that) Imron wore like Iron and boat was in the water all season for 3 years after the paint job. Re: decals. I never liked the location of the 'Mastercraft' decals on the side, as the Tri rides low and 'Mastercraft' decal was always 1/2 under the water. I relo's that and was very pleased. Looked great in the water.

Before you get started, try on/off on the hull, that should remove the waterstains.

Here's a pic. I have more if you want to see them send me a PM. good luck.

03-26-2006, 10:45 AM
If the water marks are only on the surface and haven't gotten into the gelcoat, vinegar and water works great. Just mix 1:1 and put it in a squirt bottle. If they're in the gelcoat, it'll need buffing/polishing.

03-26-2006, 11:05 AM
I have an 89 and purchased a set of decals from Jim recently and since he didn't have the exact color I was looking for and one of the decals was incorrect, I took the ones I'd purchased to a sign shop and they scanned them and saved the files. I'm picking the new ones up this week. If you can't find exactly what your looking for let me know and I'll give you the contact info for the shop.