Last week we were at the Pirate’s Cover Marina in Dunedin detailing a Hurricane Deck Boat. The boat we were working on had been neglected for a while and the gelcoat was in bad shape. It was cloudy and heavily oxidized.
When the gelcoat has been neglected for a long time, it is important to compound carefully and thorghly. We begn the compounding prossess with a heavy compound and then followed up with a light coupounding formula and wax.
Notice the taped off sections on the topsides. This is essentially for reference. When taping off areas or the topsides, you move from section to section at a slower pace, bringing more focus and consistency to the final result. Working in the sunlight for many hours can play tricks on the eyes, and you can end up with an uneven finish if not careful.
Compounding does a great job of bringing gelcoat back to a like new condition. When you compound, you are removing microscopic layers of the paint. The more a boat has been neglected, the more layers of paint need to be removed to get to the undamaged layer. This reduces the longevity of the paint. That is the bad news. The good news is that gelcoat, even neglected gelcoat lasts for a long time.
Regular detailing is always the best way to go.