Remember the original Karate Kid movie? Wax on … wax off…. What you do in paradise when the wind’s howling and a chill is in the air.
In our case it was a bit more complex than a simple wax on, wax off. Our 30 year old fiberglass hull topsides has been waxed regularly, but still seems to end up chalky and oxidizing after only a few months. This time it hadn’t been waxed for almost 8 months and the white chalky appearance was shall we say, less than attractive. 🙁
One morning when it was obvious we were not going spearfishing (again), David and I wetsanded two front sections with 1500 grit sandpaper — yes, wetsanded, with a bucket of water. Ugh. After wetsanding two spots, we used Polishing Compound, buffed it off by hand and then used wax and buffed it off by hand. We started out with Collinite Fleetwax wax until we ran out and had to switch to Meguiar’s. The two spots were enough to convince us that if we could muster the courage to tackle the entire topsides, the results would be worthwhile…. (NOTE: we’ve used Meguiar’s Marine wax before because it was easily available most places in Central America – but the better Meguiar’s option is Flagship Premium Marine Wax.) Make sure you have lots of throwaway clean rags before you start.
So far we’ve done everything except the toe rails and the results are surprising. The boat almost shines again. Not as much as a new boat or a new awlgrip paint job, BUT we did it ourselves in paradise over two days when we weren’t going snorkeling or anchoring out or anything …. even the shrimp boats came in for refuge.
We’re not sure wetsanding and then polishing compound is the recommended treatment for oxidized fiberglass, but it helped ours shine again and we’re happy …. and maybe more than just a bit sore….
Anyone use other methods of restoring shine to oxidized fiberglass? Anything easier?