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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading with interest the recent (and past) posts regarding hull maintenance specifically for getting the finish to look new again. I have a 1985 26' Seafarer with a Forest Green hull. there are numerous scratches in the hull where you can see white beneath the green finish. These scratches are not particularly deep - for the most part they are merely surface scratches not into the gelcoat.

I had planned on buying a buffer and compounding then finishing/waxing the green hull to bring back the glossy finish it must have once had. I've tried using a commercial product (sorry don't recall the name of it, something from Autozone) that rubs on as a liquid and leaves a small amount of green color on the pad. Once it dries I've hand buffed it off but the finish still looks mottled though shiny.

In order to do this the right way, I think I need to know if I'm working with Awlgrip or a paint (single or 2 part). Is there anyway that the layman can tell which it is?

Appreciate any comments or thoughts on this.

Thanks!

john
 

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Just curious, but how long have you had the boat??? Most fiberglass boats aren't painted for many years, since gelcoat, as a finish, is quite durable. If you've had the boat more than a few years, the chances that it was completely painted drop. I kind of doubt a 26' seafarer was awlgripped... photos would help...

Awlgrip is pretty easy to tell from gelcoat, since, when it is scratched, the clear outer coat of the paint is generally damaged first, then the color.. if it doesn't have what appears to be a clear coat over a color layer, it ain't awlgrip.
 

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Ditto, if its original from '85, its most likely gelcoat.
Start with 3M rubbing compound. Try it in a small section. If thats not enough, than you might want to try wet sanding.
Search the archives here and Mainsail has some excellent tips on restoring shine to a hull.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the speedy reply Sailing Dog, I was still going through some of the recent Gear posts :D

Anyway, I've had the boat for one year this month and am getting it ready to splash. The PO had it for at least 5 years and bought it from the original owner. I haven't had the opportunity to take pics yet as it's still winter covered but that should change this weekend! ;) I'll try to get some and post 'em.

After reading all sorts of posts regarding buffing Awlgrip (bad) I figured I'd post the question. It doesn't look like Awlgrip as you describe it but really more like paint. Currently it is fairly faded and mottled in appearance. I'm going with it being paint and will take that route.

Thanks!

jk
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sailortjk1

I can't believe it's gelcoat because you can see white where the scratches are. If it were gelcoat, wouldn't it be the same color (green)?

jk
 

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Sailortjk1

I can't believe it's gelcoat because you can see white where the scratches are. If it were gelcoat, wouldn't it be the same color (green)?

jk
I'm thinking the same thing.
If they're shallow scratches but are white inside, it sounds like paint.
 

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Photos would really, really help...especially a close up one of the scratches... If you're on a PC, get Picasa and upload the photos to Picasaweb, and then link to them here using the
button.
 

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Scratches

Hi - i've found you can see white on gelcoat scratches. The color is sprayed on the mold first - then either some plain before the mat. Construction may be different for different boats.

I tried every method to "restore" the color on my originally dark blue hull, including hand sanding from 400 - 1500 grit (up to finesse from 3M) and all the wiz-bang miracle cures. Nothing works like a great awlgrip job. I've had it now for 16 years and although it has gotten some scratches and dings from use, it still passes the "20 foot rule". A few tips:

Small scratches can be touched up with Awlgrip touch up - it comes in a little jar like nail polish or car touch up. Don't use the little brush. Pour a few drops on a piece of foam brush.

Awlgrip also makes a buffing compound that won't scuff up the paint job (use their really good boat wash first)

Try Jamestown Distributors for a source.
 
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