Frequently Asked Fiberglass and Gelcoat Questions

How can I get rid of the chalky substance on the gelcoat?

If it's not too bad, you can usually get away with just buffing it. It can be done by hand, but that would take a long time and using a power buffer is the way to go.

If the oxidization is really bad, you can wet-sand before buffing. Keep a steady flow of water flowing over the area you're sanding. When the water stays clear, instead of turning cloudy, you've removed the oxidization.

I wouldn't go any coarser than 400 grit for heavy oxidization, finishing up with at least 600-1000 grit before buffing.

Whether sanding or buffing, be very careful not to go through the gel. Be extra careful near corners, sharp edges, and pinstriping. Once you get the shine back, apply a quality marine wax on a regular basis and you shouldn't have to buff it out again.

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What should I do about stress cracks?

Accept them as a part of life. ;-) In most cases, they are harmless. And if you repair them, they come right back. This is assuming that they are the result of normal stress and flex and not stress generated from crashing into docks, other boats, or the back of your truck when you miss the trailer. Seriously though, if they bother you, go ahead and have them repaired--just don't be surprised if they come back.

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Disclaimer: Use information on this page at your own risk. Seiler Marine is not responsible for the mechanical ability of others. Never attempt a repair without the proper tools and service manual. When it doubt, it's best to take it to a pro.