How do I Remove Fuel Stains from Fiberglass
Chuck Sullivan asked:
I have a light green hull; the gas overflow during a hot season has left discoloration on the side of the boat. Can we remove this stain? 2005 Boston Whaler Outrage 27.
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Perhaps. It depends on whether the stain has become indelible or not. If you catch it early enough you can get it out with a 50/50 solution of Boat Clean Plus and Boat Scrub. Apply the solution onto a soft clean cloth and rub out the stain. Afterwards protect the area with 2 or 3 coats of Premium Boat Shine. This is a synthetic sealer and polish that does not have any in it so it won’t yellow.
If this fails to get the stain our, the next step is to sand it out. Start with 600 grit wet sandpaper and use plenty of water. Sand until you get the stain out. Next sand with 800 grit wet sandpaper to remove the scratch marks. After, you can use a fine rubbing compound to bring back the shine. Protect the area with 2 to 3 coats of Premium Boat Shine.
If this fails then you are looking at refinishing the area. This is best done by spraying a matching color of gelcoat onto the sanded area and feathering it into the surrounding gelcoat. If done correctly the repair will be invisible. Unless you have the skill set necessary to do the job, you will be better off leaving this to a professional refinisher.
In future, carry a bottle of Kwik Shine in the boat with you. Whenever there is a fuel spill, and this is still quite a common occurrence, spray Kwik Shine onto the spill on the side of your boat. This will react with and remove the fuel as well as reseal the surface and replace the polish. The other benefit is that you will contain the fuel in the wiping cloth rather than flushing it into the water, which is the environmentally correct thing to do.
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