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Why did my boat get dull and how do I restore the shine?


E-J OHLER asked:

I washed my 2007 Boston Whaler and used Boat Scrub with Marine Power Mitt and then followed up Boat Shine.
The gel-coat now looks dull/matte due to the scratches that the Boat Scrub and Marine Power Mitt made. There still is a shine to the matte surface but nowhere as nice/deep as the clean parts I used wax on.
How do I get back to the original shine?


For your convenience, I’ve highlighted the hyperlinks. Click on the hyperlink to get more information about the selected product.

The patina finish that you describe as dull or matte is the natural finish of gelcoat. When the boat is new it has a high shine, like paint, due to the mold release remaining on the surface. This typically breaks down in the first year. If you apply a glaze wax or Carnauba wax or a regular basis, you can maintain the high shine by masking the degradation from the sun, even though the gelcoat surface under the wax has oxidized from UV.

Wax is thick, sits on the surface and is ablative, or slips around, making it an excellent temporary mask for imperfections on the surface. Unfortunately it breaks down fairly quickly and allows UV and environmental damage, even though it appears to be protecting because of the high build up. It still shines and beads water due to the greasy, ablative surface, so it appears to be protecting the surface, even though it’s not. You can get the same high shine from transmission fluid or other heavy oil, but of course it’s messy, doesn’t last and does not protect your boat.

Boat Scrub strips away the old wax and oxidized gelcoat. It deep cleans the gelcoat and removes stains and scuffs, bringing it back to its original state or patina finish. Premium Boat Shine is not a mask but a synthetic, long life, protective coating that enhances the surface, seals the pores and protects against UV damage from the sun as well as other environmental attack. It does not contain any natural wax like Carnauba and is not intended as a making product but a surface protector.

If you prefer the high gloss shine, you can buff the surface with EZ Buff and EZ Buff Extender (to extend working time and eliminate swirl marks). These are new products that are different from rubbing compounds. They are easy to use, either by hand or with a rotary buffer and the results are phenomenal. Rather than masking the imperfections in the gelcoat, like wax, it restores the finish. Then, when you apply Premium Boat Shine, it will lock in the high gloss finish and protect it for longer periods of time.

People are reluctant to use rubbing compounds on their boats because, unless you have a good hand obtained from years of experience, it’s easy to get swirl marks and friction burns on the surface. That’s why this process is normally left to professionals. EZ Buff is a buffing cream and professional results can be obtained by most amateurs, even when using a rotary buffer for the first time. It can be used by hand but we recommend using a rotary buffer with a wool pad to make the job easier, faster and you get more consistent results.

Thank you for your question,

Captain Aurora,
Richard Kittar

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