Fiberglass boats are the most common pleasure crafts. The fiberglass is strong, durable, and low maintenance as long as it is kept in good repair.
The most important aspect of any kind of fiberglass is the top gel coat. This topcoat is the glossy protective layer that keeps the whole fiberglass construction system cohesive, and its failure will breach the integrity of subsequent layers.
The most common causes of failure are minute scratches left by particles of grit or sand. These scratches allow penetration of water, UV rays, and ozone, and will contribute to the deterioration of the layers of laminate under the gel coat.
Tools & Technique
It is crucial to wash the surfaces regularly with soap and warm water, rinse thoroughly and then restore the finish with a fiberglass cleaner/polish. This polishing should restore the shine, which should then be protected by a carnauba wax designed for fiberglass.
If polishing does not restore the chalky appearance of the gel coat, a stronger, more abrasive rubbing compound designed for fiberglass. This should remove all small scratches and stains, however it is imperative that this surface be protected with wax. This will prevent further discoloration and offer more protection from the elements.