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Old 11-09-2012, 05:57   #1
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Oxidized Fiberglass

Our S/V Manta 42 2000 was layed up for several years by the previous owners. We bought her last year and are doing our first haulout this Fall.

One of the things on our list is addressing the highly oxidized fiberglas. When we replaced the name on the stern, it took me hours of wet sanding with an electric sander, compounding to get to approach original like smoothness and shine.

We tried a few produces on test patches on our desk -- compounding, waxing, etc.

We've talked with a handful of people who recommended painting (we're leaning towards AwlGrip a while color) and not the clear coat poly coat stuff. We want something that's mostly maintenance free for a couple years. Yes, I hear the howling in the background, people grabbing their stomachs and rolling around the floor.

Other Manta owners have conveyed their efforts with stain removal, compounding and waxing, and calculated those efforts in days and beers consumed.

Based on our limited experience with the stern and test areas, we really don't know if compounding/waxing is going to do anything. Are we expecting too much to think we're going to see "like new shine" again, or even close to that? Is the surface just too porous and rough to be flattened down by compounding, or should we fill all though micro valleys with paint?

We need to do our above water line hulls, under the bridge deck while hauled out. We can do the topsides on the hard or once splashed back in the water.

Any and all experiences, products, recommendations are highly appreciated! Even good beers to go along with the tasks.

Craig and Mary.
S/V Galileo #66
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:33   #2
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Re: Oxidized Fiberglas

Craig and Mary, If you really want to do it right, forget all of the hype and advise about miracle products. They either don't work after all of your hard efforts or they will make the hull worse for any future fixes. Here is the best how-to I have seen yet. Tips For A Great Buff Wax - SailboatOwners.com . Good luck because it's lots of work but will pay off in the end. Chuck
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:04   #3
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Re: Oxidized Fiberglas

Before you consider painting the hull at $250 a foot....

I would suggest you make a solution of oxalic acid and water (10% to 15% acid to water). After that use a medium rubbing compound with a buffer wheel. Then use a good boat wax.

This worked on one of my boats and brought the shine back to a very oxidized hull.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:38   #4
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Re: Oxidized Fiberglas

Thanks so much. You guys give us hope. Sore arms. But hope.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:32   #5
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Re: Oxidized Fiberglas

I have an older Pearson and used a product called Aquabuff. Actually, I paid the yard to do it because you really need an industrial grinder fitted with a buffing wheel to do the job. It took about two days to do my 31 ft Pearson. It looked like new when finished.

It goes on as a thick paste, buffed then waxed.

There are some pictures just on my blog site. Setting Sail in SV China Girl* - Home

Let me know if you need more info.
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Old 11-09-2012, 13:18   #6
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Re: Oxidized Fiberglas

Our first bid to wet sand her was $3,500 plus another couple grand to polish her. Did a little looking around, and found a body and paint man that wanted a weekend job at home to make a little extra money. $400

Find a body shop guy that understands gel coat, and let him do what he does best.

We tried several do it yourself approaches on test patches, and the white oxy mess turned to a sea water green. After the pro was finished, it was the original pretty blue.
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Old 11-09-2012, 14:00   #7
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Ok we tried really hard for 3 years to bring back the shine. Finally we painted the hull with Interlux Perfection ourselves for $500 for two coats. We rolled it on and it looks great 3 years later! There are 4 shades of white to choose from. A professional yard would put on about 8 coats using a sprayer for around $4000. I have no regrets and hope to start on the topsides this fall.
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Old 11-09-2012, 14:37   #8
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Re: Oxidized Fiberglas

Many thanks for the continued information/pictures and knowledge. Very much appreciated.
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Old 11-09-2012, 15:13   #9
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Re: Oxidized Fiberglas

Been dealing with this question for about 4 years, and my next step is paint.

The following picture is "before":



This next picture is "after" Poli-Glo:



I had a very nice experience with Poly-Glo for the first year. The next Spring I re-coated as per directions. This next picture is after the second summer season (late Fall):



The Poly-Glo company received the above image and very kindly provided adequate Poly-Glo remover (in the spray can) which made removal easy. Of course, they wanted me to use the product again but for me the next step was to compound and wax. I used the methods prescribed by Maine Sail in the link to sailboatowners.com forum someone else posted above. Here is what it looked like while compounding, before wax (note the left-hand edge where I had not yet compounded):



Despite using Maine Sail's procedure and prescribed products (and following his instructions to the letter) the boat looked dull again after about 5 months.

I compounded again last Spring and so far this summer, the shine is holding up better than last year-to-date. I think the cumulative effect of compounding every year is helping, but I had decided that if it required me to compound again next Spring (and it will) I will plan to paint this because it's just too much work to compound and wax each year, despite owning all the equipment and materials now.

A white boat would be much easier. If I do paint it will probably be a medium color. White is easiest to maintain, and cooler, but too blah.

Hope you find these data points helpful.
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Old 11-09-2012, 15:55   #10
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Re: Oxidized Fiberglass

.......
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Old 11-09-2012, 16:00   #11
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Re: Oxidized Fiberglass

Depending on where you are in NC, Deaton's Yacht Service does fantastic work at a reasonable price. If you are familiar with Oshkosh Air Show, the owner Jeff Deaton won the prestigious Lindy Award in Custom Classics for his 1956 Bonanza- which looks shinier than a brand new one. He has locations in Morehead City and Wilmington and he is completely trustworthy.
He's the one in the flight suit.
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Old 11-09-2012, 16:06   #12
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Re: Oxidized Fiberglass

Depends on how much you want to spend, but if you decide to paint, do it with AwlGrip. My F-27GS has a 12 year old AwlGrip paint job. In the last couple years I've begun to wax yearly, and I probably wouldn't have had to do that if I hadn't applied oxalic bleach. But then the brown mustache would have been worse.

Compounds and waxes suggestions: Collinite, 3M Finesse-It, StarBrite Marine Polish with Teflon. Internet search will garner you lots of info on techniques
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