Restoring lustre to faded boat

Looks like I may be picking up another boat. Have not seen it yet, but will next week. My understanding is that the color has faded (red). Any suggestions on how to bring the color back?


Need details Andy
Assuming it’s a gel coated composite of some sort, a polishing compound like

should do the job.

I’ve had good results with 3M
Assuming you’re talking about gelcoat, I’ve had good results with 3M’s Imperial Polishing Compound and Finesse It products to remove surface oxidation and restore original color and shine.

Best if you use a power buffer with these products. I use a 7" angle grinder with the regular sheepskin bonnets you get at the hardware store.

Carbon/Kevlar composite (I think)
As I said, haven’t seen it yet. But that looks like it would do the trick. I like my boats clean and shiny.


Gave a customer a major discount
on a older, yet new boat because it was so badly faded from outside storage, he spent a couple hours with an electric auto buffer and some 303. I couldn’t believe it was the same boat when I saw the finished job, looked like it just left the factory.

I agree. 1500 wet sand , 3M heavy duty
marine polishing (tan) followed by Finesse 3m Marine. I personally feel that Finesse is the most amazing substance I have ever worked with. It polishes stainless, removes left over crap from the compounding, and makes an average job of polishing look professional. I almost hate to put wax on over it for fear that it will make it look worse. My two restoration/clean up must haves for cars, boats, anything, are WD40 and Finesse.

I just did this
I just did this with the Pat Moore canoe that was given to me.

I use 3M polishing compound and a buffer. I then waxed the boat with Nanowax.

You can see before and after pictures here.

But if its skincoat or similar, you’ll
have to proceed much more cautiously. You don’t want to get through the thin surface layer and into the fibers.
just sayin’…

because Your boat will be the same color as my Hair, my PFD and my old boat etc…You don’t get to use the moniker …Fadedred

I faded first…buff it , color restore works…(except for the hair and the PFD)

Best wishes


It depends on how bad it is
If you want to see a badly faded and scratched red boat being resurrected, check out my “Gelcoat Repair & Restoration” album on Webshots at:

Note that this was a British boat with thick gelcoat. You can’t be as aggressive with thinner coatings. In some cases, the damage to the gelcoat can be too severe to be restored, especially if it’s thin. Note also that this is a LOT of work. I did it mainly as an experiment after having modest success rejuvenating a badly sun damaged purple Pintail (the gelcoat was so oxidized it was white in many areas). and I’m not sure that I would do it again.

Thanks all…but

– Last Updated: May-17-08 10:58 PM EST –

Doesn't anyone want to know what the boat is?;-)


By the way…
what kind of boat is it? :wink:

Futura II surf ski

Andy, really, really , REALLY check
all seams +++ bucket and EVERY spot around it’s perimeter. Check by pushing and look for things to ‘open up’ that you might not see otherwise. Also look right around the corner rom the seam @ the seat area + footwell area @ deck and under @ hull.

Call or email me if you want for more details … You might inquire how old this boat is and where it was manufactured … does it have an over or understern rudder ?

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I asked
I asked for details in the very first reply.

That’s my plan Pat

– Last Updated: May-18-08 2:23 PM EST –

I want to go over it with a fine tooth comb before I make a commitment. I'll see it this coming week.