Whether you're restoring an older boat to its former glory or have just repainted a new boat, it's important to use the best possible gelcoat polish to bring back the original shine after wet sanding. While there are numerous products on the market which say that they can polish gelcoat finishes, only a few have really proven to be easy to apply and remove as well as fully polish gel coat finishes for protection.
Meguiar's, popular among automotive hobbyists for its highly effective line of polishes and waxes, is also involved in the manufacture of marine gelcoats. The system employed by Meguiar's is a single-stage polish. Flagship premium cleaner/wax is used after the initial wet sanding of a freshly painted gelcoat finish with a buffer to remove sanding scratches and polish the finish of the boat, and can be used to restore old finishes by removing oxidation and water spots.
Gel Coat Labs Professional Marine Polish & Shine Kit
Gel Coat Labs' gel coat polish is sold as a complete kit to help restore the finish on your old boat. Included in the kit is the polishing compound as well as a finish cleaning solvent in a spray bottle, foam scrubbers and a foam polishing pad which fits on a Velcro mount orbital buffing pad. The Gel Coat Labs kit is far more labour intensive than other products listed, and is more expensive, but with care and by following the directions closely, you can achieve a well restored gelcoat finish to your boat at home without having to make additional purchases.
Yacht Brite Buff Magic and Pro Polish
Yacht Bright offers a two stage process for cleaning and polishing your gelcoat finished boat. The first stage, Buff Magic is a paste that applies with an orbital buffer to cut through oxidation and stains. Buff Magic cannot be used to good effect without an orbital buffer. The second stage, Pro Polish, is applied with an orbital buffer as well and further smooths the surface of your gelcoat finish to bring out a glossy mirror-like shine.
Restructure Products Professional Marine Polish Sealant
Restructure Marine Products offers its marine polish and sealant that, unlike some polishes, also acts as a type of marine wax. Restructure products polish can be applied to lightly oxidised hulls with or without an orbital buffer, but should be used only for lightly oxidised or discoloured surfaces in need of cleaning. For further oxidation removal, Restructure products also offers a line of buffing products to cut through years of neglect to bring out the shine in gelcoat surfaces.