Oxidation Repair

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Chobeemuaga

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I wanted to start a post on my gelcoat restoration. I have a 93 180 TF. The boat was in decent shape when I bought it in 2019. The previous owner had stored it under a cover and the sun could shine on the hull at the water line. It oxidized as can be seen in the photos below. Also at some point the cover came off the stern and also oxidized there as well.

I started yesterday, making the most of winter down time, to repair/ restore the gelcoat.

The process I am using I found on YouTube. The channel is Russell Marine Products. They have a few good videos on how to wet sand and polish gelcoat.

Material list:
Water and small amount of Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle.
1500, 3000(or2500) grit wet sanding paper.
Wool bonnet
Foam bonnet
Heavy to medium cutting liquid compound.
Light cutting compound (I used Turttle wax products)
Drill or automotive detailing polisher (Northern Tool $75)
Rags and paper towels
Foam sanding backer with no grit.

The process is as follows:
Wet the area with soap and water mix. Start with 1500 grit paper on a foam backer and sand. Sand until the gray or brown oxidation turns milky white. Rinse with the wetting solution. Repeat to insure good removal of oxidation. Rinse again. The gelcoat should feel smooth if it feels rough sand a little more. Now go to the 3000 paper. Wet again and give it good coverage over what you just sanded. This step is to remove the 1500 paper scratches and not to cut more gelcoat. Dry and clean off the residue. Wool pad and heavy cut compound on a low speed with the drill or detailing machine. Clean the surface and you should see the finish beginning to polish and shine. Now use the light compound and the foam bonnet. Clean and there should be a big difference. Ready for a wash and wax. You will need to experiment with how much 1500 sanding for the amount of oxidation. Start with a small area and figure out how much. Go slow. You can always sand more if needed but you can't put it back on after it is sanded too far!! Experiment on a small area first.

Beginning pics of my boat:
 

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DONAOL

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Great DIY refinishing job. Really came out nice. Wish I had extra space in my garage to winter store my boat so I could do work like that.
 

Chobeemuaga

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Only about 25% done. I will post some progress pic along and along. I am surprised at how well the 25% looks. Super easy to do. Thought I would share with the group.
 

Chobeemuaga

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Awesome work, wish I did it to my old boat when I had it. Might have kept it.
I was a little skeptical to try it at first. I didn't think I could get the finish to come back for the amount of work. I was totally wrong. It is some work but the results are better than I was expecting. The pictures don't do it justice. You can see your teeth in the reflection.
 

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