My boat is faded and gone 'chalky', where to start?

Has your boat started to, or gone chalky? Has she lost her shine?

If your boat has started to go chalky, or a fine dust has started to rub off; your boat probably needs some serious TLC to restore it back to its former shine. Unfortunately, most boat washes won’t be up to the job, you will need to look at firstly an acid wash followed by a ‘cutting or buffing compound’ and then a wax and polish.

Acid washes will remove any existing waxes, sticky residues and surface grime. Remember once you have done an acid wash (similar to a boat wash) on the surfaces to be restored it is no longer protected from the elements, wind, rain, sun etc. Browse our range of Acid Washes.

Cutting compounds come in various ‘strengths’ or levels of abrasiveness and are designed to cut through the chalk right back to the gelcoat or paint. Determining the level of cutting compound required can be difficult however brands such as Presta and 3M brand their products such as light, medium, heavy to help select the desired compound. If you are unsure it is best to start lightly and use harsher compounds if and as required. It is important not to go to harsh to soon as you could scratch or do more damage. The cutting compound should cut through the chalkiness to reveal the unprotected surface. Cutting compounds can be applied with a rag by hand or with as electric buffer and pad. Refer to the product you are using for specific application instructions. Browse Cutting Compounds.

Once you have completed the cut, we can now look at restoring the shine and protection between the boat and the water. In this case where you have already cleaned and cut, ideally you need a straight wax/polish in either a paste or liquid. There is no need for a combination product such as clean and wax or cut and wax. These products have merits of their own depending on what you are trying to achieve.

Waxes can be applied either by hand or electric buffer and are designed to fill in the micropores of gelcoat minimising dirt and grime which can get in and cause deterioration. Once the wax has been applied, allow it to dry a little before using a buffing pad to bring the surface to a brilliant shine.

Now that you have put all that work in, and your pride and joy is looking pretty schmick! Maintain the shine by washing your boat after every use to remove surface salt, dust, dirt and implement a regular wax schedule every 3-6 months to prevent fading and chalking.

Browse our range of boat and acid washes, cutting compounds, polishes and waxes.

Still not sure? Call the team on 07 5502 8484 for our recommendations.