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Deck care for older sunfish

Tackled the hull of my sunfish last Spring, and was planning to tune up the deck next Spring…
Original gelcoat deck, green with the white racing stripes. Shows some oxidation and some fine spider cracking around the cockpit - which has been pointed out to be normal on other threads.

Planning to start out with some Totalboat rubbing compound to try to remove the oxidation, followed by buffing and maybe wax. Has anyone done this before? I was planning to tape and great care to protect the racing stripes, but can I find replacement stripes anywhere if they get scuffed or damaged?
At a certain age, has anyone tried reinforcing the deck with some CSM and new gelcoat vs paint surface? Is this necessary at some point?

Planning on getting a cover too - the intensity sails one is a great price, but some of the forum threads make it sound like it may be worth putting out for the SLO sunbrella one?
My only two comments are 1) the racing stripes are gelcoat so can be polished like the rest of the deck 2) don’t wax the deck - slippery when wet takes on a whole new meaning on a waxed deck.
With the racing stripes, do I still need to be careful not to sand or buff one color into the other? i.e. should I still tape?

Thanks for the tip about the wax! My dilemma was weighing that against the benefits of protecting against oxidation. There are a lot of comments of sliding right off a polished or waxed deck…

Alan S. Glos

Well-Known Member
I am a fan of 3M Fiberglass Restorer. It is a marine rubbing compound in a bottle and comes in two grades for heavy oxidation and less oxidation. It also contains wax that does not seem to be as slippery an automotive wax. It is expensive but a little goes a long way. I believe you can still buy it on Amazon.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY


Well-Known Member
3M finishing wax/restorer is great, or any of several. I haven’t had issue with sliding off the deck, personally, and a polished up boat sure looks sweet.
Materials matter!

"Seat" material of artificial fibers (rayon, dacron) are very slick when wet. Denim, cotton or leather will keep you in place.

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
I believe this woman sailed in the Sunfish Masters championship a few years ago in her leather pants. I am hoping L&VW's leather sailing pants are not so form-fitting.a9b93452302c14028df877bf7ac10b78.jpg
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