Hull Refurb

Thread starter #1
I've got a '92 Mod II that besides an old coat of bottom paint and possibly some wax, has never had any work done to the fiberglass. It has some minor surface cracks in high stress areas, but nothing requiring any patching. I want to freshen it up but am unsure what my options are. At a minimum I need to do something with the bottom paint, ideally I'd like to get rid of it and have a smooth bottom since I store the boat on the trailer, but I realize the fiberglass underneath may be roughed up too much and I may have to just end up with new bottom paint. But I'm totally lost of what to do for the rest of the hull and even the cockpit, should I do some light sanding and then wax, should I think about painting? Anyone have any experience with hull work?
I'm new to sailing but not to old fiberglass boats. If the gelcoat is not crazed - no spider cracks - then try 3M Fiberglass Compound & Wax - my bottle is at our place on the river but I'll try to find the 3M number for you. Its a cream wax with a light rubbing compound in it and will polish out all the chalky-ness in the gelcoat and render it "like new". Takes a little elbow grease, but the results are very good.

If you have moderate to severe gelcoat crazing or checking, about the only thing to do is to sand, fill, and fair out the old surface and paint it. The new two part paints are better than gelcoat in my view. My 1972 Bertram 31's gelcoat was damaged in a storm and had some crazing too. About 11 years ago I had it professionally painted with Imron 5000 and the results were pretty stunning. Same stuff they use on Corvettes. I have never waxed it since (other than put some Rejex on the transom to keep the diesel soot from sticking) and after 11 years outdoors the finish looks like new. I refinished my 1962 Whaler 13 Sport last year myself using Interlux products and a foam brush and it really came out looking professionally done, a minor miracle since painting ain't my strong suit.

Sanding (start with a fine grit, say 220, then go finer, 320, etc) is about the only way to get the bottom paint off without tearing up the gelcoat. Soda blasting will do a great job if you can find someone willing to do such a small job.

Its something you can easily do yourself.

Good luck!

Thread starter #3
Thanks for the tips! I'll probably start with the bottom paint work and then hopefully try out the compound and wax. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I dig into it.
The 3M stuff is their fibergalss cleaner & wax, the 16 oz bottle is their # 09009. Try this link:

The Imron 5000 paint job on my 31 Bertram got beat up during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and I had those areas re-shot with it - which is one big advantage of Imron, its repairable - and a few areas had some overspray the yard missed. I polished it out with the 3M above....worked fine but I ended up using a low speed obrital polisher with a flat wool pad, as trying to do it by hand would have taken forever. I guess I could have used a more agressive rubbing compound to speed up the process, but the enemy of good is better.....