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Gelcoat Restoration on my '83 Superslot

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  • Gelcoat Restoration on my '83 Superslot

    So, I was getting ready to get my boat out for the first time after doing extensive work to the electrical systems and installing a new blower, bilge pump, and fixing the heater when I decided to go ahead and tackle the gelcoat... Well, I tried cleaning and waxing and realized that it was 27 years worth of oxidization and grime and I was going to need to sand it down and bring it back... I removed all of the decals and the following pics will show the project...



    This was what the entire left side of the boat looked like...

    This next pic is what the side looks like sanded to 600 grit and wet... I still need to finish it down to 1000 before I start polishing..



    There are still a couple of dark spots on the bottom of the strip that I need to get at but I am pretty happy with the results.. you can't really see any of the old decal markings..

    The next pic is of the other side.. It was crazy. I actually thought the black spaces on the stripe was just a bad spray job by mastercraft.. as I was sanding I realized that it was just THICK grime.



    And after over an hour of sanding at 600 grit I only got it down to this in the back....



    I have decided to take some 400 grit to it for a while to get that metal flake to come back.

    Then I guess the next step is to sand it back to 1000 grit and then start polishing and waxing. I am really encouraged though because of how the left side is turning out but this has definitely turned out to be a WAY bigger project than I thought... I went ahead and bought a new buffer by what I read in all of the other posts... We'll see how it goes... Updates and more pics to come!!

  • #2
    83, Looking good your on the right path to getting it all polished. If it where me I would sand it with 2000 micro fine sand paper it will look much better that just by sanding it with 1000 grit. Than polish it and wax it. Keep up the hard work.

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    • #3
      Well, I hit a snag today... I was sanding with the 400 grit and I got down to the metal flakes. The crazy thing is that the dark spot is still there... I don't get it.... maybe it was the factory job... any ideas?
      Last edited by 83SuperSlot; 05-06-2010, 10:35 PM.

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      • #4
        Somebody on here just had the same issue and clearcoated over the metal flake.
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        • #5
          Hmmmm wonder who that could be Mr MC??? LOL might be "ME". Yes I did have to do that to mine 83. I have the same problem with mine to. It has black streaks in the gel coat. It has to be something to do when they age with darker colors. It bothers me to see it do the same thing but nothing we can do unless you repaint it might fix the problem.

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          • #6
            Thanks Jim. I'll keep you guys posted!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 83SuperSlot View Post
              Well, I hit a snag today... I was sanding with the 400 grit and I got down to the metal flakes. The crazy thing is that the dark spot is still there... I don't get it.... maybe it was the factory job... any ideas?


              I am sorry I didn't see this post. Now that you have gotten down to the flake I would "STOP" and not sand anymore. Now you will have to clear coat it to seal it all back up. With my boat the gel coat on the out side was all gone and right down to the flake so I wet sanded it real light with 500. Then I mixed up some clear and sprayed it 5 coats later it was like a new boat. But if you dont know how to spray clear I would have a near by body shop spray it for you. To bad I live so far away or I would spray it for you.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by americanskierJim View Post
                I am sorry I didn't see this post. Now that you have gotten down to the flake I would "STOP" and not sand anymore. Now you will have to clear coat it to seal it all back up. With my boat the gel coat on the out side was all gone and right down to the flake so I wet sanded it real light with 500. Then I mixed up some clear and sprayed it 5 coats later it was like a new boat. But if you dont know how to spray clear I would have a near by body shop spray it for you. To bad I live so far away or I would spray it for you.
                I think I made it sound worse than it really is... I noticed that I sanded literally about 2 flakes. So I really am not all the way through and since I was hand sanding I stopped immediately.. I have finshed sanding most of the boat and I just have the transom to do. I am thinking it should still be okay if I polish it up and throw a couple coats of wax on it... What do you think?

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                • #9
                  I would give it a shot and polish/wax it see what happens. I am sure it will be ok. Let us know who it turns out.

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                  • #10
                    I tried sanding and waxing the metalflake on my '78 S&S the first season I had it. The shine didn't last long, and it was down to exposing the flakes so repeating wasn't really an option. I opted for clearcoat. One final sanding then 3 coats of urethane clear and it's been super shiny ever since.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Bellinghamster; 05-09-2010, 10:25 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I got the boat out for the first time yesterday and it looked and ran perfect! I have a bunch of pics but I only uploaded a few... Here you go!!







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                      • #12
                        Here's a couple more....





                        I have a Monster tower and a teak platform on their way... Can't wait!!

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                        • #13
                          Boat looks good and the weather looks alot better than ours

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                          • #14
                            83, It look's great. Wishin I was out on the water havin some fun.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks guys!

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