Refurbishing the fiberglass hull on your fishing boat has never been easier to do yourself. With readily available supplies, you can refinish your boat in a day. It will take a little elbow grease, but after you're finished, you'll be left with a boat that looks brand new and is ready for the water. Don't risk being stranded or missing out on some fishing due to an improperly cared-for boat hull.
Pull the boat from the water and support it in such a way as to allow access to the outside surfaces of the hull.
Sand down the hull to remove the top gel coat as well as any blemishes or areas of damage. Start with a rough-grit sandpaper, and use an electric sander if available.
Clean all sanded surfaces on the boat hull with a rag soaked in acetone.
Mix your fiberglass resin and hardener when you're ready to begin minor repairs, then paint some on the site of any cracks or nicks in the boat hull and place a sheet of fiberglass cloth over the top. Paint enough resin mixture onto it to wet it to the surface of the boat hull. Remember that the fiberglass cloth and resin dry extremely hard, so applying them smoothly when wet can save you a lot of time sanding later.
Allow for the fiberglass resin to cure according to the manufacturer's recommendations, then sand the site smooth to the surface of the boat starting with a medium-grit, working toward a fine-grit paper. Always sand the boat hull using a sanding block, and not by hand, to avoid uneven surfaces over the hull.
Paint the hull with your selected color. This step is not necessary, but if you want to add a little color, now is the time.
Seal the hull. Instead of applying a very time-consuming gel coat finish, it will be much easier and faster to use a urethane paint. Paint on the urethane clear-coat finish according to the manufacturer's direction and allow at least 24 hours for it to dry.
Polish and buff the surfaces of the refinished hull, starting with some 1,000-grit wet/dry sandpaper, and progress to using a rubbing compound with a buffing wheel.
Tips & Warnings
- Always wear a ventilator, eye protection and gloves when working with fiberglass.
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images