What exactly is gelcoat?
A. When a
boat is made of fiberglass (mat and woven glass
fibers layered up and impregnated with polyester resin),
the outer finish is usually composed of polyester resin
containing colored pigment. This layer is called gelcoat
and is sprayed into the mold before laying down the layers
of fiberglass matting etc. Because the inner surface of the
mold is coated in a wax-based "mold release agent" when the
boat is removed from the mold the outer surface (that you
see) is the gelcoat. This is very shiny on a new boat
because it has not yet been subjected to the elements.
Why is my boat so dull & chalky looking?
ages by a sort of plastic rust called chalky oxidation
caused by pollution, ultraviolet light (sunshine) and
oxygen. The chalk is oxidation breakdown of the polyester
gelcoat. Because the long chain polymer chains are broken
into smaller and smaller pieces, the eventual process yields
chalky material - sort of analogous to surface rust.
However, Poli Prep can selectively dissolve the chalk
without affecting the gelcoat. This is because the small
molecules of chalk are more soluble than the long chain
polymers of polyester of the gelcoat. By contrast, a
non-selective solvent (acetone) will dissolve both
chalk and polyester. However, (as for rust on steel)
neglected gelcoat develops pores or micro crevices that are
full of chalk and therefore increases porosity of the
gelcoat itself. This chalk absorbs stains (rust, diesel
smoke etc.) and makes white gelcoat lose much of its
pristine look (self destructs). On colored gelcoat,
the whitish chalk in the pores also makes it difficult to
restore full depth to the color, even with much
compounding. In the old days people would then recommend
wet sanding down into the gelcoat (hopefully to reach
"bottom" of the pores) and then polish and wax.
How does Poli Glow work?
mentioned above, when gelcoat ages the surface becomes
microscopically pitted, thus reflecting light in different
directions. This is why the surface looks dull. Poli Glow
fills these pits and retards further oxidation by sealing
the surface from the elements. In addition UV inhibitors
are formulated into the product (sort of a sunscreen for
Why not just
probably have tried, and that's why you are reading this
- Wax, rubbing
compounds and some polishes work by abrasion. Thus, you
are actually removing layers of gelcoat every time you use
these products. Remember, gelcoat is (on an average)
only 10 mils thick (about 8 times thicker than paint).
Every time you wax you are actually removing gelcoat,
eventually you could remove it all.
- You probably
use wax on your boat because you were taught to do so by
your parents or grandparents. Your parents and
grandparents had no other options. However, YOU do! While
wax products do have their place (cleaning etc.),
they in-fact will eventually do more harm than good on
your gelcoat surface.
- Waxing will
soon streak and oxidize in it's own way. You probably
have noticed this already.
Approximately how many square feet will a 32 oz.
bottle of Poli Glow treat?
A. A good
rule of thumb is 1 kit (32oz.) will do a 32' boat up
to 8 coats. The product is applied in THIN coats, thus a
little goes a long way! (Back)
Why do you recommend so many coats initially?
upon the condition of your gelcoat, Poli Glow must
"build-up" to completely fill the microscopic pits & voids.
There is no way this can be accomplished with just one
application, much like varnish. After that one "maintenance
coat a year should suffice". (Back)
Can I apply Poli Glow without first using Poli Prep?
A. We don't
recommend it. Poli Prep is specifically formulated to
remove any oxidation and wax that may reside in your gelcoat.
You wouldn't think of painting a dirty car, would you?
Can I apply Poli Glow over appliqués, registration
numbers, licenses, dock stickers etc.?
Absolutely! In the event you need to remove any "stickies"
just use the Poli Prep to remove the Poli Glow in the area
of interest, remove/replace and re-apply Poli Glow over the
Will my boat clean easier with Poli Glow on it?
A. While Poli
Glow will seal the gelcoat surface, thus reducing
penetration of foreign substances, the Poli Glow surface can
of course become dirty. Just wash with soap and water.
Is dry Poli Glow slippery? Should it be applied to
A. The Poli Glow surface will reduce
the effectiveness of molded "non-skid" if it fills in
the voids that provide the traction. When traction is
of significant importance: high foot traffic, competitive
boating, and commercial applications, we recommend the
use of our non-skid product
Non-Skid Deck Wax on the deck. However, many of our customers (myself included)
used it with no problems on non-skid. Just be sure that all wax/polish is
completely removed prior to application. If the non-skid is
particularly aggressive, use a disposable foam brush and
apply in even strokes, just like varnish. If the Poli Glow
bubbles using the brush, just apply less pressure and resist
the urge to go over any holidays (where you missed)
while the product is still wet. They can be addressed with
the next coat. (Back)
The supplied applicator does not appear to be getting the
Poli Glow down into the recesses of my non-skid surface, now
A. In the
event the non-skid is too aggressive (deep) for the chamois
applicator that is supplied with the kit, just use a
disposable foam brush to apply the Poli Glow to the non-skid
ONLY. If you try to use the brush on a smooth surface you
will probably get bubbling/foaming. Use the foam brush
technique only on non-skid using the same smooth/even
strokes you would use with the chamois applicator, if you
get bubbles using the foam brush you are probably pressing
too hard. (Back)
How about buffing?
A. Poli Glow
is not a wax! There is no buffing required. The product
dries to a smooth shiny surface in just 60 seconds. You
buff when waxing and compounding to remove the dead gelcoat.
(See Q. "Why not just wax?) (Back)
Can I wax after I apply Poli Glow?
Poli Glow eliminates waxing once and for all. It would be
self-defeating to apply wax over the Poli Glow surface, and
possibly could dull your surface depending on the abrasive
properties of the wax. (Back)
What kind of sprayer do you suggest for Poli Prep
recommend a simple hand held "squeeze trigger" type of
sprayer, available at any hardware/garden store or by
clicking here. You only
use enough diluted Poli Prep to wet the surface lightly so a
garden (pump-up) type of sprayer would be overkill, although
it would certainly work. (Back)
Does it make any difference whether I do the entire
surface a coat at a time or work in smaller areas?
A. Either way
will work just fine. The important thing is to have applied
the same number of coats when you are finished.
I got the Poli Glow and followed the directions. I have
some places where there are some runs, or sags, where I got
more on in one area. Should I use the Poli Prep and remove
excess, or try to cover with more Poli Glow in surrounding
area? What is the best way to treat these areas.
A. Just use
the Poli Prep on the run/sag areas to remove the Poli Glow
and re-apply. The areas will blend in with the existing
Poli Glow already on the surface. Next time remember, use
thin coats. It will eliminate running!
Do I need to use Poli Prep prior to my maintenance coats
just like I did when initially applying the product?
A. No, No a
thousand times No. Poli Prep is used for 2 things. One is
to remove oxidation/wax etc. prior to your initial
application of Poli Glow. Two is to remove the Poli Glow
(for appliqués/ stick on lettering etc.)
Will freezing temperatures affect my bottles of Poli Glow
& Poli Prep in storage?
Freezing WILL effect the qualities of the products. It may cause
the PoliGlow to become "lumpy" and may cause
uneven application. Do not use and appropriately
discard of the products.
I have just received my order of Poli Glow and am
preparing to refinish my boat. The boat is currently out of
the water for some repairs and a bottom job. I would prefer
to do the topsides and later do the deck. Because the
cleaner is also the remover do I risk ruining the newly
refinished topsides by the water and cleaner runoff from the
deck cleaning removing the finish? Can I do this in stages
successfully? There is a lot of dust and dirt in the air in
the boatyard and I am concerned that the part I clean will
be dirty before I complete the hull and start putting
A. Go ahead
and do the hull normally (per instructions). When you do
the deck just be sure and use copious amounts of water
when you hose the Poli Prep off. I have personally done my
sailboat this way and had absolutely no problems with runoff
ruining the topsides job. Again, just use lots of water, don't
let the Poli Prep sit too long on the surface, and you will be
just fine! (Back)
have attempted to include the most commonly asked questions
re: PoliGlow. In the event you have an inquiry not
covered in this forum or instruction sheet please contact us
at contact us and we will respond directly to you. We are very interested
in answering ALL questions, so please do not hesitate to ask!