PBO reader Peter Clubbe wants to know how he can improve the faded gelcoat on his elderly Hardy Navigator

I have an elderly Hardy Navigator with blue faded gelcoat.

The gelcoat had faded badly when I bought it, so last spring I cut it back hard with a power mop and Farecla cutting compound, followed by two coats of UV wax polish.

She looked a treat when I’d finished, but by the time I got around to taking her out the finish was nearly as bad as it was previously.

A boat with a blue hull on a trailer

After a cut and polish Curlew’s gelcoat looked great…but soon faded. Credit: Peter Clubbe

I intend to cut it again this spring, but am wondering whether there’s anything more effective than the polish that I could apply to preserve the finish and prevent the same thing from happening next season.

I’m reluctant to paint over the gelcoat, since it’s in quite good condition considering its age (1986), but don’t want to be doing this every year.

Peter Clubbe

Richard Jerram replies:

As the gelcoat is 37 years old, there’s going to be deterioration caused by UV light.

Unfortunately, polishing the hull annually is almost certainly something you’ll have to do unless you paint over the topsides.

Continues below…

Your best option would probably be to consider painting the topsides with a two-component polyurethane that has good resistance to UV light and is also hard and durable.

I’d consider this type of paint to last at least five years, possibly more.

It can be applied DIY with a brush and roller or, of course, it can be applied professionally.

Enjoy reading How can I improve the faded gelcoat on my boat?

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