Which gelcoat cleaners are best at combating waterline yellowing on boat hulls? Ben Meakins dons his rubber gloves and puts 10 products to the test
As expected, all the products we tried improved the hull’s colour significantly. There were a few products which gave ‘top tier’ performance, however – Y10, Star brite Hull Cleaner, Silky Marine Bright and Chine Shine gave the best results in the fastest time.
In the next tier, very nearly as good, were Grunt! and Boat Buddy, which delivered equally good results after a longer time. Next up, International’s Stain Remover, Hempel Gelcoat Cleaner and Farecla’s Rapid Stain Remover performed well but required a second application on stubborn areas. As all the products except Meguiar’s No49 contain some sort of acid, be it oxalic or phosphoric, it’s not surprising that the results were all very similar. However, differences lie with the concentration of the acid and the makeup of the gel or liquid in which it’s suspended. Gel has the advantage that it ‘clings’ to the hull and keeps the acid in contact for longer than a thin liquid which can run off – meaning you also use less.
Prices varied considerably. Chine Shine gave great results for the lowest cost per litre (although it’s only available in sizes from 2lt upwards), with Silky Marine Bright also coming in cheaply. Y10’s gel format gave great results in a short time.