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Steve 1962

Restoring the colour of a fibre glass dome

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34 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

I have to say that even if I had to do the Polytrol every year, I think I'd prefer it as it's quicker and less arduous than the waxing, even with the electrical polisher.

I dont blame you - in 'the trade' Polytrol is know as 'For Sale' juice !  ?

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Thanks for the links to the products @Skipper Billy

I’m with @JeremyShere though. I’ve tried polishing the dome for years now with limited short term success - but now I think a quick coat of For Sale Juice every year is the way to go.

Most importantly, Mrs L is happier about this plan too !

Steve

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So, after 5 months of expose to the Sun (?) and general weather, following the Polytrol treatment, the dome has lost a bit of it's shine. Not as bad as it was in my wax-and-polish days, but still not looking like it was in the first couple of months after treatment.

So my question to all, and @Steve 1962, is it OK to do another Polytrol treatment? Is there a limit to the number of times it can be used?

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I'm sure the manufacturer would appreciate it if you applied in Monthly 🤣

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@JeremyS - mine's the same; it's gone dull on the xposed parts.  I'm just considering giving it another wipe over before the winter. I'll report back when done.

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49 minutes ago, Steve 1962 said:

@JeremyS - mine's the same; it's gone dull on the xposed parts.  I'm just considering giving it another wipe over before the winter. I'll report back when done.

Thanks Steve

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Hi!

 

I have worked on both gliders (sailplanes) and sailboats. 

Normal gelcoat is hydroscopic/is porous. And not very UV resistant, even when produced with topcoat. Over time it will be degraded.

There is several solutions to get it back to close to new finish. But no one will last better than it was new. 

Just cleaning gelcoat. 

1. Use something to wash it as clean as possible. If there is mold ect. Add som WC cleaner in the solution. 

2. Use citric acid to clean it. Google. There is a lot of boaters that do this. Or buy wheel/rim cleaner that is based on citric acid. (always ty on a small area first. 

3. If happy with the result. Use some good car wax to protect it. But it will only last for a season. 

4. If non of the above is satisfactory. Elbow grease and wet sanding is what is the next thing.. Start with 800 paper. Work you're way up tp 2000 paper. 

Then polish with quality polish and wax to protect it.  This is the way to do it. Because you remove the old pourus gelcoat and reveals some fresh. Ofcoarse. If you have sufficient gelcoat layer. 

5. what I would do if I had an old composite dome with gelcoat. In need of a refinish. Id sand it down a bit. Clean it well. And apply a hard paint. That would survive and look better in the long run. 

Epoxi or acrylic paint of good quality. Today when producing, or refinishing gliders. Acrylic paint is a popular option. Its harder to wetsand and polish to a super finish. But will last much, much longer then gelcoat. 

Today, gelcoat is still popular in manufacturing. Because its fairly cheap and easy to work with. (easy to sand and touchup) 

 

Hope I could help. Even though it is in "swenglish" spelling. :)

 

P.S!

Oh I forgot! 

Classic crome polish, like autosol is a good polish for old gelcoat. It has some citric acid in it. So there is a 2 in one product. :)

spray a bit of water on the surface. A dab of autosol, and a good polishing rug..  Then let the elbowgrease do its wonders.. ;) 

I use a buffing machine on my sailboat. also did it on my glider. Though it needs some practice! But if there is a lot of surface area to work on.

A polishing machine is the way to do it. 

 

Edited by Rocket Stars
Corrected som Swenglish spelling.. :)
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Posted (edited)

Steve,

 

Just seen this message. I bought some Polytrol and I have painted my 2.7m Pulsar Dome. I had thought the dome colour had faded in the sun but it is now back to the original color and looks really great. Thanks for the thread. You now have to buy it direct from the company and it took just a few days to get here. Give people something to do now we are at home. They are at: https://www.owatroldirect.co.uk/product/polytrol/

Edited by George 47

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Hah! I was just looking at my Pulsar dome and thinking it could do with another dose of Polytrol!

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@George 47 - they do look smart with a coat don't they ? I find mine lasts about a year.

 

@jeremys - haha! It's on my list too!!

 

Steve

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Steve 1962 said:

@George 47 - they do look smart with a coat don't they ? I find mine lasts about a year.

 

@jeremys - haha! It's on my list too!!

 

Steve

My before and after images:

1757237457_domebefore.jpg.324aef28a4b71b04321f6e132beadde7.jpg       

  •                                                       2076752394_domefront.thumb.jpg.8e8e9e5b9c1262da243a432ab8092cd9.jpg
Edited by George 47
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I gave my Pulsar dome a Polytrol treatment yesterday. It's a year since i dd it the firsttime and it was looking a bit off colour on the side that normally gets most sun.

Does anyone know if there is a downside to using Polytrol ? Can you use it too many times?

Also how does it actually work? Do the solvents wet the gel coat or pigment in some way?

IMG_0284.jpg.5e8a6415fbfa1336c20d8c1f4e514e89.jpg

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Just by way of an update, I sold my dome back in June to @Jkulinand he struggled to remove the single coat of Polytrol that I applied last February.

In the end, he resorted to sanding the whole dome down and repainting it with two pack paint. 😧

This was expensive, hard work and very time consuming for John, so I really cannot recommend the use of Polytrol in these circumstances. 

Steve

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Steve,

Can I ask why the single coat you applied in February needed to be removed? Had it deteriorated in some way? Having seen the various before and after photos from those that used the product I had thought I would give it a try.

Many thanks,

Linton

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Hi Linton

It had faded and gone patchy with white patches. Applying another coat over the top didn’t improve things apparently.

Hope this helps

Steve

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Thanks very much for the info.  I saw a chaps Pulsar dome recently that had been sanded right back and then painted with two pack and it did look a very good job once finished, but quite an amount of work. I was hoping for a short cut!

Linton

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I don't know whether 303 protectant would help. Useful and recommended on kayaks.

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