Q. 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. (Back)
Q. Why is my boat so dull & chalky looking?
A. Gelcoat 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. (Back)
Q. How does Poli Glow work?
A. As 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 gelcoat). (Back)
Q Why not just wax?
A. You probably have tried, and that's why you are reading this now.
- 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. (Back)
Q. 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)
Q. Why do you recommend so many coats initially?
A. Depending 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)
Q. 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? (Back)
Q. Can I apply Poli Glow over appliqués, registration numbers, licenses, dock stickers etc.?
A. 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 area. (Back)
Q. 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. (Back)
Q. Is dry Poli Glow slippery? Should it be applied to "non-skid" areas?
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 Woody Wax Non-Skid Deck Wax on the deck. However, many of our customers (myself included) have 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)
Q. The supplied applicator does not appear to be getting the Poli Glow down into the recesses of my non-skid surface, now what?
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)
Q. 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)
Q. Can I wax after I apply Poli Glow?
A. Remember, 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)
Q. What kind of sprayer do you suggest for Poli Prep application?
A. We 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)
Q. 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. (Back)
Q. I have been applying Poli Glow according to the directions. I have some places where there are some runs, or sags, or areas where I got more applied in one area. Should I use the Poli Prep and remove the excess Poli Glow, or should I try to cover the surrounding are with more Poli Glow to blend it in?
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! (Back)
Q. 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.) (Back)
Q. Will freezing temperatures affect my bottles of Poli Glow & Poli Prep in storage?
A. 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. (Back)
Q. 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 restorer on.
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)
NOTE: We 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!