Features December 2019 Issue

Reviving Gelcoat & More

One of the most common questions we get from new owners of old boats is how to bring back new gelcoat shine. We’ve undertaken countless product tests to find the best boat wax and polishes, the most effective waxing-and-polishing tools, and the products that can be used for a speedy touchup. If waxing is on your to-do list, be sure to check out the following articles.

You’ll find a good overview of our archive articles on this topic in the May 12, 2015 blog post, “A Practical Look at Waxing and Polishing Your Boat.” We reported on our tests of paste waxes in the February 2009 issue, one-step cleaner/waxes in the March 2007 issue, and aggressive rubbing compounds (for those much-weathered hulls) in the April 2014 issue.

For those looking for a quick and easy way to add a little shine to your hull, without the full-on protective-wax routine, be sure to read our report on spray-on waxes in the December 2014 issue. If your hull is looking a little long in tooth and needs more than a wax job, consider a gelcoat restorer (see PS July 2011 online), but weigh the pros and cons first.

Readers will find helpful information on what tools we recommend for restoring and protecting gelcoat in the March 18, 2014 blog, “The Pro’s Guide to Restoring Gelcoat,” as well as our test report of the Shurhold Dual-Action Polisher in the April 2010 Chandlery section.

If you’re serious about protecting your investment and prefer to have all your research in one, easy-to-access place, then consider buying PS’s “Gelcoat Restoration and Maintenance” ebook, or the whole maintenance series, “Marine Cleaners.”

Safety At Sea

Our archives are overflowing with safety gear tests and tips articles. Here are a few that are timely—and timeless. Check out our tests of safety tethers (PS September 2011) and PFD-harnesses (PS July 2013 and August 2008), and the feature on life-raft inspections (February 2013). In 2012, we reported on three racing accidents, each with important lessons for all sailors: WingNuts capsize (April 2012), Rambler 100 capsize (May 2012), and the Low Speed Chase (Farallones) capsize (June 2012). And in “Practical Tips for Survival at Sea” (June 2013), author Michael Tougias offers advice from survivors on what they would have done differently and what helped them survive.

For a compilation of decades of PS safety tests and advice articles, check out the “MOB Prevention and Recovery” ebook, which is available from our online bookstore www.practical-sailor.com/books.

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