Sad, but true: the resale value of your boat depends more on how it looks than on any other factor. Buying a boat is an emotional decision, and if yours looks old and chalky, people won’t come rushing to buy it. If, on the other hand, it looks shiny and new, you’ll have no problem getting top dollar when it’s time for an upgrade.
Here’s a quick three-step yearly routine, that will keep that gel coat in tip-top shape, and ensure plenty of enthusiasm from potential buyers who come to look at your boat.
- Start each season by applying not one, but two coats with a heavy paste wax. Those liquid waxes and polishes look great, but only for a few weeks. After that, the sun and rain break down the protective coating, and your gel coat becomes oxidized and chalky. Then, about half way through the season, give the boat another coating of paste wax.
- Wash the boat down thoroughly after each and every use, but don’t use a scrub brush or any abrasives on the gel coat. Instead, use a microfiber wash mitt. That will get rid of the salt crystals and fish blood, but won’t rub away the protective wax.
- Every few weeks, treat the gel coat to a spray-on wax. Like the other liquid products this won’t last long. But it will give your gel coat a deep, glimmering shine. And when it’s time to sell the boat, use this stuff every week so each buyer who walks up sees a mirror-like finish.
BONUS Boat Selling Tip: Everyone tries to make the hullsides shine when they go to sell their boat, but how many people pay attention to the metal rails and fittings? Rub them down with metal polish prior to listing your boat, and you’ll notice a definite jump in its visual appeal.