Buffing Out Scratches In Gel Coat

Q: Can you buff out a scratch in my gel coat when you buff and wax my boat?

A: I get this question all the time. For those of you who have kissed the dock while docking and now have a scratch in your gel coat, there is one easy way to know which solution you need. If you can stick your fingernail in it, meaning there is an indent, then that calls for gel coat repair. If there’s no indent, any smudge or smear from the dock should come out just fine when we buff that area.

If you’re trying to remove a smudge yourself, you may need to use a stronger compound, such as 3M heavy duty rubbing compound, to remove the smudge, but then follow up with a cleaner wax applying it and buffing it off in a larger area than just over the scratch to better blend it in with the rest of the gel coat. The last thing you want is to make one small section of your hull look really glossy while the rest of the hull looks faded in comparison thanks to that one glossy spot. Next thing you know, you have to wax the whole hull so it all matches. It’s a vicious cycle, we know!

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