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Old 11-30-2009, 06:44 PM   #1
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Penthouse top looking new again!

For SMBs with gelcoat tops, not for painted tops. Good for the hi-tops as well as penthouse tops.

This was covered under 'What did you do to your SMB today' but I'm reposting it since I think it is useful for alot of SMB owners

The first 4 years I owned the SMB I had a constant battle trying to keep the top looking good. Probably I didn't wax it often enough, but it kept getting chalky and never looked as good as new.

Until now. (actually last April, but I really wanted to wait and see how it held up)

I bought a product called Poli-Glow.

http://www.poliglow-int.com/

This is a marine product made for finicky boaters. It is not a wax. But, it is easy to do and really made a difference on my penthouse. I bought the kit, cleaner and polish and tools. The cleaner is pretty aggressive and you need to be careful not to let it sit on painted surfaces. Last April I spent a couple of hours scrubbing the top with the cleaner. It got a lot of the chalky white material off the fiberglass. Then I dried it and coated it 6 times with the Poli-Glow. It dries fast and literally as I finished one coat I could start on the next.

And when I was done, the top looked as good as the paint on the van! It had never shined like that before.

After 6 months, the top still looked good as new. And it was time to do the twice annual recoat. Wash it clean, dry and apply two coats this time. It was much easier to wash, not much sticks to the coating. Dry it and apply the next two coats about the same as the first time. And it looks great!

I'm convinced, and will continue to do the twice a year recoats to keep the top looking good. Much better than the wax that never seemed to get back to the new look.

Mike
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:59 PM   #2
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Re: Penthouse top looking new again!

How well do you think this would work for a 31-year-old Westfalia pop-top? Mine has definitely lost its luster and I really don't want to paint it.

Steve in L.A.
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:23 PM   #3
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Re: Penthouse top looking new again!

I didn't think the Westy top was fiberglass - I thought it was a molded plastic.

If it is gelcoat fiberglass, it should work. For really rough gelcoats it may take more coats.

Mike
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:03 PM   #4
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Re: Penthouse top looking new again!

For what it's worth.

I purchased an 89 a year ago and the roof was absolutely horrid. filled with cracks and painted with a flat black spray can. The thing looked like bbq grill. After extensive research including a posting on this site I decided to go with a line-x coating. It wasn't cheap, $900 but after a full year in the Florida sun it still looks great and it seems to provide a small amount of insulation from the heat during the day.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:20 PM   #5
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Re: Penthouse top looking new again!

How do I tell if my top is painted or gelcoat? It is a fiberglass top but it also appears to have a coat of paint on it that is flaking now. Should I just sand and then paint?
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:26 PM   #6
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Re: Penthouse top looking new again!

Gelcoat looks like Rhino Liner or LineX. Paint looks like the rest of the van. If you had it, you would know.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:25 PM   #7
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Re: Penthouse top looking new again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessenej
Gelcoat looks like Rhino Liner or LineX. Paint looks like the rest of the van. If you had it, you would know.
Not too sure that's correct but could be wrong. Gel-coat is a type of clear or colored coat used on fiberglass products that supplies a shine as well as color in some situations. The Rhino type coat is rough and is Opaque; more rubber like. I'm not saying Line X is not gel-coat...I really don't know how to classify it. My bass boat is gel coated. It has a deep 3-D luster. In heavy sun it begins to fade or fog over if left in sun for long periods very similar to paint but I've never seen it flake. It becomes dull looking while the color fades. A surf board is an opaque example like our tops but it shines just like most SMB tops.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:56 AM   #8
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Re: Penthouse top looking new again!

Line-X and Rhino are not gel-coat. They are rubberized coating applied by various means. And they are not smooth.

Gel-coat is the (frequently colored) gelatinous coating that is laid in a mold before the fiberglass mat is put in. Then more gel. Hand working, setup, etc. When removed from the mold, the Gel-coat has a smooth shiny surface, and that is what you see on most fiberglass product.

If you have a red, green, blue, tan, gold, etc. Penthouse top then you have a painted top. All the penthouse tops start out white and some are painted to match the van color.

Mike
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