Checkout our top tips for keeping your boat looking Sleek!
Exterior Tech Tips
What is Gelcoat?
Gelcoat is a thin, porous mix of polyester resin and pigment that is sensitive to the damaging effects of ultra-violet (UV) rays and environmental contaminants. Left unprotected, gelcoat will begin to deteriorate fading and dulling the finish over time. This is called oxidation.
The most common method boaters use to maintain their gelcoat is to apply wax to the gelcoat fibreglass using traditional wax products as often as possible. However, traditional waxes do not contain UV protectants and once exposed to boating conditions will quickly deteriorate. Also, the effort to apply wax on a boat is arduous and time-consuming. The result is boaters do not wax their boat as often as necessary to maintain the finish and appearance.
Importance of UV Protectants
UV Protectants are categorised into two general classifications. One type of protectant absorbs UV radiation and the other inhibits UV degradation by acting as a light stabiliser. Our innovative formula of Sleek Shine utilises a 50/50 blend of both to provide powerful UV protection. A simple frequent wipe on application will assist in protecting against colour fade, chalking and oxidation associated with UV degradation.
Sleek Shine is a maintenance and not a restoration product. For surfaces that have deteriorated and become oxidized, a more aggressive treatment is necessary. We suggest you visit your local chandlery and secure a compound designed to restore gelcoat or contact your local professional boat detailer.
Interior Tech Tips
What is Vinyl?
Vinyl is widely known as a soft flexible material used mainly for upholstering furniture and automotive interiors. This form of vinyl is a plasticized version of PVC Plasticizer oil is usually a petroleum by-product that gives vinyl its flexibility. A wide range of vinyls are produced for different purposes, both with and without fabric backing. Sunlight, heat and dirt will break down vinyls.
Marine upholstery endures incredible abuse on a daily basis through normal use out on the water. The confusion starts on what to use to clean and maintain your upholstery. Manufacturers suggest “Regular washing with mild detergent and warm water or vinyl cleaners is sufficient to keep the cushions and vinyl coverings in good condition.” As a consumer, we review the short list of products listed in the owner’s manual and find that the vinyl cleaner you have is not on the list and you’re concerned about damaging the vinyl. Our suggestion is to focus on the list that indicates “Unacceptable Upholstery Cleaners” and do not use any of those.
Many chemical manufacturers blend multi purpose degreasers and then re-name the products vinyl cleaners. The problem with re-labelled degreasers is that they are formulated with caustic ingredients and solvents that will damage your vinyl and stitching. Sleek Seat utilises soap and mild biodegradable cleaners safe for use on a regular basis.
Stains and Restoration
Sleek Seat is not a stain remover or restorative product. Once a stain has set into vinyl it is very difficult to remove if at all. Stains actually permeate into the vinyl and become part of the material structure. In addition, once your vinyl begins to degrade, deteriorate and crack it may not be restorable. We suggest you consult a marine vinyl upholstery specialist.