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PolyGlow quick shine solution - beware !

Feb 22, 2010
Oday 322 Delaware River
There have been many discussion threads on the supposedly miracle quick-shine acrylic product "Polyglow". I am posting this in the O'Day forum because there are many of us with the light grey hull of the late models '86,'87,'88,'89. Colored hulls add to the problem of keeping them shiny and good looking. I will add my two cents worth about Polyglow.

I bought my O'Day 322 ten years ago. It has become apparent over the years that the previous owner used Polyglow on the hull. I figured that year-by-year, as I applied traditional cleaner-wax, it would slowly come off. Not true, it just keeps getting worse and worse. By July-August each year it looks horrible. While the wax disguises the Polyglow streaking initially in April/May, it reappears fairly soon. See the pictures below.

After ten years I cannot stand it any more. I have begun to rip the Polyglow residual off with aggressive compounding (by hand so I don't rip too deep into the gel-coat). It is finally disappearing. For every one post that brags about the shine of PolyGlow (and most of those posts are the first year), there are 10 posts for how people are trying to get rid of it. There must be a reason why that ratio of posts.

These pictures of my Polyglow mess are despite waxing each spring for the last 10 years. I implore those of you who are considering Polyglow - don't do it ! You will pay later.

My boat in spring before spring wax, despite waxing each and every year.

After one application of compound, Polyglow almost gone, only a few spots left, I went over these a second time.
Photo Oct 16, 2 52 26 PM.jpg

The result, before on the right, after on the left.
Photo Oct 16, 3 31 50 PM.jpg

Before on the left, after on the right.
Photo Oct 16, 3 45 36 PM.jpg

Finally rid of that nasty Polyglow residual. It has been lots of hand-work to rip it off.
Photo Oct 16, 3 48 11 PM.jpg

If something is quick and easy, there is usually a reason........

Best regards to all.
May 20, 2016
Catalina 36 MK1 94 Everett, WA
Don’t know how good it works but there is a liquid remover that says it removes it by just wiping on.
Jul 7, 2004
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Don’t know how good it works but there is a liquid remover that says it removes it by just wiping on.
I was going to suggest that too. PoliGlow kits come with a liquid remover. I think I've read here that it doesn't work well.
Some people will always take the path of least resistance. These companies know that.


Mar 16, 2010
Beneteau 411 Oceanis Annapolis
Poli Glow Poli Strip is your friend. Careful with the compound, I believe that hull is painted.


Jun 7, 2004
Oday 272LE Ninnescah Yacht Club, Wichita, Ks.
We tried for many years to remove the polyglow, we bought the boat in 1986....anyway it was recommended we purchase a floor wax remover from a local janitorial supply store and it took the polyglow right off....we used it according to the instructions and the old 1986 LE looks brand new.....took about 6 -8 hours total....but well worth it....I put the product name in a post on this site....good luck but do not give up! Patrick in Wichita
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Nov 3, 2010
Oday 39 Lake mills WI
Pat is correct. Polyglow is nothing more than acrylic floor wax . Any stripper that is designed to strip ACRYLIC floor wax will remove it completely. Then you can compound. Your other choice would be to use the Polyglow (or similar) prep cleaner to remove all stains and then reseal with Pollyglow or equivalent.


Feb 11, 2017
J/Boat J/160 Annapolis
My view: If the Hull is painted with Awlgrip (or similar, 2 part paint), then you shouldn't be Polyglo-ing it. You should just wash it with a gentle marine or auto soap and water. NO wax, no abrasives, etc. Soft brush. After it is toast (say 7-10 years, or so), it's "time".

If it's the original gel coat then: The gel coat doesn't "owe you anything". The wax is temporal. The compounding is taking gel coat away, eventually you'll be through it == and the stuff you're working with is already "fried and/or baked". I think you just need to bite the bullet and get it Awlgriped (or do the same thing yourself, if you're really a good painter and have a bunch of time).
Sep 20, 2014
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
Surprised Polyglow is breaking down, as Acrylic is transparent to UV, and generally lasts a very long time. On my previous boat I used Zep Wet Look Floor Finish. I've heard of it flaking off, but I only used 2 coats. I also used it on a motorhome about 4 years ago. When I sold it, it was still holding up well. Again, I only put 3 coats on the RV. No problems with flaking off or discoloration.


Jun 7, 2004
Oday 272LE Ninnescah Yacht Club, Wichita, Ks.
The liquid removers from Poly-Glow and for poly glow removal do nothing....absolutely nothing....I have published the name of the floor wax remover which is easy to use and takes the old poly glow right off..........if the water ever goes down, you can walk over to my boat and see the results.....Looking forward to seeing you soon......I still have my piece to trim laddie..


Jun 7, 2004
Oday 272LE Ninnescah Yacht Club, Wichita, Ks.
I do know our boat was delivered to American Inland Yachts in a December snow storm ('86) and never had paint on the hull..it was pure gelcoat from the factory....I've got pictures of our boat in the yard as my wife stood next to it and handed a check to pay for the boat to the owner of American Inland Yachts in Wichita Kansas...the hull looked beautiful as delivered....the boat was commissioned and in the water until June when it was removed from the water and the polyglow applied in the parking lot of our club.....that was all in 1986-1987. We realized almost immediately the mistake or lack of wisdom in our application and so we ordered poly-glow remover to remove our mistake....It did not take anything off......that was then and this is now...Last year someone on this website recommended we try a floor stripper to remove the polyglow...we found the product at a janitorial supply here in Wichita and applied it.....it took a bit of time and patience to apply the floor stripper according to the instructions on the can but it became evident immediately that the product was working as promised and so we spent two days in our club yard space following the instructions on the can, and bingo, the poly be gone......The product name is "EnduraSTRIP" by Spartan...it is applied at this ratio...
two cups of solution is mixed with 16 cups of water...the product is applied to a wet surface area the size- 2 ft.
square at a time....the solution has to be remixed as you run out.....it took us two afternoons to do the entire hull below the sheer stripe...to the water line....PC
May 14, 2012
Oday 25 Shoal draft Mystic
Am I glad I never heard of it! My gelcoat is a little dull but Im fine with that, the only problem is that dirt gets into the pores of the deck gelcoat and is hard to clean. I keep a spray bottle of diluted bleach on board, mist it and wipe off. I had the idea of laquer clearcoat lightly to seal it, but that may be an acrylic base, which would have the same problem.
Sep 20, 2014
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
The acrylic itself is not the problem. It is what ever binders they mix in with it. Fact is, gelcoat is Acrylic and a good gelcoat holds up very well.
Aug 28, 2006
Bavaria 35E seattle
I had the same experience as Andre about 10 years ago with my old O'Day 27. What a disaster. Within a year the product streaked and became a tan color in some areas. And the Polyglow remover did nothing at all. I wish I had heard about the floor stripper at the time. I had a hell of a time removing it all. Thereafter, I had to paint my cockpit and cabin top roll and tip method.
May 14, 2012
Oday 25 Shoal draft Mystic
I think Oday gelcoat holds up the best out of all other brands of older vessels I have seen.


Jun 5, 2012
Oday 31 Bayville, NJ
I’m surprised to read of troubles with PoliGlow. I have used it on my last two sailboats and I have been happy with the results. If one follows the directions and applies it to a clean gel coat, it comes out great and lasts a long time.

My last two boats (Santana 2023C and my current ODay 31) had somewhat oxidized gelcoats when I bought them. At first, I tried compounding the Santana but it was tedious and not getting better. In speaking with the PoliGlow folks, they assured me that the surface didn’t have to be smooth but should be clean because otherwise you would seal in the dirt/marks. They further said that the coating would smooth out any surface roughness.

So I washed the hull thoroughly then used fine wet sandpaper (400-600 grit) to erase what cleaners couldn’tremove. I washed the hull then cleaned again withPoliGlow Prep to assure no residual wax remained. After rinsing and drying, it looked clean but dull. Then I applied PoliGlow. It wipes on easily and is self leveling. I use raised planks so I can walk from bow to stern applying it without stopping. It dries so fast that by the time I finish the stern, the bow is dry so I can immediately start a second coat. I do this for 4 or 5 coats initially for good protection. It doesn’t start looking good until the second or third coat. I did this on the ODay too.

According to directions, one should apply another coat at the end of the season and before launching in the Spring. I don’t do it that often but it still looks good. I get a lot of compliments on the finish as do those who spend days waxing and polishing. The difference is that PG goes on effortlessly and I’done in a few hours. And the shine lasts much longer!

I did have trouble once when I neglected it for a few years and it looked blotchy ugly. The PoliGlow folks said to just clean and apply more coats but I panicked and decided to strip it and start over again. So I bought some “Poli Strip” from them, followed the directions and it removed everything as promised. Then I started over with new coats of PG which made it look like new again.

Like all chemicals, be mindful of the shelf life and follow the directions and you’ll be happy with this product. The last coat that I applied was in April of 2017 and it still looks good inDecember 2018. However when I coat it this Spring, it will really look great again.

If you’d like to try this, I reommend you write or speak with the company representatives. They can advise of product updates and guide you through the process. Fear not for it’s a lot easier than it sounds.


Jun 7, 2004
Oday 272LE Ninnescah Yacht Club, Wichita, Ks.
The hulls were not painted at the O'day factory....they had polished gelcoat...and had not seen paint until our boat dealer painted the bottom only.....the rest was and still is, pure gel coat
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Sep 16, 2014
Oday 272 Ventura
So I am king of poli glo. Finally wanted to get away from it after 15 years. They make a heavy stripper. You have to use it. Compounding will take it off but after many runs. It's so funny I just saw this and I just finished stripping mine and compounding and waxing my 272. Results!


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Nov 30, 2009
Oday 28 Lake Michigan
I have zero poli glo experience. I have 25+ years of polishing compound (two years in a row) followed by wax, then rubbing compound (on third year) and then followed by wax. Regular car products from the local discount store. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Every year I step back (OK, after working my butt off) and look at my boat and am in awe of how nice the ODay cleans up. Looks like a new Chevy. Looks just as nice as Matitimetees'. Isn't a year goes by that I don't get someone saying......"that is a 30+ year old boat? It looks like it is new". Nothing wrong with compound and wax.
Mar 6, 2018
O’day 34 Jensen Beach
Our O’Day 34 had Polyglo on it when we purchased it. It looked like crap and buffing did not remove it. I found Zep heavy duty floor stripper available at Home Depot for $10 a gallon works great. It melted it off and my hull looks great after compounding and waxing.
Jun 14, 2010
TBD Looking for my next boat CT
I too had a bad poliglo experience, echoing the worst of the posts above. @dennisv you didn’t mention the color of your hull but my guess is white. Dark colored gelcoat is more susceptible to UV fade and it becomes porous, also chalking is much more noticeable on dark hulls. There comes a time when the gelcoat just won’t hold a compound and wax shine for more than a few months. Then it’s either live with it or paint. I was hoping poliglo would be a viable 3rd choice but it’s not. In my experience, paint was the answer.
I painted about 5 years ago and am so glad I did. I had Awlcare 2000 applied professionally and now my only paint maintenance is to wash the topsides twice a year (after fall haul out and prior to spring launch). I apply Awlcare after each semiannual wash as recommended by Awlgrip, and it still looks great. (Only a few minor scratches and rubs from normal wear that aren’t visible from 10 feet away.)
If you paint, make sure your surface prep is meticulous. IMHO have the boat moved indoors so you can control the process better and hire a pro if you’re just learning (there is too much labor and money involved if you screw up and need to strip and repaint a large boat).
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