Exterior Care

Gelcoat Care
Your Stingray is subject to weathering processes and eventually, the outer gelcoat will appear faded or dull. How much wear and tear from weathering depends upon how you treat and maintain your boat. If you allow the gelcoat to deteriorate, then you will have a higher expense of repairing the exterior surface. It is more economical in the long run to maintain your Stingray on a periodic basis.

Weathering occurs from direct sunlight, water, chemicals, and dust. Some of the terms below describe the changes that can occur to the gelcoat surface:

  • Chalk is the top surface being broken down into an extremely fine powder. When this happens, the color whitens. The chalk that has developed is strictly on the surface.
  • Fade means that the color has uniformly changed. This happens when the actual pigments have changed color especially from excessive chalk, or when the gelcoat has either been stained or bleached by something.
  • Gloss refers to the shine of the surface and can change from sanding action, chalk, or residues.


To prevent personal injury, never wax non-skid deck surfaces. Wet or dry gelcoat is very slippery and will cause unsafe footing.

The following are some general instructions, which will help you maintain your Stingray's sleek appearance.

  • Wash monthly or more frequently, depending on use. Wash with a mild dish washing soap but avoid strong alkaline cleaners and abrasives.
  • Wax your boat three times a year, more if you are in an area with above average sunshine and your boat is not protected by a cover.
Wire brushes, scouring pads, and other abrasive type materials/solutions should never be used on the bottom of your boat. They create small scratch marks that will collect dirt, silt, sand, marine growth, and other foreign materials.

For boats that have been weathered and have chalked:

  1. Wash.
  2. Wax. If this does not work, then use a fine rubbing compound, followed immediately with wax.

When using fine rubbing compounds, make sure you follow directions. Some tips are listed below:

  • Avoid using direct sunlight. This dries out the compound.
  • Use clean pads to apply compound. Apply the rubbing compound to a small area, remove excess, and apply pressure. If using a buffer, use a low RPM buffer (1200 to 2000 RPM). Keep your pad wet and do not allow it to dry out. Follow up with waxing.

If using an electric buffer, be very careful not to pause in one area too long. This may cut into the boat's underlying surface.

When using waxes, make sure you consult your Stingray dealer for his recommendations. Use only waxes designed for fiberglass.

Note: If a power buffer is used, use a low RPM buffer with light pressure. Keep it moving at all times to prevent heat buildup.

Your Stingray boat will pick up stains from normal boating activity. Stains are a result of dust, road tar, plant sap, and other stains from materials which come into contact with your boat.

Surface stains may be removed by dish washing soap, mild cleansers, or some household detergents. Chlorine and ammonia products can cause serious damage to the color of the gelcoat. Check with your Stingray dealer for his recommendations.

If the stain is not removed by the dish washing soap or mild cleanser, then the next procedure is to use either denatured or rubbing alcohol. Do not use acetone, ketone, or other solvents to remove stains. These chemicals are flammable and may also damage the gelcoat.

The following information is taken from a Morbern "Care and Cleaning" brochure. Care suggestions are those of Morbern, the makers of the vinyl products in your Stingray boat.

Provisional Care & Cleaning of Morbern Vinyls
Morbern vinyl requires periodic cleaning to maintain its neat appearance and to prevent the build up of dirt and contaminants that may permanently stain and reduce the life of vinyl if they are not removed. The frequency of cleaning depends on the amount of use and environmental conditions to which the vinyl is subjected.

The procedures used for cleaning are dependent upon the end use circumstances.

For Normal Cleaning
In general, most common stains can be cleaned using warm, soapy water and clear water rinses. Moderate scrubbing with a medium bristle brush will help to loosen soiling material from the depressions of embossed surfaces. For stubborn stains, use the following commercially available mild detergents in accordance with manufacturers instructions.

  • Fantastic
  • Mr. Clean

Note: Detergents should never be used on regular or repeated basis for normal cleaning.

Full strength rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits may be tried cautiously as a last resort on very stubborn stains, if the above suggestions do not work. Indiscriminate use of any solvent or solvent containing cleaner, can severely damage or discolor vinyls.

Certain stains may become permanently set unless they are removed immediately. The procedure for the removal of the more severe staining agents are outlined below.

Ballpoint Ink, Permanent Marker Ink spots will stain vinyl permanently. Immediate wiping with rubbing alcohol in a well ventilated area will remove much of the stain.
Oil Base Paint The use of turpentine in a well ventilated area will remove any fresh paint. Dried paint must be moistened carefully with a semisolid gel-type stripper so that the softened paint can gently be scraped away. Rinse with soap and water. (See cautionary note below.)
Latex Paint Fresh paint can be wiped off with a damp cloth. Hot soapy water will normally remove dried latex.
Tar, Asphalt Remove immediately, as prolonged contact will result in a permanent stain. Use a cloth lightly dampened with mineral spirits and rub the stain gently, working from the outer edge of the stain towards the center in order to prevent spreading. Rinse with soap and water.
Crayon, Mustard, Ketchup Sponge with mild soap and water. For stubborn stains that may have set, use a cloth soaked in diluted mild detergent with gentle rubbing. Any remaining stain should be washed with diluted bleach. Rinse repeatedly with clear, cold water.
Chewing Gum Scrape off as much as possible with a dull knife. Rubbing with an ice cube will assist and make it easier to remove when scraping. The remaining gum should then be removed in a well ventilated area using a cloth saturated with mineral spirits. Use light rubbing. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Lipstick, Grease, Oil, Eye Shadow, Shoe Polish Apply a small quantity of mineral spirits by means of a cloth with gentle rubbing. Take care not to spread the stain by smearing it beyond its original source. No time should be lost in removing shoe polish as it contains a dye which will cause permanent staining. Rinse thoroughly with water.
Candy, Ice Cream, Coffee, Tea, Fruit Stains, Liquor, Wine, Suntan Lotion, Soft Drinks Use clear, lukewarm water and a sponge repeatedly. Any loose material should be gently scraped with a dull knife. Any soiled are remaining after drying should be gently rubbed with a cloth spotted with a mild detergent solution. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Bloods, Leaf Residue Rub out any spots with a clean cloth soaked in cool water. If stubborn spots remain, use household ammonia and rinse repeatedly with a clean, wet cloth. Do not use hot water or soapsuds, as this will set the stain.
Bird Excreta & Nausea Stains Sponge the area with soapy water containing a diluted bleach until the stain is removed. Rinse thoroughly with water.
Urine Stains Sponge with soapy water containing a small amount of household ammonia. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Surface Mildew Wash with diluted bleach, use a soft brush for stubborn growth. Rinse repeatedly with clear, cold water.


Direct contact with paint strippers will remove print pattern from a vinyl. Paint strippers are very corrosive. Take care to avoid skin contact by wearing protection.

  • Powdered abrasives, cleaners containing abrasives, steel wool and industrial strength cleaners are not recommended for Morbern vinyls.
  • Any lacquer solvent will cause immediate, irreparable damage to the vinyl.
  • Wax should never be used on any vinyl upholstery, as it will cause premature embrittlement and cracking.
  • Dilute chlorine bleach before using. Never use at full strength.
  • If flammable solvents such as alcohol, turpentine or varsol are used for cleaning, then only small quantities should be employed in a well ventilated area. Exercise proper care by advising any personnel in the area and keep away from any ignition source. Always wear protective gloves.

Special Care For Boats That Are Moored
If permanently moored in saltwater or fresh water, your boat will collect growth and grass on the hull bottom. We suggest that you prevent this by periodically cleaning the hull, or painting the hull with a good grade anti-fouling paint.


Due to varying water conditions, if your boat is to be left in the water for an extended period of time, it is recommended that you apply a two-part epoxy barrier coat formulated to prevent water absorption through the gelcoat which can create blisters.


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