Restore the Trim on a SeaDoo Switch Marine Craft
The Sea-Doo Switch is one of the most popular recreational pontoons on the water today, with Boating Magazine choosing it as their 2022 boat of the year. However, many Sea-Doo Switch owners are reporting a problem with the bottom trim. Specifically, this black plastic trim is fading to a dull gray, sometimes after only a year or two - and customers are not pleased.
By all accounts, Sea-Doo is taking the Switch trim fade issue very seriously and working on an "official" fix. But what is a current Sea-Doo Switch owner to do? The experts at Autogeek are also knowledgeable in marine craft care, and we've taken a closer look at how to go about Sea-Doo Switch trim restoration.
Why Does Boat Trim Fade?
First, it's important to understand the reasons behind trim fade. The satin black trim on the Sea-Doo Switch, and many other personal watercraft, is made of plastic. This material is used because it doesn't rust and is lightweight. But although surface plastics are rustproof, the color can still fade from exposure to UV rays, saltwater, gasoline, chemicals and marine life. The oils in the plastic also dry out over time, causing the trim to become brittle.
Some people think trim fading is inevitable and their watercraft will never look showroom-new again. Others believe the only way to restore Sea-Doo Switch boat trim is to replace the damaged parts. We're here to respectfully disagree on both counts. With the right trim care practices and products, you can make a pontoon look as good as or better than the day you brought it home.
General Tips for Maintaining Sea-Doo Trim
Ultimately, the best plan is to not let trim fade happen in the first place. By following good boat care practices, you can help the trim stay looking great for longer.
- Store your boat on a lift or trailer. Keeping the boat in the water keeps it exposed to the elements. If you don't have a garage or shed, use a protective cover to block the sun.
- Rinse your Switch after each use. This removes salt, sand, algae and anything else that can build up and cause trim fade.
- Be VERY careful handling fuel. Switch owners have reported that gasoline spilled on the trim can cause fading and discoloration within minutes.
- Regularly apply a trim sealant or protectant. See the section below for suggestions from our experts about how to protect marine craft trim.
Products to Protect and Restore Jet Ski Boat Trim
Autogeek has many products that are formulated to revive plastic trim and guard against fading. Here's a quick overview of some of our favorites.
- Wolfgang Exterior Trim Sealant - This clear trim protectant is polymer-based to form a barrier against sun and water fade while restoring dull finishes. It lasts up to four months on any plastic along with rubber and vinyl. The one drawback is that its low-gloss satin finish won't fully match the Switch's original high-gloss look when using it for restoration.
- Pinnacle Black Label Ceramic Trim Restorer - This is one of the most advanced formulas to protect boat trim. The ceramic formula has been shown to protect plastic trim for up to two years. PBL Trim Restorer is also infused with black dye to restore the trim color more fully. Just don't use it on surfaces that weren't originally black!
- Solution Finish Black Plastic and Vinyl Restorer - An affordable and eco-friendly option, this is another polymer-based boat trim restoration formula that conditions and protects black plastics. It uses natural oils and is VOC-compliant for all 50 states. Solution Finish lasts eight months when you first apply it, which can increase to 12 months or more with repeated applications.
- Blackfire Tire and Trim Sealant - Originally designed for vehicles, this trim restoration gel works great on pontoons, too. It penetrates deep into plastic to rejuvenate the look while forming a months-long protective coating. Blackfire Trim Sealant works like wax, creating a water, dirt, and UV resistant barrier.
- Pinnacle Onyx Trim Restorer - This matte boat trim restorer uses a pigment-rich formula to bring back the original black color, eliminating oxidation and fade. It works especially well on textured plastic and lasts up to six months. If you want to lock in that freshly restored appearance, consider following up with a dedicated trim coating.
Other DIY Boat Trim Restoration Solutions
We also want to address two options reported by Sea-Doo Switch and jet ski owners. Many people have suggested using a heat gun to restore boat trim. The theory is that you heat up the plastic until it's about to melt, then buff the softened plastic until it shines again. The problem is that the heat pulls the plastic's oils to the surface, which then fades away. Repeated heat cycles eventually remove all the oils, leaving you worse off than before. As such, we can't recommend this approach.
We hope you've found this guide to Sea-Doo Switch boat trim restoration useful. If you have further questions or suggestions, be sure to contact us