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Old 25-02-2006, 11:36   #1
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Smile Oxidation Gelcoat Cleaner

We have finally found our boat. She is a Tayana Vancouver 42 CC. The gelcoat has severe oxidation. We would rather preserve the gelcoat than paint if possible. We see there is a myriad of cleaners on the market. Is there one that has shown to be really good and does not require a month of rubbing to wear through the oxidation?
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Old 25-02-2006, 14:45   #2
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Congrats on the purchase. My personal experience is that I really like Colonite products.

I'm not sure any product can relieve you of the months of scrubbing/waxing, etc... though. To do it right, you need to grind off the chalkiness with a cleaner then do a hard, but rewarding job of waxing.

If you do it right... it will last a year or more, with little additional maintenance (depending on where you are)
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Old 26-02-2006, 08:51   #3
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You

must first compound the surface to remove all oxidation. Until that is accomplished, anything that you do to the surface is in vain. There are various grades of compound and the correct grade is determined by the amount of oxidation that needs to be removed.
I would start with a medium grit and work from there. I prefer the 3M brand because it can be found everywhere and is a proven product IMHO.
For your review:
http://products3.3m.com/catalog/us/e...eme_us_aad_3_0
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Old 26-02-2006, 12:13   #4
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There are three ways

First is to re-gelcoat

Second is to polish it to a high gloss

And third is to clean all the gelcoat with softscrub w/bleach and then apply a coat of Penetrol.

ALL will require lots of work but the third is the EZest but will only last a few months........................................_/)
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Old 27-02-2006, 08:09   #5
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Tayanas have quite thick gelcoat.

Take a pocket microscope and view the surface for 'alligatoring' ... microcracks that look like the back of an alligator. If alligatored then the only course is to re-gelcoat or paint. Boats with thick gelcoat tend to 'alligator' if left unmaintained/unwaxed in the strong sun.

If not alligatored, wet sand the surface with 1000, then 2000, then 3000 grit wet and dry sandpaper and a sanding block using a few drops of diswashing detergent in a few gallons of water as a 'lubricant' and to prevent fouling the sandpaper. The goal is to get down through the oxidation and create a FLAT surface.

Once you have the gelcoat flat and the bulk of the oxidation removed ......
Use a high speed (variable speed) auto body shop polisher (not a cheapo 'orbital' buffer). Buy several real LAMBSWOOL bonnets - never mix grits with the bonnets OR use 3M perfect-it foam pads.
Working in 2ft. by 2ft. 'squares' use 3m super duty rubbing compound #05954. Buff it off with the polisher using a 3m perfect-it foam pad #05723.
Keep the polisher 'moving' so that you dont 'burn through' the gel, avoid corners and sharp edges. Do the whole boat.
Then (2ft. squares) apply 3m finesse-it II #05928 $24.QT. do whole boat.
Then polish it off using 3m perfect-it #05725
Then wax with Collinite's #845 insulator wax or Collenite fleet wax. The last step is THE most important as it will 'seal' the porosity of the gelcoat from further oxidation. If you cant find the 3M products then use 1000 grit, 1500 grit, then 2000/3000 grit auto body compound .... you dont need much, so dont make the bonnet 'soggy' with compound.

Every two years, use an amonia based (strong) detergent or TSP to strip out the old dead wax (old dead wax promotes oxidation) and reseal/buff. Re-wax evey year (or when the water no longer forms 'tight drops' of water) with a powerbuffer .... take the wax in your very clean BARE hand, add a few drops of water and rub the wax INTO the gelcoat until it begins to shine, then powerbuff. It makes NO sense to apply wax then smear it off with a buffer, the wax has to be pushed INTO the porous gelcoat.

This is the method used when a NEW boat is pulled from its mold. If done right with diligence you will restore the hull to better than NEW appearance.

Its a LOT of work but will result in 'brilliant' surfaces. You might want to arrange a 'counterbalance' system so that the weight of the powerbuffer is 'hung' ... and your shoulders wont be so sore when you are done.

OR hire a 'detailing' crew, give them the above directions to follow .... and avoid shoulder 'bursitis'.

Forget the 'orbiting' type of buffer/polisher .... they are totally worthless, get an honest to goodness variable high speed auto body shop buffer (a good one will coat $150-300) and LAMBSWOOL bonnets.

hope this helps.
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Old 27-02-2006, 20:31   #6
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You're not kidding... the Colonite Fleet Wax is amazing. I did an old boat of mine with that stuff (when I got hooked). It sat for 2 years after the other owner bought it, and looked like the day I finished waxing it. It's amazing stuff. It's the only wax I'll use.
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Old 27-02-2006, 20:52   #7
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Collinite FleetWax

They make wax for cars and sailboats. I have heard of this stuff from car owners. Great stuff!!
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Old 28-02-2006, 00:18   #8
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Very useful information

Thank you all for a wealth of information. We will post our results when we're done.
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Old 28-02-2006, 00:22   #9
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Re: Very useful information

Quote:
Bev & Bill once whispered in the wind:
Thank you all for a wealth of information. We will post our results when we're done.
See you in a month or two...

Don't worry. I also have a full time week or two of doing the same thing coming up April 1st or so on a similar size boat. Ouch!

PS: Fleetwax is used for just about everything. I'm not sure it was even created for boats at all. It just works well on them. I think it was originally created for semi trucks?
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Old 28-02-2006, 01:01   #10
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You know Sean.

I believe you may be right about that, they first started on semi-trucks first?

But, I have only heard about this stuff from a couple of auto owners!!

That's where I first heard about this wax!!
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Old 28-02-2006, 07:46   #11
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Im serious about 'constructing' a device that takes the weight off the high speed polisher. I use a 'contraption' that essentially is a spring loaded crane that attaches to the genoa track .... the arm of the crane is loaded with a large 'screen door spring' that keeps tension 'up' and takes some of the weight off the buffer as I go. Its not the pressure that you put into the buffer that makes it work but the speed of the bonnet. Without a means to help lift the weight you risk shoulder bursitis when buffing out a large boat. The healing of bursitis is a long process .... many months.
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Old 21-05-2006, 19:17   #12
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Richhhhhhh ... Sounds like a project. The problem I have with projects like that is that they just never turn out as envisioned.

Example: I needed a tool to loosen and tighten the friction clutch on my electric windlass (an OLD Galley Maid). I drew up nice plans: rounded head tapering to a 10" gripping handle with a 2" diameter round 'butt' to keep from slipping off the handle and with a hole in the middle of it to attach a lanyard. Six drilled and tapped holes in the rounded head (only needed two opposing at any one time) to which I would screw in a couple of bolts with long shoulders, and cut off the heads. These 'pins' would then fit into the plate on top of the windlass to tighten or loosen.

::ant pant pant::: So I bought this 3/8" thick, 12" by 5" piece of (apparently aircraft grade) Aluminium.

I tried a hacksaw, jigsaw, recipocating hacksaw, and a mini-bandsaw. Either it wouldn't cut it very well, or I couldn't get the curves.

I sheepishly went back to the metal wharehouse where I bought it, and found out what it was. I asked, VERY NICELY, if they would cut off the 1/2" along one of the 12" sides that I had 'marred', and then cut it long ways in half. They nodded, sympathetically, and did that - no charge.

I then broke all the edges and smoothed it all around. Drill and tapped my holes, screwed in the bolts, cut the excess threads off and the heads. I now have TWO functional (but not very artistically presented) windlass wrenches.

This is why I always look a bit askance at projects that don't directly produce what I NEED.

More power to you though.
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Old 22-05-2006, 07:04   #13
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What I explained is EXACTLY what is used on automotive/vehicle assembly lines --- assists in holding the weight of power tools.
Otherwise you risk 'bursistis' an inflamation of th shoulder joints which take a long time (months) to heal. Ask me (after doing several 'bottom' jobs and topside restorations on several large boats) how I know this. <g>
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Old 22-05-2006, 07:09   #14
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There are two further options that have not been discussed.

Poliglow - this is a substance that creates a coating over the top and certainly seems to have good initial results. I have yet to see a long term test result.
http://www.poliglow.co.uk/

Owatrol Oil - A magic substance with a miriad of uses. Use with paint is a well known method of creating a far better finish, but there have also been good results in applying it to chalky gelcoat, and then buffing to a good finish.
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Old 22-05-2006, 08:05   #15
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At the Oakland Strictly Sail boat show I talked with the owner of Island Girl products as well as the folks at the PoliGlow booth.

IMHO the PoliGlow product is nothing more than an acrylic floor wax that you swab on over chalky gellcoat. The shine lasts as long as the acrylic wax / coating holds up. Easy to apply, results are just 'OK' in my opinion. Practical Sailor I think chose this as a 'best pick' or something.

Island Girl has their original 3-step process product line, plus a new one-step product called Elixiir. I got a sample of Elixiir and will test it out this week and let the forum know how it comes out.

As is true with all other things, you can have one of three things: fast, cheap or good. I suspect going in that the only way to get stellar results is to go the compounding & polishing route described in this thread. But just maybe this Elixiir will prove to be a magical potion....
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