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Old 29-10-2014, 11:32   #16
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

These boat pics look incredible.
I will review the article posted.

I guess I'm just fearful I will work in the dirt buffing it etc.

I appreciate all the comments.
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Old 29-10-2014, 15:31   #17
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

Maine Sails buff and wax routine is a must read on his how to site!
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Old 29-10-2014, 17:35   #18
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

Wow! That's the most in depth how-to on buffing out old gelcoat I've ever seen. I printed it & I'm going to try it! However, make no mistake, you can buff through the gelcoat if you don't know what you're doing. But if you go to the link provided & print Maine Sails instructions & then follow them it looks like you're good to go.
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Old 29-10-2014, 17:46   #19
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

Be real hard to buff through Gelcoat, unless it pretty well worn through. You can sand through though, I won't sand because I'm a wimp.
Start with the least abrasive compound that gives good results don't use a cutting compound unless necessary
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Old 29-10-2014, 17:57   #20
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

The worst part about buffing and polishing is having to bend down when you are on a plank to get more wax etc.I now wear a tool belt with a pouch which carries one small container of very fine buffing cream and another one of "Auto Glym Radiant Wax Polish" with a brush in each one.I buff 2 sectors of 1m X 2m then I go back and polish the first sector, then move on. I hang the Makita Buff on the life lines by the buffing head instead of laying it down. I now find the job so much easier and my boat is as shiny as when it was new 32 years ago.
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Old 29-10-2014, 20:02   #21
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

I won't get into buffing/polishing techniques, I used to do custom cars and bike paint on the ones I built and can say that boat gelcoat is easy in comparison but like anything making mistakes as a novice is inevitable. Those custom cars you that have perfect mile deep looks? That's 200 hours of work AFTER it's been painted, never mind the amount of work that went before the paint.
Be conservative, go slow, be gentle.
The Colonite Fleetwax paste is the best wax I've used on boats after many experiments. It's a lot of work to apply but worth it, two coats is usually good for a season.
Wax on, wax off!
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Old 29-10-2014, 20:25   #22
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
This boat is a 1979 with factory original gelcoat. It has been buffed/polished & waxed every year for nearly 35 years. No holes and it is in absolutely beautiful condition...



And some actual comparisons of gelcoat thickness compared to a box cutter blade.


For those interested here are some good tips for novices with gelcoat:


This 1970's gelcoat was restored by a complete novice using the instructions above, POST #13, by Vasco..
That is a great balsa core.
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Old 29-10-2014, 22:05   #23
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

Two more recommendations:

I've used Meguiar's products in the past - they have a great oxidation remover called Power Cut Compound No. 91 that's excellent and their premium marine wax also produced wonderful results on my boat.

At the Annapolis boat show, I picked up the Poli Prep and Poli Glow hull restorer products, in part because of the practical sailor article on them, and also because the demonstration was so powerful. I tested them last week under a hatch cover, and then tackled a section of my boat. The result is beautiful! You do have to be super careful to remove 100% of all dirt or discoloration, or it will be sealed under the Poli Glow permanently (well, it says you can strip it off with another product if necessary).
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Old 30-10-2014, 19:40   #24
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

Used a home quality auto buffer and 3M Finesse clean up and polish the hull. Finesse is more a cleaner than a buffing agent and worked nearly as well as rubbing compound. Big advantage is it grinds away a very limited amount of the gel coat yet still cleaned up some nasty areas that had seen too much of pilings, etc.. The boat 40 years old when I bought her and had been compounded a lot over the years. Gel coat was so thin in areas the underlying laminate was beginning to show through from too aggressive buffing in the past. Cleaned up well and looked great when waxed from 10 feet or so. Closer than that, the thin gel coat began to show up. Finally decided to paint her. Gel coat is a miraculous finish and will last virtually forever taking a lot of abuse if not ground off.

Paint looks nice and can be had in almost any color under the rainbow but it isn't nearly as durable as gel coat. I'd do anything to try and keep the original looking good. Finesse and wax will go a long way to doing that.
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Old 30-10-2014, 20:51   #25
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

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Originally Posted by EllesBelles View Post
Two more recommendations:

I've used Meguiar's products in the past - they have a great oxidation remover called Power Cut Compound No. 91 that's excellent and their premium marine wax also produced wonderful results on my boat.

At the Annapolis boat show, I picked up the Poli Prep and Poli Glow hull restorer products, in part because of the practical sailor article on them, and also because the demonstration was so powerful. I tested them last week under a hatch cover, and then tackled a section of my boat. The result is beautiful! You do have to be super careful to remove 100% of all dirt or discoloration, or it will be sealed under the Poli Glow permanently (well, it says you can strip it off with another product if necessary).
I don't recommend Poly Glo. Been there done that. See the following link:

Sundamaged gelcoat
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Old 31-10-2014, 12:35   #26
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Used a home quality auto buffer and 3M Finesse clean up and polish the hull. Finesse is more a cleaner than a buffing agent and worked nearly as well as rubbing compound. Big advantage is it grinds away a very limited amount of the gel coat yet still cleaned up some nasty areas that had seen too much of pilings, etc.. The boat 40 years old when I bought her and had been compounded a lot over the years. Gel coat was so thin in areas the underlying laminate was beginning to show through from too aggressive buffing in the past. Cleaned up well and looked great when waxed from 10 feet or so. Closer than that, the thin gel coat began to show up. Finally decided to paint her. Gel coat is a miraculous finish and will last virtually forever taking a lot of abuse if not ground off.

Paint looks nice and can be had in almost any color under the rainbow but it isn't nearly as durable as gel coat. I'd do anything to try and keep the original looking good. Finesse and wax will go a long way to doing that.
another vote for 3M Finesse It... great stuff. But wont last long after you are done. (does anything?) Havent used it on real powdery gel coat though either....
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Old 31-10-2014, 12:51   #27
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

Finesse is an outstanding polish, a great product to maintain a boat with, but to bring one back with finesse takes a looong time, be hard to hurt anything with finesse though.
I use it to polish airplane windshields too, doesn't even leave scratch marks there
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Old 01-11-2014, 17:34   #28
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Re: Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

I can recommend REJEX as the final coat. About 90% of the shine of wax but holds off oxidation well and should last the season (North east at least).


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