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Old 26-02-2003, 13:13   #1
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Hull polishing

I just wanted to pass on what I found to work Great on my hull. Our boat was a mess, it came from Florida 4 years ago. It was brought to Holland Michigan where it was tied up to the dock and left for 3 years totaly neglected. Nothing was done for her including checking on her. Her pumps failed and she slowly flooded to the soul. Anyway needless to say the finish on the hull was very dull, it looked so bad that I thought paint would be the only thing we could do. A friend told me what to do to bring it back. This sounds like a add, it is not. I washed the boat. I needed to buy a polisher and compounds for about $300. First I applyed 3m super duty rubbing compound #05954 $14. QT and took it off with the polisher using a 3m perfect-it foam pad #05723 $10. each. The boat looked so good at this point I did not think step 2 would be needed. I did a test area for step 2 and found that this step improved the finish as much as step 1 did. Step 2 is to apply 3m finesse-it II #05928 $24.QT. and polish it off using 3m perfect-it #05725 $10. each. Unbelievable! Then #3 wax with Collinite's #845 insulator wax $14. PT. WOW! I can not believe how many people come up and ask me who I had paint the boat. When I tell them that I just polished it they are stunned. Our boat is 61' and I only used part of one bottle of each product.
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Old 03-05-2003, 23:20   #2
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What pollisher did you purchase? Do you have a good source to recommend for obtaining the 3M products you mentioned?

I need to do the same thing to our vessel!!

Thanks

Grant
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Old 04-05-2003, 13:04   #3
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I bought a Makita pollisher. I bought all of my supplies from a auto body paint supply store. I'm not talking about a auto parts store. You may need to ask a body shop where they get thier stuff.
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Old 09-05-2003, 22:25   #4
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I have 2 people polishing their boats using the method that I posted. Both of them can not believe how well it works! They tell me that their boats have not looked this good in years.
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Old 29-02-2004, 07:36   #5
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It is becomingboat cleaning time in some areas. I thought this be a good time to bring this post back .
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Old 07-05-2004, 09:53   #6
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I have been reviewing the great posts- we would like to have our boat recompounded/polish/waxed, etc. Since we are newbies and won't be near the boat for another month, we are having pros do it. Does anyone know the approximate costs and/or good and affordable florida or ft lauderdale area places to get the haul and work done?
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Old 07-05-2004, 10:24   #7
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Playboy Marine - FTL

Playboy Marine on the Dania Cut-Off Canal (760 Taylor Rd. Dania-Ft. Lauderdale) is an excellent DIY yard, with several "resident" contractors working there. Outside contractors are also welcome.

Playboy Marine
Tel: (954) 920-0533
Fax: (954) 923-1306

Bob Polon (Excellent Contractor)
Tel: (954) 920-0533
Evening: (954) 587-7801

HTH
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Old 07-05-2004, 10:28   #8
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Thanks Gord. Help it does. I'm becoming a copy/paste machine over here...
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:42   #9
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I polished my hull the same way again and the boat looks new! The Colinite wax held up very well.
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Old 16-06-2004, 10:05   #10
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We also used 3-M products for our not-too-badly oxidized 19-y/o boat. The Fiberglass Restorer/Cleaner works wonders and the Professional Finish (I think that's what it's called) Paste Wax shined her right up. Looks brand new. We did it by hand and it came out great without too many aches or pains.
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Old 17-06-2004, 04:38   #11
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One word of caution, 3M's super duty rubbing compound really takes off a large amount of gelcoat with each application, especially when combined with a mechanical buffer. Although Gelcoat may appear to be pretty thick, it is only the outer surfaces of the gelcoat that has the density sufficient for protection to exposure to the elements. Once you have polished down through that outer surface you are into a much more porous material.

You should try to avoid multiple uses of rubbing compound by maintaining the wax surface during the season and by using nothing courser than a polishing compound in subsequent seasons. For what it is worth, most local boat yards in Maryland use McGuire's products which seem a little less damaging to the gelcoat.

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Old 19-12-2004, 19:26   #12
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Sears sells a two speed polisher for about 50 bucks. Buy some heavy duty adhesive Velcro, 2 inch, wide. Cut the Velcro in strips to fit the rubber disc that comes with the unit. You then can use 3m Hookit wool polishing bonnets with it. The bonnets are 7 inch and the Sears polisher disc is 6 inch. This does not matter, as you just center the bonnet as close as possible. For polishing, you can use 3m Fiberglass Compound. Finesse-it II is a step up in gloss above that, but I've found that may be overkill. A good polymer polish like Nu Finish can give very good results without the extra step of Finesse-it.
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Old 19-12-2004, 20:44   #13
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As an addendum to my previous post I would like to give a short bit of instruction to those unfamiliar with "compounding".

When you buy your wool "bonnet" or "pad", pick up a spur while your there. Most auto paint and body supply houses should have them. Use a slow speed right angle polisher not a high speed sander/grinder. I am not talking about those useless 30 dollar orbital polishers. They are ok for applying wax, or for polishing a boat thats already shiny.

Wash the boat first with a strong cleaner. Try using one of the super cleaners such as Purple Power. Be careful with these cleaners as they can cause skin damage, use gloves. Some of these super strong cleaners are so penetrating that they actually pull yellowing right out of the gelcoat.

When the hull is dry begin compouding with the wool pad. Add a small amount of compound directly to your wool pad. Put the pad on the boat and smear the compound around before you turn on the polisher. Work a small area of about 2ft. by 2 ft.. Keep your pad at a slight angle to the surface at all times and keep it moving with light pressure at first, gradually decreasing pressure as the compund loses moisture. It is at this point where the compound is drying up that the wool is actually doing part of the polishing. Keep polishing until all compound is gone from the surface. Do not leave a "haze". If you cannot get all the compound off, your pad is oversaturated, wet or needs to be cleaned or "spurred".

If you do not have a spur, you can use a screwdriver or anything metal and somewhat pointed. When you see you pad has become matted, spin up you polisher and apply the spur to the surface moving it around to free up the fibers. Do this often, or until matting happens too quickly. Then it's time to clean the pad.
Use a hose and rinse clean and let dry. You can speed drying by spinning the water out on your polisher. Always use a dry pad if you can. You may want to buy more than one. I use 3 on my Morgan O/I 41.

As you get better at this you can increase the size of the area you can compound. I would say 4ft. by 4ft. is about max and that'd probably be too big for most. On edges, corners, tight spots, br very careful and use a light touch. Compound can and will burn through gelcoat. Gelcoatis are much, much thicker than paint though, so go ahead and do it. It's easy and you will be amazed at the result.
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Old 20-12-2004, 07:06   #14
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During the compounding stage, you are better off using a foam compounding head (fits onto the same polishing angle grinder.) This will not need to be cleaned out . Just dab a bit of water onto it every so often (especially if you see that bits of foam are starting to break of) and keep adding the rubbing compound. I dont use the whooly polisher until after I have applied the wax.
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Old 20-12-2004, 07:16   #15
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Talbot, I use the foam pads like you do. The 3m products work great.
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