I thank you for all of your replies. Pardon the delay in my response but I spent 11 hours yesterday waxing the our boat (Catalina 30').
The following story has a (probably) sad ending.
Previously, I went to We$tMarine and got Macguires High Gloss polish which did a very good job in polishing the boot stripe. I have several random orbital sanders but prefer the Bosch. I used bonnets and foam pads from Harbor Freight.
was then waxed by hand with Collinite 885 which did improve the hull's look. It was shiny before but now it's a bit more glossy. Not a dramatic improvement but satisfactory. I'm still wondering where the glorious comments about Collinite come from?
Hard work is the only way I've read and discovered that'll get an excellent finish.
2 days ago I had washed the boat down and used Star Brite non-skid deck
cleaner on the non-skid deck
. It did a great job.
The deck was waxed with Collinite 885 and some hand polish work was done just to clean up some dirty areas. I had wondered if after wax is initially applied and time passes that the waxed appearance looks better. I think that's true as the wax conforms to the surface it's applied to.
Our boat looks very nice now. Time and effort seem to be the only way to get a beautiful finish.
Personal comment- I'd like to meet the guy that invented gel-coat and ask the following; "why in the world did you invent a product that requires way too much labor to maintain? A porous surface on a boat?! Couldn't you just have used Clear Coat instead?"
Also, the line "let's make this a family project
...it'll be fun!" is INSANE!!!!!
Now the sad story.
Our boat is on the hard
located in Maryland
. Bugs that look like a mosquito (but doesn't bite) swarm around the leeward part of moored (in the water) boats and really mess up the appearance. It's horrible. These bugs can take the leeward parts
of a beautiful moored boat and ruin the appearance of that boat in a few days. The bug mess can only be washed off using a Citrus based cleaner. Yes, I've tried the boat cleaner soap(s) from We$tmarine and they don't work.
The only problem with the cleaner is that it instantly removes the wax! In other words- all of my work yesterday will be wrecked in a few days once the boat is in the water
, the bugs mess it up and I clean them off with the Citrus cleaner.
We could let the boat sit in the water, get all messed up and never clean it but that wouldn't be right. I'm not a "bug-a-phobic" or a neat freak but there is a limit I can endure. And sitting in and on dead bugs, their mess and smell isn't my idea of fun.
We could move to a different marina but that would be many thousands of dollars more. Where we are now is perfect in terms of location and cost. (don't waste your time asking- I'm not telling).
Sadly, we're probably going to sell our boat. It's way too much work and I'm already over-extended. I wish it were otherwise.