Thanks for the great job of documenting this process and sharing it. I have done a scaled down version of this twice now (the last two consecutive Springs) with pretty poor results. I am using some of the right materials but I need to upgrade my buffer and take more steps. In my last attempt, I cleaned the hull with some (probably inefective) Greased Lightning spray cleaner, compounded the hull with 3m heavy duty compound (using a cheap buffer with a cheap wool pad), applied Finesse 2 with a cotton rag, waxed with Collenite 885 and hand buffed with a microfiber. I'm getting some of it right but I'm very unhappy with the results. At this point, I'm just wanting to protect the hull from further oxidation till next Fall (the boat - a 1881 Islander - goes back in the water soon) when I can do a more correct and thurough job.
After reading your original post again, I do have a couple areas that are unclear to me.
1. Pre-cleaning. I think this was my first big failing. I have read about using MEK, Tourlene, dish soap, etc. You suggest on/off. I have all these products but I'm still a little confused about what is for what. I want to remove Wax and imbeded dirt.
2. Getting a shine. I don't think I'm removing enough. The compounding seems to go pretty well but when I wipe it off, there is still little shine. I'll try wet sanding first next time. However, what ever I do get with the compound, when I follow it up with Finesse, the finish gets worse. I have basically stopped using Finesse because of this.