For (heavily discounted) sale: complete package of buffing tools and materials as specified by Maine Sail. (No, this isn't your usual spam.)
Sailors and Fellow Gelcoat Polishers:
I've grossly overreached. Reading Maine Sail's description of restoring gelcoat, I was so enthusiastic I purchased online his recommended tools and materials to the letter.
When the Presta products arrived, before the Makita buffer, I worked over by hand a small patch in the cockpit with Presta Gel Coat Compound. Amazing. A blinding, glossy surface appeared. Hey, this will be a cinch, sez I to myself.
It was not to be.
Undertaking the project with a full bag of tools and supplies, I could NOT replicate my first euphoric success. The best I could do with Gel Coat Compound was a cleaner, brighter surface but still dull and flat.
What the hell?
Turns out the patch I worked on was almost new gelcoat, applied by the previous own in repairing some damage, and was only very slightly oxidized. The rest of the boat was built in 1985, however, and apparently has had little done to it since.
What I've concluded now is discouraging. I'll have to start wet sanding, probably with 400 grit ( tried 600, and that hardly touched it), and on up in steps to 1000, the most abrasive sanding that Gel Coat Compound can smooth out.
Well, at 79 years of age I'm both too feeble and too saavy to go over the boat four times with wet-or-dry and then do 5 coats of compound, polish, glaze, and Collinite twice--as Maine Sail recommends.
I intend to farm out the job to a far younger, far more vigorous boat shiner at my local boatyard.
So I have for sale:
1 Makita 9227C, with both handles, carrying bag, and accessories
1 32oz bottle each of Presta Gel Coat Compound, Ultra Cutting Creme, and Chroma
1 3M Compounding Pad #05711, unused
1 3M Polishing Pad 05713, unused
1 3M Foam Polishing Pad #05725, unused
1 Makita Compounding Pad (used once and cleaned)
3 Makita Polishing Pads (unused)
1 can Collinite 885
I'm truly disappointed it's come to this. I was looking forward to a few pleasant days of working on the boat and a spectacular result. But not all the wet sanding, thanks.
$275 for the lot.
Lets not thorw in the towel just yet. Can you tell us what exactly you did. What was the pad. What speeds were you using, how much compound, was the pad dry when you started or damp? Even a badly oxidized hull will shine up with Presta Gelcoat. It will look better if you wet sand but it should not be flat.
If you started at a slow speed did you ever increase it? Increasing the speed breaks the grit down to a finer grade and creates a better shine. If you keep is slow the whole time you may not get the desired result. You don't need to go great guns on speed but you do need to go fast enough to break the grit down to finer particles.
I can fully understand your frustration at 79 I can only hope to be alive let alone buffing a boat with a 7 pound machine.!! Great attitude!!
BTW that is a STEAL for all that gear.... Sorry it did not work for you but A+ for the effort..