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Old 06-10-2012
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

MaineSail...here's my conundrum.

I have a relatively new boat, 3 years old. Live near an area of a power plant incinerator, so I get this particularly nasty soot that is not even coming off with dawn detergent wash. So I've thought about a few options, but I'm wondering what the long term effects of these are:

1) Using Collinite #920 to get down to bare gelcoat to rebuild the wax process. This stuff is cheap and is in the Collinite family. What I dont know or like very much is that it appears to use silica which means its an abrasive. I dont like abrasives at all because modern production boat gelcoats are thin as it is and I want to minimize the use of anything that could wear through it. Plus, abrasives inevitably mean a wax/buff application...which will be hard work to do right. Like a waxing/buffing process.

2) Using Interlux 202 solvent. This takes the grime *RIGHT* off. But I dont know what the long term effects of continual use of solvent are on the gelcoat. I intend to own the boat a long time, so solvents in general make me concern. I've heard things like it can make gelcoat soft/sticky, etc. In looking at the ingredients on the quart bottle I bought, the 3 components of this wash are: Methyl Isobutyl Ketone, Cyclohexanon, Aromatich Naptha. Also, this stuff is pricey...at $50 a gallon or $25 a quart

3) FXR or Oxalic acid wash. This stuff is in Black Streak Remover, FXR wash, ON/Off wash, etc. Seems to remove the soot/grease/grime and is a cheap product. I worry about its effect on metal including my aluminum toe rail, various stainless bits/bobs. Its impossible to mask everything off and then do a wholesale cleaning of the boat using this stuff. How much contact with metal is needed before pitting or damage to metal occurs?

Basically, I'm trying to get to bare gel-coat and working my way back up with wax coats of Collinite #885
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