What works on aluminum? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-15-2013 Thread Starter
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What works on aluminum?

Would love to restore shine to original aluminum rub rail in pic. Tried Meguairs aluminum mag cleaner but did nothing. All kinds of products at WM store. Does any of this stuff work? Would love to see 1966 again. :-) can u wet sand aluminum?
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-15-2013
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Re: What works on aluminum?

There is probably a sealer or anodized finish on the rub rail. Yes it can be wet sanded. You can get a 1500 micron wet sandpaper at an automotive store. This maybe a little fine to remove the finish, maybe start with a 400 grit. Rail will need to be coated to keep from oxidizing. Others here will tell you what to use.

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post #3 of 23 Old 11-15-2013
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Re: What works on aluminum?

I used jewelers rouge and a buffer wheel to mirror shine a buddies aluminum window rails.
You'll have to clear coat them to keep them from going again.
Your other (easier) choices include new stainless rub rails.

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post #4 of 23 Old 11-15-2013
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Re: What works on aluminum?

Your boat is a good looking classic . My choice would be to replace the Alu. with SS.
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-16-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: What works on aluminum?

Thanks for the feedback folks. While ss replace would be easiest and probablylook best iI am working hard to keep costs down. So I am inclined to try cleaning/sanding alum first. Sounds like the clearcoat is a good idea. Are there any options to cc? Cc seems like it would mean take the rail off first. But I am trying to disturb as little as possible from 1966. Whatcha think? If I remove would I be correct in thinking new ss screws and boat life? See better pic below... Sorry... For some reason system keeps giving me internal error on upload... Oh well
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-16-2013
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-16-2013
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Re: What works on aluminum?

I would be very careful with using any industrial stripper or chemicals on this project. You could destroy the bedding and or gel coat. That Blue color is a paint I assume. I don't think there were many colors other than white back in 66?

1500 micro wet/dry is the same grit as a finish polishing compound.

You know your boat is old when your favorite cleaning tool is sandpaper.

Here is one clear coat product called Sharkhide http://www.eastwood.com/sharkhide-al...ant-quart.html

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Last edited by Delta-T; 11-16-2013 at 01:32 PM.
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: What works on aluminum?

I found a clear spray on paint type product at Home Depot. I think rustoleum makes it. Will that work? I experimented today with a one foot length of the rub rail. Wetsanding brought up the shine pretty quickly. So I am confident I can get the shine back but if I do I want to get it protected right. Any concerns with the rustoleum?
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-24-2013
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Re: What works on aluminum?

Only if the can says for exterior use. As with any one part air dried paint, you will only get a limited amount of years out of it. It might be easier to use a good quality wax once a year.

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post #10 of 23 Old 11-25-2013
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Re: What works on aluminum?

I wouldn't use anything on the aluminum. If you want to keep it looking bright then wax it regularly, anything else will look terrible in a year or so when it starts to peel off and you have to strip the whole thing down again. Painting aluminum is a tricky deal that requires special primers to even have a shot of getting paint to stick, and even then it frequently comes off. This has to do with the rapid oxidation rate of bare aluminum and a simple clear coat won't do much to slow it down.

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