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Old 11-01-2006
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wet sanding

I need information on proper wet sanding technique. Being too cheap, estimates are $25 a foot, what would I need to do? All I know is to use 1500 grit with an orbital sander to hopefully restore shine to my 2000 Macgregor 26x
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Old 11-01-2006
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There are better ways to restore fibreglass surfaces, including products like Polyglow, Newglass, and other restoring products. Consider looking into those before doing something as drastic as sanding everything.
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Old 11-01-2006
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Be careful... the rubbing compounds for cars are more abrasive than the ones for fiberglass...so you really should use a fiberglass specific compound after you finish sanding. I've heard bad things about NuGlass, but hear that Poliglow is pretty good.
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Depending on how badly oxidized the boat is (it's only a 2000, 6 years old!), I have had great results with Meguiar's producst--they have a #45, #49 and #56, which are initially a cleaner with mild abrasive in it to remove the surface oxidation, then working to the #56 wax, which I have found to be the best of all the waxes I have tried over the years. I would try this before doing anything more aggressive, including sanding.
Frank.
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Old 11-01-2006
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restore Shine

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnennis
I need information on proper wet sanding technique. Being too cheap, estimates are $25 a foot, what would I need to do? All I know is to use 1500 grit with an orbital sander to hopefully restore shine to my 2000 Macgregor 26x
Whoa, slow down, there are some plenty of articles around about restoring gel coat, I'd be surprised if any involve orbital wetsanding. Here's one I thought was good:
Spring Hull Cleaning
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Old 11-02-2006
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Don't use PolyGlow or any of those acrylic coatings. They will look like crap in a short time and you will have to remove them and start all over. I would highly recommend Aqua-Buff products. Its a step by step polish and they have very clear instructions. I've used them on some pretty rough looking boats and have had good success. Take a look here.

http://www.aqua-buff.com/site/478459/page/45029
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Old 11-02-2006
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My old boat was a '78 Cal. Every product we used to work on oxidation did work for a short time, but only a short time. A month after dipping the old girl and she began to show her age again. We found that on the old boat (your boat does not seem that old) we had to go to wet sanding.

We did it by hand: not with a orbital sander (Don't think I would recommend using an orbital sander). The results were very impressive. Also found with a heavy oxidation that it was actually less work to wet sand than it was to use a mild rubbing compund, the sanding actually required less elbow greese, the results were superior and longer lasting.

The technique was very simple. Wet, sand, remove residue, polish (3M Finesse It), and wax.

Do your homework and research, I was working on a boat that was 25 years old at the time not six years old. Don't think you should be seeing such poor result with a boat of your age.

Are you applying good quality marine wax to protect your boat?

Thank goodness our new boat is awlgripped. Nothing could be easier.
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Old 11-04-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnennis
I need information on proper wet sanding technique. Being too cheap, estimates are $25 a foot, what would I need to do? All I know is to use 1500 grit with an orbital sander to hopefully restore shine to my 2000 Macgregor 26x
i unfortunutly have no answer for you but if you doit by hand you have to use a 1000 grit and some water and it should worke

i have aquestion for you i just bought a 26x 1995 and i am looking for an instruction book for rigging ect

thank you Naubri
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Old 11-04-2006
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Be very, very, careful.

There are differences between sanding and compounding and polishing. Different equipment, different speeds, different "gunk". And once you damage whatever gelcoat is left--it is gone and you are left with a cycle of painting and repainting the hull.

I would try the most gentle approach (polishing) first to see how that & waxing gets you through the next season. 3M makes a full line of products for this, and any auto body/refinishing supply store can sell them to you. 3M also has great toll-free support for all of their products.

It is very easy to get impatient or aggressive and do permanent damage, so take your time. See if you can get a video from online "how to" video places, or a book from the local library.
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Old 11-05-2006
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sanding

Sanding an old boats gel-coat merely accelerates the process of compounding/polishing. The usual cavaet of ensuring your gel-coat is thick enough applies; if you screw up here you'll end up painting. I used 600 and 800 wet/dry (always wet) on my 73 Cal and it cleaned up nice. Coarser than that you'll want to be careful not to burn through the gel-coat. An orbiatal, or even a palm sander can be used, but in both cases, do not apply too much pressure, letting the machine do the work. I recommend finish sanding by hand.
The trouble with old gel-coat is that it becomes porous and loses it's shine as a result. After sanding and polishing is done, I recommend Poly-glo. It fills in the pores and gives a great shine. It has been on now for three months and still looks great. I've used numerous waxes and had no-where near the results, and poor longevity too. The Poly-glo is extremely easy to apply; by the time you're done with one coat you're ready to apply another. I did four coats, on a 21' boat, in under an hour. Practical Sailor reviewed the product extremely well and I've found nothing to prove them wrong.
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