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post #1 of 8 Old 04-10-2007 Thread Starter
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boat detailing

I have no more than 10 hours spare excluding a 5 hour round car trip to polish the gelcoat soon.

I have used 3m products to good effect. My arm was tired the last time i did this job on 34ft boat to clean and polish.

I was considering a polisher like a porter cable electric dual action polisher or a rotary polisher.

I have tried the 240v cheepo polisher and that is rubbish

Anyone got experience of hull preparation using an electric polisher that has given good results but doesn't knacker oneself?
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-10-2007
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Hmm.. five hours isn't a lot of time... but it would be plenty for a Sunfish, not enough for Passport 42... what kind of boat do you have??? and how long has it been since it was properly polished and waxed?

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-10-2007 Thread Starter
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boat detailing

Sunfish is a Maxi 1000 10m long.

I have 10 hours to prep her half as much time to get to her and get home.

last time polished by hand was 2004. The boat is 9 years old but has been out of the water for 24 months.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-10-2007
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I'd use 3M Marine Fiberglass Restorer and Wax... it will both clean off the oxidation and apply a wax finish at the same time...

If you're doing this manually, get the thicker rectangular wax application pads from the auto parts store, rather than the thinner pads you get at the marine chandlery... they'll work better and you'll be less tired for it.

I don't have enough experience with the power buffers to say which you should use.

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post #5 of 8 Old 04-10-2007
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I too was frustrated with past orbital polishers and decided to get this Makita unit, after another SailNet member's recommendation.



Ordered from Amazon for a great package price. I used a two step process for compounding, followed by a polish with the two grades of wool bonnets, included in the package. The results were amazing - incredible shine and easy to do. I will apply a final wax coat - whenever the weather warms up.

With limited time, you could use a polisher and get great results by using 3M One-Step Restorer & Wax.

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sold the Nauticat
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-11-2007 Thread Starter
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Thankyou for your comments
I will try an orbital polisher with electronic speed control which i am advised is better suited to gelcoat than a dual action.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-21-2007
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I am gathering from this and a few other random posts that the polisher of preference is a rotary? I am going to do parts of the cockpit/coach roof (not the non-skid) and next time I haul out, I will do the topsides. Is the dual action better for the topsides or do you prefer the rotary?

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post #8 of 8 Old 05-21-2007
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Here is a tip, if you have a normal angle grinder, you can use it with a buffing pad and a wool pad by stepping the speed down. All you need is one of those wall mount ceiling fan speed controllers, or a dimmer switch. you put it between the extension cable and the grinders plug. Why pay for an extra piece of equipment.

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