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  #151  
Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
The next sentence says:
"The long term solution is painting the hull. The process is more expensive but but t will ensure gloss retention for a many as 10 years."
As many as 10 years? I have seen well cared for Imron go well beyond 10 years and well maintained gelcoat last into the 40's.

This is my own boat painted with AwlCraft 2000 taken yesterday at year 7. I would argue that even at year 7 her gloss and shine is better than a 90% of the freshly painted boats out there. A well cared for gelcoat or painted finish can last far longer than 10 years, but sadly the vast majority of finishes are not well cared for....

Sorry for the poor quality (grainy) pics only had the point & shoot and used "force flash off" which drove up the ISO forcing some grain..





As for Mike's gelcoat comments that has not been my experience if you do a thorough gelcoat restoration. Sadly most guys stop at "compound" or a polish that is too aggressive which leaves swirls and causes gelcoat to oxidize faster than a glass smooth finish. With darker colors they do oxidize faster and will require a more aggressive polish at year end, but usually not a compound. Most gel boats are white.

Once you've restored a gelcoat finish a once a year a quick polish & wax will keep it looking good nearly indefinitely. We did my buddies Chris's Ericson almost 5 years ago and all he's done in five years is two polishes and yearly applications of Collinite #885. It still looks as good as the day we did it and he skipped three years of polish. I have plenty of examples I can point to with similar results. My guess is that, due to labor costs, Mike most likely can not take the time to do the "complete process" the way an owner can. In my experience doing less than half the process results in less than half the performance...
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 04-17-2012 at 07:42 AM.
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  #152  
Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
...If your boat is not to badly oxidized Ultra Cutting Creme with a 3M #05713 pad can get you there in just one step plus the wax..! This is my absolute favorite product for compounding / polishing...
Since my boat was in pretty good shape (only 13 years old, maintained OK by previous owners - I mainly needed to remove some stale yellowed wax), I followed this part of MS's advice. The result looks great.

After the one-step port side compound/polish using the Presta, I started a glaze step using Maguire's #9 (since I could not find Presta Chroma locally). However, after doing a small section, it was having absolutely no effect on the appearance, so I stopped after glazing the port side bootstripe. The next day I did the Presta cream on the starboard side, and I was racing against the diminishing shade on that side, so I did not even glaze the bootstripe. If there are invisible swirl marks that will speed up oxidation, I expect that I'll see a difference between the boot stripes on the two sides of the boat. Time will tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
...Do I apply the wax by hand? Yes!...
In previous years I had used a 6" palm orbital buffer for the Collinite Fleet wax, but this time I found that with the superior surface prep (compound/polish to a high gloss before waxing), the wax buffed out easily by hand with microfiber rag - no need for the electric buffer. It also seemed to take much less wax than it did before, probably due to the reduced surface area.

Also, for boats with only mild oxidation, a big Makita polisher might be overkill. I tried using my 6" orbital buffer to compound/polish the sides of the cabin using Presta Ultra cream, and it easily removed the stale wax and mild oxidation, leaving a surface gloss that was equal in appearance to the hull. For small boats that don't need a 9" pad, and for intricate details that are too small to fit such a large polisher, the smaller buffer seemed to work OK. It's a lot easier on the arms and back, as well. Once again, over time I'll get an idea how this part of the boat holds up vs. the different technique that I used for the hull.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 04-16-2012 at 05:21 PM.
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  #153  
Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

I think my gelcoat is too far gone to ever look 'great' again, but I'm getting some very satisfying results using the techniques in this thread.

The boat is 30 years old and was taken by the marina for unpaid fees. The last reg sticker is 2008 so it has been on the hard and ignored for at least three years; hard to imagine that the PO kept up with all the maintenance and then never paid the slip fees, so let's assume the neglect started a couple of years before '08.

I wasted some time with rubbing compound when I should have started with 1000 grit sandpaper. I backtracked and did the sanding. It was getting late in the day and I wanted to have something to show for my efforts, so I did the 'full monty' on the first 2 feet of the port side (I had already scraped off the old reg letters and prepped the upper part).

Wet sand
Compound by hand
Polish
Wax (2 coats)

Neither the polish nor the wax are all they could be because I didn't have the bonnets to do them with the buffer (plus the shop was locked up, no power anyway). But what I have looks a helluva lot better. It should look a little better every year that I compound it.

In the pic, you can see some kind of reflection from the boat next door and nothing in the unimproved area. Also the forward 2 feet of the boot stripe looks much better.
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  #154  
Old 04-17-2012
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

Mike Borrelli called me in response to my email. The following is my take on what he told me. I promised him I would send a link to this thread so he could come on this forum and correct my quotations and add some clarification to his article in Soundings.
I don't know MaineSail very well but I suspect he will welcome some other expert comments. We have all benefited greatly from RC's generous help.

What I learned from Mike is that gel-coat and Algrip are targeting two very different audiences.
On the one hand you have one audience that wants a durable finish that can last a lifetime and look good. This is the gel-coat people.
On the other hand you have the people who want the ultimate see your nose hair in the reflection shine for as long as possible, these are the Algrip people.

And yes RC he agreed that people that take good care of their Algrip can get 15 to 20 years out of it. As proof of the superior shine that can be expected from paint he referenced the new boats that come out of the mold with gelcoat but are painted before leaving the factory. These are super high-end boats.

He was adamant however that an old gel coated boat that was heavily oxidized and sanded, compounded, polished then waxed would at the end of year start to loose the shine.

Now RC gave me an idea of how to reconcile the two different expert comments.
I suspect that Mike does most of his work for very demanding clients and his jobs cost perhaps well over 10 to 30 thousand dollars maybe much more.
A gel-coat refurb job is never going to be perfect on a 30 year old boat. There will be dings and scratches that will not compound out and the patch color will never match perfectly and as MS said the labor to do the final polish will be significant.
If after the second year the deepness of the shine fades even a little bit that will add even more insult. For these customers Mike can give them a guaranteed 10 year job, 15 to twenty if they take care of it and the color and shine and everything will be perfect for at least 10 years.
For these customers that makes sense.
He also mentioned that on darker colors he clear-coats so in case of a ding he can do a repair that doesn't show, another benefit.

For those of us who don't mind an extra weekend or two polishing our boat and 98% of the boat looks like 100% for the first year and maybe 90% for a few years after that the restore process makes our boat look awesome and costs only maybe a hundred bucks in supplies.

I will send this to Mike and see what he has to say.
And of course we are all interested in what Maine Sail has to say.

Last edited by davidpm; 04-17-2012 at 08:55 AM.
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  #155  
Old 04-27-2012
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

My gel coat was sad looking at best. Oxidized, scuffed, scratched and gouged.
I was seriously considering getting her painted when the local fiberglass guy
pointed out that he could easily repair the few chips and gouges in the gel coat
but that it these would be much harder to repair if the surface had been
Awlgrip.

I gave him the go ahead to repair the 3 worst gel coat gouges. Now
I can't even tell where they were. He made them disappear.

Next, after reading Mail Sail's post and all the follow up posts, I
decided to give his technique a try. I followed his recommendations
to a tee. I purchased the Makita 9227C, the 3M pads he recommended
and Presta Gel Coat Compound and Presta polishing stuff.

The compounding produced amazing results. I did also polish
after the compounding but it was very hard to see any improvement
over just the compounding. I then applied a coat of NuFinsh
because I already had some (as opposed to wax).

The boat looks amazing. I hope it will prevent the rash at the water line
that forms after the boat is in the water for a few weeks.

I think I saved myself thousands of dollars for a new paint job. Thanks Maine
Sail!

Anyone have any recommendation for how to compound the cockpit where most of the
surfaces area is too small to use the Makita on. Can it be done by hand?
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  #156  
Old 04-27-2012
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

I have the same Makita as you do. I bought a small backing plate 2+" and it will hold 4" pads. Worked great in the cockpit everywhere except the non-skid.
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  #157  
Old 04-27-2012
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

You would be surprised at the size space that Makita will fit into. A smaller pad would be nice but I prefer the Presta pads and they are only one size. I have buffed a cockpit with the Makita just fine.
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  #158  
Old 05-02-2012
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Smile Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

Maine:
Many thanks for a superb description of the tools and processes of spiffing up your boat. I intend to follow it to the letter.

One question: for the small, tight places where the Makita is awkward and cumbersome, can I use my Makita 6" random orbit sander instead? Otherwise, I'll have to apply the buffing/polishing coats by hand; that will be a lot of elbow grease and won't produce a uniform result, I'm afraid.

Thanks again,

Lopezian

P.S. Belay the question. After doing what I should have done first--read all the responses to Maine's initial post--I see the question's been asked and answered more than once. So, onward with the orbital for the decks, cockpit, and cabin. But thanks once again to Maine Sail for a truly valuable post.

Last edited by Lopezian; 05-02-2012 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Found the answer in earlier posts.
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  #159  
Old 05-05-2012
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

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 owner 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.

Lopezian





.

Last edited by Lopezian; 05-06-2012 at 03:38 AM.
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  #160  
Old 05-05-2012
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lopezian View Post
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.

Lopezian





.
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..
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