Suggestions for polishing Gelcoat at the dock? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-25-2010
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Suggestions for polishing Gelcoat at the dock?

My new-to-me boat arrived at the yard yesterday and should be put in the water Friday afternoon. The boat is in pretty good shape, only being 5 years old. However, it spent those 5 years in SoCal so there is a bit of UV induced oxidation on the hull. I frankly wouldn't be concerned about it, but it is obvious when the old vinyl lettering is removed.

The problem is that the boat yard won't allow any washing, polishing, waxing of the hull. The environmental regulations are tough enough and the yard cheap enough, that they simply won't allow it unless you are paying them to do the work and then also pay to have the water treated and disposed of.

So, I'm stuck until I get to boat to the dock. The problem is that while I can easily wash the boat at the dock, polishing and then waxing the hull will be a real pain. I can do just the area when the old name was, but then I'll have some really shiny areas on the hull surrounded by just clean areas.

Any suggestions on what others have done in the past?
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Old 08-25-2010
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I have never used much water other than to keep the pad from getting dry ?

I dont see how you can compound the boat in the water as its a good bit of work even with the correct machine
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Old 08-25-2010
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Polishing and waxing the boat in the water is really a PITA... since you can't really use power tools, unless you have air tools.
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Old 08-25-2010
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Gotta love living in Louisiana. We use whatever chemicals we want and wash them directly into the water. In fact, whatever toxic leftover solutions I have, I just dump them into the water. We plumb our heads to empty directly into the water, etc. No one cares.
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Old 08-25-2010
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I've done this dockside...and it is a pain. The important thing to do is to have a plan that breaks the boat into sections...then attack a section at a time.

Also, while this may be cheating, it has worked for me. I've found a wax that has some slight abrasives in it...and use that on an oxidized boat for a season or two...like Meguires Flagship. After a couple of seasons, I switched to pure Carnuba. Use the elbow grease/hand method...mist the wax application & take-off to ease the effort.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioguy View Post
Gotta love living in Louisiana. We use whatever chemicals we want and wash them directly into the water. In fact, whatever toxic leftover solutions I have, I just dump them into the water. We plumb our heads to empty directly into the water, etc. No one cares.
I hope you're joking
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I recommend you be extremely careful using electric polishers, etc. while she's in the water. My brother did that a number of years ago, slipped and touch water and was electrocuted! He lived but spent weeks in the hospital and now has a bad heart!

Here in Maine (you can do it too in Washington), if we have to work on the boat when it's in the water, we tie her to a dock that shoals (goes dry) on the low tide and work on it then. If I were you, I would find another yard. There's got to be a way to wax your boat in the yard,
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Old 08-25-2010
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I agree with the above post, either find another yard or pay the yard you are in to compound,polish and wax it. Been there, done that, will never do it again.
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Old 08-25-2010
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I paid my yard to compound and wax my hull this spring and was surprised at how inexpensive it was. I paid about $400 to do the hull. I paid another $400 to do the topsides (rub rail up) which I won't do again because that is something that's easy to do (gravity isn't working against you) and you can use power tools there. I'll never do the hull myself again.
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Old 08-26-2010
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I'd point out that doing it yourself isn't so difficult if you follow Maine Sail's excellent directions. Most yard workers don't have a clue how to properly clean, polish and wax a hull. Most also use inferior materials and supplies that will prematurely age your hull in the long run.

I'd also point out that the TOPSIDES is the hull from the waterline to the deck...not just the section above the rubrail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith10 View Post
I paid my yard to compound and wax my hull this spring and was surprised at how inexpensive it was. I paid about $400 to do the hull. I paid another $400 to do the topsides (rub rail up) which I won't do again because that is something that's easy to do (gravity isn't working against you) and you can use power tools there. I'll never do the hull myself again.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 08-26-2010 at 01:01 AM.
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