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Siamese 01-17-2011 04:39 PM

Polish My Deck...MaineSail???
Here's the thing...I enjoy keeping my Catalina 309 in good order by doing my own shaft alignment, fuel filters, oil changes, plumbing, electrical, and on and on. I also enjoy painting the bottom in the Spring and waxing and maybe polishing the topsides.

And during the summer season here on Lake Michigan, I enjoy keeping her decks nice and clean. BUT.....there seems to be no power on earth that will motivate me to wax the shiny portions of the deck and cockpit. Oh, I've done it a few times, but lately I've just said to heck with it.

So I need a plan B. I think. Maybe once a year, or every other year I could do a nice polish on the shiny portions to keep the gleam. MaineSail's tutorial on making gelcoat sparkle is one of the most valuable things I've ever found on the web (with the obvious exception of pornography:laugher ). I followed his instructions to the letter with regard to the right grinder polisher, pads, and compounds and got stunning results on topsides when I needed them.

So I have two questions:
1. Is it a reasonable plan to polish annually or semi-anually, and maybe wax annually to keep the deck and cockpit looking okay?
2. If so, how the heck do I deal with the deck, given that my Dewalt grinder/polisher uses 9" polishing pads? It doesn't seem to be the weapon of choice for getting into corners and working around deck hardware. Should I use my Dewalt with 9" pads for the broader shiny areas and go with 3" pads for the tricky parts? Or, is there another good tool for getting into the corners?

Oh, and would it make sense to go at it with 3M Finesse It and see what kind of results I get before stepping up to a rubbing compound (followed by Finesse it)?

sailingdog 01-17-2011 06:10 PM

Don't polish the non-skid.

Don't wax it unless you're using something like Woody Wax, which is designed for surfaces that are going to be walked upon, or you'll likely fall on your backside... waxed decks are very slippery. :D

Siamese 01-17-2011 10:48 PM

Nope...just the "shiny portions".

mitiempo 01-18-2011 01:09 AM

I wouldn't wax anything I might step on - just scrub it regularly to keep it clean.

Siamese 01-18-2011 12:06 PM

I'm talkin' anywhere up on deck that's not non-skid. In the cockpit, sides of the cabin top, etc.

mitiempo 01-18-2011 01:28 PM

When I go forward I may place my foot outside non skid areas. When heeled over it is not inconceivable to place a foot just about anywhere. None of it should be slippery.

sailingdog 01-18-2011 01:59 PM

As Mitiempo said... don't wax or polish anything you might possibly have to step on... or you'll likely end up falling on your backside when you do step on it.

poopdeckpappy 01-18-2011 10:45 PM

Siamese, I'm using a shurhold buffer/polisher it's a 6-1/2" pad but it's light, easy to handle and though it won't get into every nook & granny, it does reduces the size of them

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