Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but...... - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 20 Old 10-21-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but......

Unfortunately I am out of time to sand--maybe. If we don't get snow and it stays above 45 or so I will sand. Otherwise I will probably just do the best I can this year and follow up with a wax again in the spring, finish my other projects and get out on the water in May/2016.

Here is a question--will foam pads such as a Lake Country CCS finishing foam pad make the Collinite shine more if that's the way I choose to go this year? Also, for those who have used them, do they fit right on the Makita 9227?

1985 O'Day 26'

I spent all my money on booze, boats and broads. And the rest of it, I wasted. - Elmore Leonard

Last edited by Bruce3966; 10-21-2015 at 04:52 PM.
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Re: Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but......

I think refining wax at this stage is not going to get you what you are looking for. Wax is protection only - makes the dirt fall off. If wax by sponge followed by microfibre cloth does not do it then a machine won't improve things.

So take a little bit of time off here. Meanwhile since you have the time review this:

autobodystore.com/compound.shtml

At the bottom of that page is a link to a very good description of the process.

You will immediately notice that the process Len (Autobodystore) describes is similar to the Maine Sail instructions.

The take-away is that if you do not get the surface flat by wet sanding to 1500 - 2000 (in my case 3000) before you go to compound you will not get what you want.

Charles

Last edited by cerwin; 10-21-2015 at 05:30 PM.
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Re: Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but......

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Originally Posted by Bruce3966 View Post
Oh I forgot to say, I tried Collinite over the Finesse after I cleaned up the hull with denatured alcohol. All the wax did was make the Finesse goop show up more. I did wipe down the hull again with denatured alcohol and i ts better so maybe I just have to do that some more and then wax however, so far no matter what I try the hull isn't shiny as others I have seen. I'll be living and learning this process for several years I assume. It doesn't help that I tore my rotator cuff about a month ago either.
I think you may be expecting too much from a 30 year old gel coat. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good! Try a wash with Dawn dish detergent (the original blue stuff) as that may clean up the goop. I am sure it is fine, but if you have some smearing from the finish it (I do believe it has some fillers in it so it might) then I would find another product, but I still think you are expecting too much from a 30 year old finish. Especially if it has not had great care by previous owners. I was just reading the The Fiberglass Boat Repair Manual, and Allan Vaitses says that gel coat will start showing it's age at 10 years. On a 30 year old finish I would not start wet sanding, as it is too likely to go through the finish.
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Re: Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but......

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The take-away is that if you do not get the surface flat by wet sanding to 1500 - 2000 (in my case 3000) before you go to compound you will not get what you want.
This is the right answer right here...........
You must remove all the surface imperfections, that means the microscopic scratches and swirl marks from previous attempts to polish the hull.

I wouldn't worry about sanding thru the gelcoat, you are only removing a microscopic layer and should be doing it by hand. My last boat was a 1987 model, the wet sanding was the only way to get a mirror type shine.

“Any fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk.” -Sir Francis Chichester
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Re: Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but......

Miatapaul has a point. Unless you know how many sanding sessions have occurred over the history of the boat. So if you are worried then measure the gelcoat thickness.

In any case - I imagine he would agree there is no way you are going to go through what is probably 10 - 30 mil of gel coat with a 600 - 2000 sand scratch or for that matter the several such sanding sessions yet to come.

Charles
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Re: Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but......

Well, with my rotator cuff torn I am limited so I'll take it day to day for now, work on other things and see if I can tackle it in the spring.

I know this will be a no no but has anybody wet sanding carefully their boat with a vibrating sander? Just had to ask.

1985 O'Day 26'

I spent all my money on booze, boats and broads. And the rest of it, I wasted. - Elmore Leonard
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Re: Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but......

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Well, with my rotator cuff torn I am limited so I'll take it day to day for now, work on other things and see if I can tackle it in the spring.

I know this will be a no no but has anybody wet sanding carefully their boat with a vibrating sander? Just had to ask.
Perhaps with a pneumatic sander, but electric and water do not mix!
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Re: Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but......

You are right - I would rather sand than compound any day and that is why i go to 3000 before I compound - shoulder affliction or not.

But not a vibrating unit.

Use random orbit variable speed - Makita 5041 which is a 5 inch pad - hook and loop. (This is the electric version of the more familiar "DA" sander).

Then use 3M finishing film 6 inch discs so the disc extends beyond the machine pad thus no sharp edge. 3M finishing film is available in hook and loop and comes in anything from 320 to 3000. These discs are expensive but you will only use 2 per session. Of course you will not go under 600 - and even then only with seriously oxidized gelcoat.

You can also use a 6 inch interface pad which is nothing more than a soft pad between the sander and the finishing film disc. This also softens the pad and that way the flat machine pad fits to the curved boat surface.

As to wet sanding and electricity no problem - just use a spray bottle to keep the pad on the wet side of damp - surely not a hose.

Charles

Last edited by cerwin; 10-21-2015 at 07:25 PM.
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Re: Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but......

I have wet sanded with a cheapo random orbital from Harbor Freight. Worked fine but you do have to be careful. However I did dunk mine a few weeks ago in salt water. The cure was easy. Just immerse it in fresh water a couple hours then let dry completely. Worked fine after that. Plus initial cost was only like $20 so no great loss....

The two best days of a boater's life... The day he buys it and every day he SAILS it.
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Re: Followed hull polishing step to a "T" but......

Wind,
I agree with Charles, if you don't get good results with compounding, you need to step back and wet sand. Also, use the right pad for the step. White wool for compound and yellow for polish.
I used a random orbital electric sander starting with 400 grit and worked up to 1500 grit. I plugged the sander into an extension cord that has a GFI breaker built in and you don't use that much water. Just a spray bottle and spray the boat, not the sander.

I bought the same Makita you did and used the 3M compound and Finesse II polish. I never read anything about having to use alcohol to wipe anything off.

As Main's article says, and Charles notes, you should get the shine after the polish. The wax only seals the surface, it won't make a dull surface shine.

I think Main's article says that if you don't start getting a decent shine after compounding you need to go back and wet sand. The polish takes a decent shine to the high shine you see people posting pics of.

However, with your bad shoulder, don't ruin it by trying to get a great shine. Not worth it. It's nice walking up to your boat and thinking "you look at that shine" but a dull looking boat can sail just as well as a shiny boat.
My boat shined like a mirror the first season. Shined like my car the 2nd season. Didn't even get waxed the 3rd season.
Hope to do a polish and in the spring.
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