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Perhaps I was misleading about using muscle power. I have not let our boat get to the point of needing special attention. The hull is in good shape and a good going over twice a year with a cleaner/wax keeps it that way.
 

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I should add that Scandium did say that his boat is 24', is not oxidized badly, and he isn't planning to 'go all out'. That, to me, suggests that moving the boat or buying a generator, to power a buffer that he does not have, is a lot of unnecessary expense and effort.
 

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I should add that Scandium did say that his boat is 24', is not oxidized badly, and he isn't planning to 'go all out'. That, to me, suggests that moving the boat or buying a generator, to power a buffer that he does not have, is a lot of unnecessary expense and effort.
Yeah that's what I'm thinking. Though I honestly don't know how to tell how bad oxidation is as this is my first time dealing with it.. And don't have anyone to ask. It is on a trailer so moving it isn't a huge deal. I'll probably get a $50 buffer and drive it somewhere to give the sides a once over. The deck etc I can do by hand. But like you I hope to just do a cleaner-wax by hand after a thorough first time. So want to avoid getting lots of tools I won't need again for a while
 

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I wouldn't waste the $50 on a cheap buffer like this one

https://www.amazon.ca/Wen-10PMR-Waxer-Polisher-10-Inch/dp/B004TA06QA

All they do is vibrate your hands. Save it towards a good one for when you have power.

Sounds like a thorough hand applied cleaner/wax job - maybe a second coat of good quality carnauba would be the way to go now. Not much more work doing a 24' than a car.

In the described circumstances that's the way I'd go.
 
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I usually do my waxing by hand but not the cutting compounds.
That’s the right way. If someone needs a buffer for wax, they haven’t polished correctly...even if it’s 885 Fleetwax.
 

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Not much more work doing a 24' than a car.
This tells me nothing, lol. Never waxed a car (it's a car, who cares? My boat on the other hand..)

Anyway. I worry, from my limited understanding, that just doing a one-step cleaner/wax now could risk "sealing in" the oxidation? There's a blue part on the side that's pretty chalky. But maybe doing a proper compound/oxidation remover next spring could easily get rid of it? Or a wax-remover first? And I guess there's the chance the one-step might actually be enough (though the OP here has no love for those, probably for good reason. At least he didn't 10 years ago..).

But as soon as water is turned on so I can clean it I'll hand-apply compound and wax a small area and see how it goes. It it's too big a PIA do a 1-step to the sides at least, since I can't do those once in the water. But you're right a 24' isn't that big.
Thanks
 

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I do not intend to veer anyone off the track of the excellent advice in the OP. It's the way to go for perfect results. The last post seemed concerned about doing less, using cleaner/waxes, etc. To that I say, you really can't do much harm. Any cleaning and protection is better than none. Personally, I would shy away from any that actually coat or paint the fiberglass. If anything doesn't come out as good as you like, it needs to be able to be easily removed. Even wax can build up, so any good cleaning should start by removing the old wax. Wax is very easily removed with the right detergent.
 

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Scandium
Cleaner/wax is a good idea but not for removing oxidation. If you go back to the beginning of this thread the advice given for removing oxidation is rubbing compound and/or wet sanding. There are a multitude of additional steps but you have to decide how much effort, money, and time you are willing to invest. Keep in mind that some of the great advice given here is coming from sailors that own boats that are worth many tens of thousands of dollars...their perspective may not be the same as yours.
 

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...There's a blue part on the side that's pretty chalky...
Thanks
If you have a chalky dark blue boot stripe or similar, you may have to wet sand. I've done this on two separate boats using 2000 grit sandpaper with spray bottle with a little detergent in the water, and it has always restored the deep blue color. After the wet sand, do your polish like you'd do on the white part of the hull, and finally the wax.

For both of my boats I've always done a one-step with Presta Ultra Cutting Cream, which is one of the things that Maine Sail suggested. It starts out a coarse compound, and breaks down as you work it (using electric polisher) to a fine polish. It's worked very well for me.

I went several years with a cheapo Harbor Freight polisher, but got tired of the speed running away every time it heated up, so finally got smart and got a Makita variable speed which is rock solid at the needed slow speed setting.
 
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Paging Maine Sail !

Rod, you said "For gelcoat you want a rotary/circular machine NOT a dual action..."

Could you give me a little background on this please? I got a Shurhold Dual action with the boat....

Also - have you ever tried any of the Smoove products?
 

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Not sure how often Rod checks in during the boating season - but I have both pieces of equipment so will offer a cliff notes version.
Basically I use my DA for smaller appplication such a Lexan type port lights and hatches or tight areas not accessible with a full size rotary machine.
I use the rotary style polisher, e.g., the Makita 9227c, for large areas like between the waterline and rub rail. When compounding you want the torque provided by the larger more powerful machine.
In short, it would take significantly less time for compounding, polishing and glazing with the larger machine.
I’m not sure you could ever achieve the same results with the DA.
Hope this helps and good luck.
 

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I have both, I use the DA on my cars and the rotary polisher on the boat. I've found that the DA wont make a dent in gelcoat, gelcoat is just too hard. Alternatively, on the car, the rotary is too powerful and can easily "get away from you" and damage car's paint. Compared to gelcoat paint is very soft.

so, use the right tool for the job. I think you'll find that the DA is simply not effective on gelcoat.

After machine polishing I use Zaino, applied by hand, on my boat and my cars. It's a synthetic sealant and I find that it lasts many times longer than even the hardest wax. I really like Zaino products but I'm sure there are lots of other similar products. Unlike wax, Zaino is insanely easy to apply and buff off.

My boat is 42 years old:


this is my 20 year old, 200k mi car after the full zaino treatment:
 

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Silicon polymers, which I believe Zaino to be, are easy to apply and the good ones look great. However, I’ve never known one to last longer than wax. Just easier to reapply. I used to use one designed for aircraft, on the theory that I could more easily apply it, from the dingy mid-season.

Those days are over. I pay the yard to buff and apply a good hard wax each spring and enjoy the years remaining before I reach my shoulder’s use-by date.
 

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Discussion Starter #335 (Edited)
Paging Maine Sail !

Rod, you said "For gelcoat you want a rotary/circular machine NOT a dual action..."

Could you give me a little background on this please? I got a Shurhold Dual action with the boat....

Also - have you ever tried any of the Smoove products?
Dual action buffers just don't perform well on gelcoat, other than perhaps for a final polish. Even then a good rotary will be quicker. The good thing about a DA is that it is very tough for a novice to screw up with one..

I own numerous DA buffers such as a Griot's, a Porter Cable & a German made Flex. The Flex is by far and away the best performer, multiple leagues ahead of the Porter Cable & Griot's (Sure Hold, in my experience, is in this level or a slight notch below), but DA's, even the Flex, are next to useless for any level of oxidation or restoration work on gel-coat.
 

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Thanks guys! Excellent explanations!

Any experience with the Smoove line of products? My boatyard is using them exclusively (they are listed as a dealer). It is polymer based. I have seen several really good reviews....
 

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Have three questions
Boat is in the water and in the tropics. Rarely if ever in a slip with a fresh water hose available. What if any steps can I take to maintain the hull and house?
Got stains around the chain plates as had a fresh water leak on passage so use used vasoline as a temporary fix until I could Rebecca them. What gets it out of non skid?
Got scattered hydraulic oil stains on top of the house when a cylinder inside the boom vang failed. Most came up with dawn, then magic eraser then deck wash but still have a little. What to use that won’t injure the tan non skid?
 

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I can't give any magic recommendations for wax/polish at a mooring or anchor. However, one would need to wash first and I keep a 1.5 gallon hand pumped sprayer aboard for occasions like this. It's mostly used for the dodger or deck, but it uses very little water and can clean a large area.
 

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I might as well chime in here, I have and use both buffers, Maine's advice as always is spot on. I do find the DA so much easier to use on the deck and cockpit, plus I've found you don't want but so much polish here for slip resistance and glare. I get it smooth enough to protect and look good. BTW the Collinite wax Maine suggests is the easiest to apply I have ever used, highly recommended.
 
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