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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
But my question is different--REALLY!

Actually, it's probably not THAT different. But really, I've read TONS here on Sailnet about this, and I understand there's no quick miracle with gelcoat waxing. So I'm just asking for a recommendation for my specific situation.

Our "new" 25-year-old boat is 350 miles away, waiting for spring launch to sail her home. The boat has been waxed every spring for the last 13 years according to records, though it was done by the yard--probably just a one-step process (maybe a cleaner wax or something). But overall the hull looks decent, with just a few small marks here and there (spider dirt, etc.). No big rusty stains or oxidation that we could see.

GOAL:
- Simply protect the hull (yes we want it to look "decent", but don't expect anything fantastic)
- Get it done in a weekend (including washing and whatever we apply/buff off)

Next year we can get crazy with the all the compounding, polishing, glazing, etc. This year we just need to get her home, and we won't be able to wax once she's in the water.

Can anyone recommend a process/product(s) to use? Should we simply wash and then wax? If so, what should we use?
Thanks,
J
 

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Collinite

But my question is different--REALLY!

Actually, it's probably not THAT different. But really, I've read TONS here on Sailnet about this, and I understand there's no quick miracle with gelcoat waxing. So I'm just asking for a recommendation for my specific situation.

Our "new" 25-year-old boat is 350 miles away, waiting for spring launch to sail her home. The boat has been waxed every spring for the last 13 years according to records, though it was done by the yard--probably just a one-step process (maybe a cleaner wax or something). But overall the hull looks decent, with just a few small marks here and there (spider dirt, etc.). No big rusty stains or oxidation that we could see.

GOAL:
- Simply protect the hull (yes we want it to look "decent", but don't expect anything fantastic)
- Get it done in a weekend (including washing and whatever we apply/buff off)

Next year we can get crazy with the all the compounding, polishing, glazing, etc. This year we just need to get her home, and we won't be able to wax once she's in the water.

Can anyone recommend a process/product(s) to use? Should we simply wash and then wax? If so, what should we use?
Thanks,
J
If just washing & waxing to protect just use Collinite Fleet Wax #885 Paste.

 

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Wax

If you have a slightly oxidized finish like i did, dont let the wax dry completely before removing it or it will be really tough to get it all off as the finish is slightly pourous. Wax in small sections-wax on wax off. If you dont get it all off, it will look splotchy.
While there are plenty of valid arguments on which type of wax to use (paste vs liquid), you might consider using Nu Finish or similar liquid wax this year as its easier to remove off a oxidized, non-glasslike finish. It will go fairly fast if you take it off quickly.
I compounded this year, got all the mild oxidation off and it looks great. Waxed much better too.
As others will agree, there are no short cuts and your results will be determined by the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you have a slightly oxidized finish like i did, dont let the wax dry completely before removing it or it will be really tough to get it all off as the finish is slightly pourous. Wax in small sections-wax on wax off. If you dont get it all off, it will look splotchy.
While there are plenty of valid arguments on which type of wax to use (paste vs liquid), you might consider using Nu Finish or similar liquid wax this year as its easier to remove off a oxidized, non-glasslike finish. It will go fairly fast if you take it off quickly.
I compounded this year, got all the mild oxidation off and it looks great. Waxed much better too.
As others will agree, there are no short cuts and your results will be determined by the effort.
Yep, I hear you. Our issue is time, because of the long distance. We get to the boat on Friday evening--nothing we can do then. We have all day Saturday (until dark), then Sunday until about 3pm before we have to go. There are 3 of us--me, my wife, and our 14-year old.

Do you think, given those parameters, we'd have a enough time to wash (and dry I assume), apply/remove one round of light compounding or polishing, followed by wax? That sounds like it's pushing it to me.
 

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I use Mequiars #44 Marine Color Restore to polish the hull (1-coat) and then two or three layers of Mequiars #56 Marine Pure Wax to finish it off. After two coats it looks good but three last all season long. Easy to apply and easy to remove, as long as it's 50-degrees or better. In colder weather it's tougher to remove. Whole process from wash down to final wax coat is do able in a weekend. With two working it could be one long hard day to complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I use Mequiars #44 Marine Color Restore to polish the hull (1-coat) and then two or three layers of Mequiars #56 Marine Pure Wax to finish it off. After two coats it looks good but three last all season long. Easy to apply and easy to remove, as long as it's 50-degrees or better. In colder weather it's tougher to remove. Whole process from wash down to final wax coat is do able in a weekend. With two working it could be one long hard day to complete.
Thanks mgmhead! We might indeed try for a 1 pass of polish, then 2 - 3 coats of wax, if we can pull it off.

Do you apply/remove by hand, or do you use a buffer in the process?

By the way, are you ready for Spring yet?!? :D
-J
 

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Time

You should be OK, with 3 people all working on the hull as long as you dont get too distracted with other projects-but your hull is bigger than my 27. I was working solo and took about 3 hrs to clean/compound/buff at a mellow pace.
I did a quick cleaning by sponge with Easy Off to remove the old wax, and stains, then compounded using a 10 inch buffer. Buffed by hand.
Then waxed by hand-another 2-3 hrs. I did it in two afternoons. Im pleased with the results, boat is similar vintage as yours. Is gelcoat original?

I wouldn't get too caught up with compounding if short on time and the finish is in decent shape. Sounds like you'll have more time next year when shes close to home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You should be OK, with 3 people all working on the hull as long as you dont get too distracted with other projects-but your hull is bigger than my 27. I was working solo and took about 3 hrs to clean/compound/buff at a mellow pace.
I did a quick cleaning by sponge with Easy Off to remove the old wax, and stains, then compounded using a 10 inch buffer. Buffed by hand.
Then waxed by hand-another 2-3 hrs. I did it in two afternoons. Im pleased with the results, boat is similar vintage as yours. Is gelcoat original?

I wouldn't get too caught up with compounding if short on time and the finish is in decent shape. Sounds like you'll have more time next year when shes close to home.
Yes, the gelcoat is original, though it appears to be in decent shape. It actually has some shine to it as is, since each winter it's been completely covered (to below the waterline) and waxed each spring. This is the hull, unwashed, under the cover as it is now:



Of course it's not perfect, but it's not bad to start with.

Just so I understand--you applied the compounding product with the buffer, but removed it by hand?

Thanks again,
-J
 

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Jos,

I use an orbital buffer for removal, hand pad for application. A friend, former owner of an '80 Sabre 30 MkI, does hand application and hand removal of the same products except for the last coat, which is taken off with an orbital. I don't know why other than he just likes it that way. The results were equally great for both of us.

Be cautious of non-orbital high-speed buffers. Unless you know what you are doing, and are very careful with the tool, you run the risk of "burning" the finish.
 

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Nice

She looks in GREAT shape. If its all that good, I might be inclined to skip the compound until you have more time, just wash and wax as you originally proposed. And use the time to do other projects.
Correct, I applied with the buffer, and removed by hand (partly because my hands were sore from gripping the buffer for so long). and it came off very easily and completely. Probably not the recommended method, but seemed a good idea at the time and I have always had better results removing/polishing by hand (cheap buffer works better for applying than removing). No wax at all in the 3M compound I use so it comes right off easily with no residual unlike a cleaner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Be cautious of non-orbital high-speed buffers. Unless you know what you are doing, and are very careful with the tool, you run the risk of "burning" the finish.
I'm planning to do this work without a buffer. I've never used one, so I think it would be best if I skip it this time, and try to work with products that are reasonably easy to hand apply and remove.


She looks in GREAT shape. If its all that good, I might be inclined to skip the compound until you have more time, just wash and wax as you originally proposed.
Thanks Brucerobs2. We might still at least polish or do a light compound step, but it would be nice to have more time on other projects!
 

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I'm planning to do this work without a buffer. I've never used one, so I think it would be best if I skip it this time, and try to work with products that are reasonably easy to hand apply and remove.
Then you should stick to wax only. You can not effectively polish or compound gelcoat by hand. You will require shoulder surgery if you even attempt it.;)

My advice would be to hand wash the hull with Black Streak remover and micro fiber rags then wash with an acid cleaner like On & Off Gel then rinse, dry and apply the Collinite.

Contrary to lots of misinformation about applying a true carnuba based wax it should NOT be done with a buffer or machine and should be done by hand and removed by hand with microfiber rags.




Thanks Brucerobs2. We might still at least polish or do a light compound step, but it would be nice to have more time on other projects!
Again without the proper tools just stick with a proper cleaning then the wax.. Black Streak remover, done by hand, followed by On/Off Gel (you can use a car wash brush if you want to) is an amazing combo..
 

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Ha Ha

In reading MaineSails response, I just realized I said that I used Easy Off to clean my hull. Obviously I didnt use an oven cleaner (although stranger things have likely been used) but the On & Off Gel Hull cleaner he mentioned. One word of advice, it works great, but protect your skin/eyes etc as its strong stuff, and burns on contact.

Good luck. Your new boat is high on my "next boat" list. Very nice. Maybe we'll see you on the Bay when you get here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
...without the proper tools just stick with a proper cleaning then the wax.. Black Streak remover, done by hand, followed by On/Off Gel (you can use a car wash brush if you want to) is an amazing combo..
Thanks Maine Sail. Sounds like a good recommendation--make sure the hull is clean, then protect it.

In reading MaineSails response, I just realized I said that I used Easy Off to clean my hull. Obviously I didnt use an oven cleaner (although stranger things have likely been used) but the On & Off Gel Hull cleaner he mentioned. One word of advice, it works great, but protect your skin/eyes etc as its strong stuff, and burns on contact.

Good luck. Your new boat is high on my "next boat" list. Very nice. Maybe we'll see you on the Bay when you get here.
I was wondering about the "Easy Off", since that tends to yellow the gelcoat--I know, because we tried to use it to remove the old painted boat name. It did NOT work for us (removed just a little paint, not much), so any recommendations on removing the old painted boat name are also welcome. :D

Hope to see you on the Bay this summer--what boat do you have now?
-J
 

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I have an older Sabre. Every third year I give it the treatment and the hull still looks good after 32 years. 1. Wash the boat with "Roll Off" Cleaner. Use a very light grit scrubby to get off any oxidation or marks. 2. Wipe hull down with acetone to remove any residual wax. 3. Use a high speed buffer and polisher to apply 3M Marine High Gloss Gelcoat Compound. You brush this stuff on an let it dry. The high speed buffer blows it off as it cuts the oxidation off. 4. Hand apply either Collinite or 3M UP Paste wax. If you are really crazy, you can use 3M Finesse It after step 3. I also clean the rub rail with acetone as I go along.

Some tricks I've learned: Have plenty of rags. Change out rags frequently when hand waxing the hull. Use one of those folding ladders that folds to a scaffold. It makes the job go a lot easier. 1/2 day to wash and clean boat. 1/2 day to compound it. 1/2 day to wax it. Best done with 2 people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Practical Sailor just did an article on paste waxes. Check out the latest issue to see what their favorites are.
Thanks painkiller. I have the issue. They like Collinite 885, though they seem to think you can't apply/remove by hand. Maine Sail's been pretty adamant that it's easy to do by hand if you use a water spritzer too. I think they also liked a Meguiar's wax, but it was a silcone/polymer thing--and right now, I'm thinking that's not the way we want to go.
 

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J,

No idea on the painted letters as Ive only removed vinyl but seems a common enough issue that a quick search should be fruitful.

I have a '80 Hunter 27 (Cherubini design) that we keep at the mouth of the Patapsco. A good boat in great shape. But, There is a blue Sabre 34 in our boatyard that I really like...
 

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Thanks painkiller. I have the issue. They like Collinite 885, though they seem to think you can't apply/remove by hand. Maine Sail's been pretty adamant that it's easy to do by hand if you use a water spritzer too. I think they also liked a Meguiar's wax, but it was a silcone/polymer thing--and right now, I'm thinking that's not the way we want to go.

Sorry but Practical Sailor really has no clue what they are doing. This stuff is easy on, easy off if you do it the right way and they did not..:rolleyes: You should never let it fully dry and it should be put on with a damp foam or terry applicator pad or by bare fingers and a light misting of the hull or pad with water. Do a 2' - 3' swath from toe rail to waterline at a time and move to the next DO NOT let it fully dry on the hull and use MICROFIBER RAGS for removal NOT terrycloth. Oh and do not apply or remove wax with a machine this is best done by hand..

From the post I made last night:

Tips for applying the wax:

3) Do I apply the wax by hand? Yes! DO NOT apply or remove the wax phase with the buffer! I use the 4-inch round Meguiars foam applicators you can buy at an auto parts store and a spray/mist bottle of water, like you use for ironing. The spray bottle is the secret trick for applying a true Carnuba wax. Simply mist the hull and liberally apply the wax. Wait for it to haze over to about 80-90% of dry and buff by hand with a Micro Fiber rag. Do not use terry cloth! Once you use a Micro Fiber detailing cloth for waxing you'll wonder how you ever survived without one! The spray of water some how helps it attach and buff out to a harder, shinier easier to wipe off finish. It's sort of like when you get your shoes polished and the guy hits them with a mist bottle and then buffs the shine up. This trick does not work with most of the polymer/Carnuba blends like the 3M paste but it's like gold with the Collinite Carnuba as well as Tre-Wax. Another trick is not to wax a large area! Do a two to three foot wide swath from toe rail to waterline marking where your are waxing at the toe rail with a piece of blue tape. Also leave a little residue on the leading edge so you'll know exactly where to start. You'll wipe this leading edge when finished with the next swath leaving another leading edge to go off of.

Over the years I have experimented at length with using my buffer to remove the wax but I find the frictional heat is bad for it and it does not shine as well or last as long. Buffing it off by hand gives it a harder shell because it's cooler and does not re-melt the curing wax with teh friction of a buffer. Have plenty of fresh Micro Fiber rags for the wipe off! On my 36 footer I use only four Micro's where it used to take about a dozen terry cloth rags. I buy my Micro Fiber rags at Sam's Club or Wal*Mart. I used to buy them from Griot’s Garage when they were the only ones who had them and they were HUGE money! Try and find the best quality Micro*Fiber you can it WILL make a difference. Sometimes the quality of the Sam's Club Micro's is poor so I go to Wally World or an auto-parts store.

On concourse quality show cars pure carnuba is applied with bare, clean fingers & a mist of water and then removed with microfiber rags.
 
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