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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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