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Tips For A Great Buff & Wax

Jul 1, 2010
694
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
GonzoF1, also suggest trying a stripper first. If newglass is like poliglow (and it looks like it is from their web site) try a commercial acrylic floor wax stripper first. Our boat was poliglowed by the previous owner. Stripping a little at a time using Zep wax stripper and a white 3-m scrubbie got most of it in the first pass. I ended up stripping it again this year, as I kept finding poliglow spots. After stripping, then do your wet sanding. Poliglow does not wet sand well so suggest stripping first.
 
Sep 20, 2015
111
Navigator 4200 Classic New Bern, NC
I don't know guys. Sounds a little iffy to me. Maybe I will try a small patch somewhere, but every stripper I have seen (except for a few at the strip clubs :^o seems like strong stuff. I have a few bottles of Poli-Glop's proprietary remover (Poli-Strip). It works okay... but just okay. It takes a couple of passes with it and a blue scrubbie. The stuff smells like Windex, so I don't know if the active ingredient is the same or not. Anyway, as hard as it is to remove with that stripper, it seemed to me that sanding does the same thing but just takes out the stripping step. But I guess that if I can find a working stripper (without going to the strip club) I might be able to skip the 800-grit pass.

Hmmm....
 
Nov 14, 2013
178
Catalina 50 Seattle
Despite having great results compounding my hard dodger, it's going back to a chalky appearance depressingly quickly. As a result, I'm seriously considering painting it. Any advice on best practices and best products for this? Should I compound it again in preparation for paint or can it just be cleaned and painted.
 
Jan 30, 2012
1,047
Nor'Sea 27 - "Kiwanda" Portland/Anacortes
Is the present finish paint or gel coat? Can you remove the dodger to to your shop/garage? If so, then I would spray gel coat or base/clear automotive like Sherwin Williams Ultra 7000, The reason is that if you use anything other than gel coat or polyurethane base/clear you will not be able to repair- sand-buff-polish later. Your only choice will be repaint and it will likely happen with annoying frequency.

If you cannot remove to the shop or spray in the field - consider gel coat with brush - then wet sand 220 380 600 1000 all the way to 1500 ( I go to Trizac 3000 with a Makita variable speed orbital because I do not fancy long buffing sessions.) Then compound and polish.

Charles
 
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Nov 14, 2013
178
Catalina 50 Seattle
Thanks, Charles. The current finish is dark blue gel coat and there's no easy way to pull the dodger (and no garage or shop to put it in!)
 
Jan 30, 2012
1,047
Nor'Sea 27 - "Kiwanda" Portland/Anacortes
I would go to Fiberlay for gel coat and do a match or close. Mix it up and pile it on with a brush. Then come back with wet sanding sessions using DuraBlock (or hard pad variable speed orbital) so as to end up making the gel coat super flat. The surface should be 180 before the new gelcoat goes on.

However - before you undertake a renewal project you might try another go at what you have. Unless you are through the gel coat (down to the matte) dying back/chalking is often because you are not getting the gel coat flat enough with a fine enough sand scratch before compounding. In other words it is possible you may have just gone to compound too soon.

Start with 600 wet on a semi flexible block like DuraBlock - no finger sanding allowed. Then move up the grits making sure the prior sanding scratch is completely erased by the next sanding scratch It is imperative each sanding session must erase the prior sanding session scratch.

Please remember that darker colors like blue/black need the utmost in care and discipline during each sanding session so as to make the surface as flat as possible - thus to avoid chalking.

Charles
 
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Nov 14, 2013
178
Catalina 50 Seattle
Yeah, for my initial compounding a few years ago I started wet sanding at 400 grit then 600 then 800, etc. I did get all the prior scratches out with each finer grit but it was all done by hand without a block. It looked great but there was definitely some ripple left from the original gelcoat surface. I'm not yet all the way through the gelcoat so maybe I just need to do it again with a block. Oy.
 
Aug 2, 2009
418
Catalina 28MKII Muskegon
I have a 32' boat. Made in 1976 Pushing 40 years old.

Heavy oxidation. I found someone experienced in wet sanding and polishing. He is a body man in the car business. He will take my boat as a side job on a weekend for $400.

While I think this sticky is full of great advice, a pro level sander in the hands of a novice, could be like handing a big firecracker to a little kid and counting fingers after the big bang.

It is very possible to ruin a boat, not having any experience, pushing on the hull with a powerful sander. Not something I wish to try.

Getting a great price, on a professional polish job, is the route I am going to take. I will post the after pics once the job is done. Boat is at the diesel mech now.

Small patch is the sought after color, from another boat shop that wanted $3500 to wet sand her and polish.

Do what you think best, but why second guess MaineSail's excellent contribution? I've done three boats now, starting as a total newb, and have gotten stellar results. Anyone who is reasonably competent and willing to follow the directions should get the same results.
 
Jul 12, 2011
808
Catalina 36 Bay City, MI
I'm about to embark on my first buffing / waxing following this excellent advice, but how should this fit in with my other spring maintenance. In which direction should I work - down or up? Particularly, should I paint her bottom first, then hit the the sides with my wheel, or do the wheel work first, then finish with my bottom painting? What's the dangers of doing this in the wrong order? BTW - Thanks again, Maine, for great advice.
 

tmjb

.
Mar 13, 2012
205
Hunter 36C Glen Cove
I would do the top before the bottom paint in case you get some Oxalic running down and/or some gel coat residue. I found the pvc skirts worked well be I still got a little run here and ther into the bottom paint.

However I would get on and do bottom prep while it's still relatively cool because its less uncomfortable to wear the protective gear.

Good luck. It's a process but well worth it.
 

Dan_Y

.
Oct 13, 2008
488
Hunter 36 Hampton
And keep the collinite fleet wax off of the edges where bottom paint is to be applied. A band of tape helps. Or maybe wax this area after. I wax after bottom paint, but tmjb is right regarding PPE.
 
Sep 20, 2015
111
Navigator 4200 Classic New Bern, NC
New question... I am starting to wet sand all the topsides (from the rub rail up) on our motoryacht. I am following the above tips and it is turning out quite well. I am using a 7" Makita polisher and it works good for the open areas, HOWEVER, there are going to be TONS of smaller places where the buffer cannot reach. Should I just accept to do it by hand or is there a smaller buffer with a 3", or less, wheel with a wool pad? Any ideas?
 
Sep 20, 2015
111
Navigator 4200 Classic New Bern, NC
The electric one is expensive. There are a bunch of less expensive air-powered ones out there, but I hate to have to drag my compressor down there. Maybe a drill attachment?
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,104
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
Despite having great results compounding my hard dodger, it's going back to a chalky appearance depressingly quickly. As a result, I'm seriously considering painting it. Any advice on best practices and best products for this? Should I compound it again in preparation for paint or can it just be cleaned and painted.
I would suggest using ZEP WET LOOK floor polish. Scrub it with Baking Soda, rinse it off and then apply 2 to 3 coats of ZEP. Don't use any more than 3 coats or it will flake off. Apply by wiping it on. ZEP is an Acrylic based finish, so it is transparent to UV and will not yellow or break down. Yes, it is floor polish, but works great. I've got two coats on my motorhome, and it has held up fine. That was 5 years ago. Makes it much easier to clean.
 
Jul 7, 2004
6,181
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Neat. Okay then, what pad would I use to replace the wool?
The ones that come with it should be good substitutes for wool. One would be better for the cutting creme. The other for polish. I think there is something early on in Main's thread about using foam pads.
 
Jul 7, 2004
6,181
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
The electric one is expensive. There are a bunch of less expensive air-powered ones out there, but I hate to have to drag my compressor down there. Maybe a drill attachment?
A drill isn't designed for polishing run times. They get uncomfortable quick too.
 
Nov 14, 2013
178
Catalina 50 Seattle
I would suggest using ZEP WET LOOK floor polish. Scrub it with Baking Soda, rinse it off and then apply 2 to 3 coats of ZEP. Don't use any more than 3 coats or it will flake off. Apply by wiping it on. ZEP is an Acrylic based finish, so it is transparent to UV and will not yellow or break down. Yes, it is floor polish, but works great. I've got two coats on my motorhome, and it has held up fine. That was 5 years ago. Makes it much easier to clean.
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into it.
 
Oct 29, 2016
1,464
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
Fours days of buffing and waxing with products and sequencing as recommended by MaineSail to arrive a near perfection, have a couple of repairs going on here which were completed today
IMG_20170424_192345609_HDR (1).jpg
 
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