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Newbie Here - Quick Q
Old 03-25-2015, 10:59 PM   #1
keitht2015
 
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Smile Newbie Here - Quick Q

Hey everyone - Keith from Long Island, NY here. Good to be a part of the group.

My question - I have a 2005 Robalo R225. The hull is a colored - light blue. Gel coat is in decent condition - no real signs of oxidation or discoloration. Last year I used a very light marine compound and that seemed to do just fine. But I'm a junkie - i want shine, i want protection - despite its smaller size, i want this boat to turn heads.

So - given that I don't have any heavy oxidation, should I still hit the hull with the heavy cut compound? I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt, and would take off years of light neglect and any blemishes. But maybe since it's "heavy" cut, it would be overkill and i could hurt the gel coat? Should I consider just the gel coat restorer? I get the polish and wax part - fine with that. Just trying to determine my first step to really bring out the color.

And any reccos on what pads to use, that would help (already own the porter cable variable speed tool).

Thanks!

Keith
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:39 PM   #2
Mike Phillips
 
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Default Re: Newbie Here - Quick Q

Quote:
Originally Posted by keitht2015 View Post

Hey everyone - Keith from Long Island, NY here. Good to be a part of the group.
Hi Keith,

Welcome to Marine31Online!

Sorry for the delay, we were out of town last weekend working at the Benedict Castle Concourse car show to raise money for Teen Challenge.



Quote:
Originally Posted by keitht2015 View Post

My question - I have a 2005 Robalo R225. The hull is a colored - light blue. Gel coat is in decent condition - no real signs of oxidation or discoloration.
Looks like this?





Quote:
Originally Posted by keitht2015 View Post

Last year I used a very light marine compound and that seemed to do just fine. But I'm a junkie - i want shine, i want protection - despite its smaller size, i want this boat to turn heads.

So - given that I don't have any heavy oxidation, should I still hit the hull with the heavy cut compound? I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt, and would take off years of light neglect and any blemishes. But maybe since it's "heavy" cut, it would be overkill and i could hurt the gel coat?

Should I consider just the gel coat restorer? I get the polish and wax part - fine with that. Just trying to determine my first step to really bring out the color.
To great questions, whether to use a heavy cut compound or a medium cut polish.

Here's my recommendation...

Get the Captain's Compound. This is an amazing compound that cuts fast and finishes out like a polish. You can use it by hand or use with any machine.

The abrasive technology used in this product top notch. It's my first choice for any boat in any condition. I'll be showing this product at my boat detailing class coming up on April 18th.

Look at the finish quality in the pictures of this thread, all we used was Captains Compound to both compound out the sanding marks and then we used this same product as our polish the only difference is for removing sanding marks we used a rotary buffer with a wool pad and to polish we used a 6.5" Blue Light Cutting Hybrid pad on the Flex 3401.

By switching to the Flex and a foam cutting pad we maximized gloss and clarity without inflicting any swirls.

Pictures: 1960 Glastron - Wetsand, Cut & Buff at Marine31Online.com



Compounding with wool pad on rotary






Polishing with same compound but foam pads on Flex 3401






Machine waxing with Flex 3401 and soft foam waxing pad





Finished results










You'll see this same approached used for this boat project,


How to wetsand, cut and buff a gel-coat boat

Before



After






Quote:
Originally Posted by keitht2015 View Post

And any reccos on what pads to use, that would help (already own the porter cable variable speed tool).

Thanks!

Keith
The Porter Cable is great for applying a non-cleaning wax but to maximize the gloss and shine plus make quick work of any oxidation and other battle wounds you really need a Flex 3401.


When doing correction and polishing work to gel-coat surfaces what I've experienced is gel-coat doesn't like soft pads. Soft pads are great for machine applying a non-cleaning or finish wax or sealant but for any abrading step be it compounding, polishing or even using a one-step cleaner/wax gel-coats likes coarser pads versus softer pads.

My favorite is the blue, light cutting 6.5" Hybrid pad on the Flex 3401 that you can see in this picture,




With the Porter Cable you can try using one of these pads, the CYAN thin 5.5" Hydro-Tech pads.

Lake Country Hydro-Tech Low Profile 5 1/2 x 7/8 Inch Foam Pads





Or the new Meguiar's maroon foam cutting disc... from my write-up here,

Meguiars 5 Inch DA Foam Discs





The idea being an aggressive or sharp foam cutting pad that is THIN so it rotates well and rotates fast on your PC.


Together with the Captains Compound you should be able to maximize gloss and clarity of the blue gel-coat and afterwards, machine apply a wax or sealant.


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Old 03-31-2015, 10:24 PM   #3
keitht2015
 
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Default Re: Newbie Here - Quick Q

awesome - thanks so much for the advice. You know, I had a feeling that when I bought the Porter Cable last year, that I should've just opted for the Flex. That said, I got a great shine using the Porter Cable. Even the "professional" detailers in the yard were impressed!

I have to consider whether to upgrade. I'm thinking with the right pads (and of course the right polish/wax), I should be able to get pretty damn good results.

Oh and yes! That's my boat - great pic find. Great first boat!
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Newbie Here - Quick Q

Quote:
Originally Posted by keitht2015 View Post

awesome - thanks so much for the advice. You know, I had a feeling that when I bought the Porter Cable last year, that I should've just opted for the Flex. That said, I got a great shine using the Porter Cable.


Even the "professional" detailers in the yard were impressed!
That's cool!



Quote:
Originally Posted by keitht2015 View Post

I have to consider whether to upgrade.

I'm thinking with the right pads (and of course the right polish/wax), I should be able to get pretty damn good results.
The thin Meguiar's foam pads will rotate best since they have the least mass. This is key when using a tool like the PC. Big thick pads bog these types of tools down.

Gel-coat tends to like more aggressive pads for any compounding and polishing. We also carry thin Purple Foamed Wool Pads that cut pretty good but I'm thinking the Meguiar's maroon pads will work best for what you want to do.

See the PFW's in this thread,


Pictures: 16' Key Largo Center Console Boat Detailing Class with Marine 31







Quote:
Originally Posted by keitht2015 View Post

Oh and yes! That's my boat - great pic find. Great first boat!

I just Google images and keep a folder on this forum for "Misc Boat Pictures".

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Old 04-01-2015, 08:53 PM   #5
keitht2015
 
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Default Re: Newbie Here - Quick Q

ok - shrink wrap is off the boat. I have to say, the gel coat looks a bit beat up. Some deep surface scratches that I doubt any compound will help. But it looks pretty dirty, some marred up surface - i'm wondering if a good heavy-cut compound would be the best bet? I guess i'm trying to understand when to use a heavy-cut compound over something that's "lighter"?

Also - any advice on how to remove old "stickers"? The "Robalo" sticker on the side of the boat is beat up beyond recognition. I found a place to get a new sticker, but wonder what the level of effort would be to get the remaining sticker off?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-02-2015, 07:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Newbie Here - Quick Q

Compounds remove material faster than a light polish so you use compounds to remove deep scratches and/or heavy oxidation.

If the scratches are deep and there's lots of oxidation then it's faster to machine sand using some #2000 grit sanding discs on a Porter Cable followed by compounding. It's also easier on you.

See this write-up of a boat we detailed....


How to wetsand, cut and buff a gel-coat boat




As for removing old graphics, you can use a hair dryer or a heat gun, just be careful with a heat gun so you don't burn yourself or damage the boat.

See this write-up of a boat we detailed....

24' Pro-Line Boat - Extreme Marine Makeover - Oxidation Removal



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Old 04-02-2015, 01:42 PM   #7
keitht2015
 
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Default Re: Newbie Here - Quick Q

I have some significant gouges from the last owner - one of those scenarios where the boat wasn't tied up correctly and rubbed up against the dock. As much as I hate the marks, I've resolved myself to the fact that there's no way to get them out without repainting the boat. Wet sanding scares the crap out of me - i'd likely make more of a mess!

Maybe i'll use the heavy cut compound, and then polish, then wax. Recommended pads for that? Using the PC, so I'll assume the Meguire's thinner pads - any other recommendations for pads, etc?

I really appreciate your help!
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Old 04-02-2015, 03:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Newbie Here - Quick Q

Quote:
Originally Posted by keitht2015 View Post

Maybe i'll use the heavy cut compound, and then polish, then wax.

Recommended pads for that? Using the PC, so I'll assume the Meguiar's thinner pads - any other recommendations for pads, etc?

I really appreciate your help!

For the compound I would use the Purple Foamed Wool THIN pads I show in a post above.

Fiber pads are always more aggressive than foam pads, even foam cutting pads.

Get 2-3 minimum and rotate them as you buff because when you're doing heavy cutting with these pads on a PC you'll generate a lot of heat and if you abuse these pads they will come apart.

Follow the compound and PFW's with the Meguiar's Maroon thin foam discs. Same thing, get a 2-3 minimum for the same reasons.

You're basically trying to use a PC for something that should be done using a rotary buffer or a Flex 3401 and this means you're going to be pushing pad technology to the limit. And as the saying goes...


Something has to give...

Then get a few of the yellow thin foam pads to apply the wax.


Take your time, steady as she goes and your boat will look like new again!


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