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Old 02-07-2008, 02:16 PM
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Default Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

i have a 2004 Aquasport that is in dire need of a deep cleaning to remove the oxidation to bring out the luster of the original gel coat.
The only problem being I have never done this before
I need to know what I need to do this, ie cleaners, buffer and so on.
I like to buy a good buffer but what should I get, I don't want to waste money buying the wrong one
Hoping someone can help me out.

Thanks, Mike
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

I think the only real solution is water sanding. After the sanding is complete, there is a heavy wax that you apply with an orbital buffer. They sell it in gallon size paint cans. It's rather expensive. Can't remember the name. Problem is, this is extremely labor intensive. I've done it before, and I'm not sure I'd do it again. It came out great though. I did it under the supervision of a fiberglass expert friend of mine, so I'm sure this is probably the best solution.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

wet sand, then compound with orbital buffer, then polish with buffer, then wax works for me. It a pain to do it but the results are amazing. I usually start with 2000 grit paper to wet sand, but you may be able to start with a less aggressive grit if its not too heavily oxidized. Hutchins makes a pneumatic wet sander if you have about $300 to invest in one.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

Using a Cleaner Wax sounds too simple to work, but it will do the trick. 3m and Starbrite (yeah, I work for Star brite) both make effective Cleaner Waxes.
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

I have never use sandpaper to remove oxidation, only scratches. I buffed the hull of a 20 YO boat that looked like a piece of chalk without wet sanding and it looked like a brand new hull when I was done. If you do need to wet sand I dont think they make anything much finer than 2000, i've always used 1000-1200 to remove moderate to light scratches, 600-800 for heavy scratches. Depending on how bad your boat finish is you might want to try 3M cleaner wax, if your not experienced with a buffer you can do more harm than good.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

Quote:
bms1939 - 2/7/2008 4:24 PM

I have never use sandpaper to remove oxidation, only scratches. I buffed the hull of a 20 YO boat that looked like a piece of chalk without wet sanding and it looked like a brand new hull when I was done. If you do need to wet sand I dont think they make anything much finer than 2000, i've always used 1000-1200 to remove moderate to light scratches, 600-800 for heavy scratches. Depending on how bad your boat finish is you might want to try 3M cleaner wax, if your not experienced with a buffer you can do more harm than good.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

Ive used the cleaner stuff before, it looks OK at first, but its mostly the wax making the surface look good. It fades out quickly. It is nothing like real compounding.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

Please don't sand yet. Start off mild and only go as aggressive as necessary.
I refused to use a high speed buffer for years. Finally had to break down. That having been said, be carefull, they (high speed buffers) can swirl and also eat your lunch if you're not carefull. Try some 3M Finesse It Paste and then Finesse It liquid. Then a good wax. I prefer Collinite Fleetwax Paste wax but it is a little ......finicky.....
PM me if you need more info....

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Old 02-07-2008, 06:01 PM
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Default RE: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

Unless your boat's gelcoat is in absolutely terrible shape (which I doubt since it's a 2004); forget wetsanding -- it won't be necessary. You want to do the minimum at first -- you may be surprised with your results.

First, buy a bottle of 3M's Cleaner and Wax for fiberglass boats and see what kind of results you get. If the shine doesn't come back, I'd move to compounding. Here are the tools:

- Mikita 9227C Polisher. You can get the kit online for around $180.
- 3M's Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound
- 3M's Finnesse-It Polisher

Use the Mikita at a relatively slow speed and work the HD Rubbing Compound over a small area, no more than 3'x3'. Once you've done the boat with the HD, wash the boat and go over it again with the Finnesse-It. Once you're done, wax the boat with a high quality wax like Colonite for Fiberglass.

Just a reminder, DON'T COMPOUND TOO HARD!!! You risk "burning" the gelcoat.

This is a lot of work -- but worth it. If you need to get motivated, do one section with the HD and Finessee-It, clean and wax -- the shine will amaze you!

Good Luck,

PB
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

What Prop Blast said, he obviously knows what he's talking about.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

This buffer will do the trick fine and get some 3M Finese and your hull will look like new

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...paign=week0608
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

An 04 boat!!! That can't be very bad.

Do what propblast said including the Makita polisher. It will be the best boat cleaning tool you ever bought. It is not like those wimpy automotive random orbitals. It is heavy & will give you good exercise too. Been using mine today. Arms are sore.

I am working on my sig boat. It is a 1996. Topsides are coming back almost like new. The hull does look like new. Never happen without that machine.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

I want to thank all who answered my questions
I don't think my boat needs to be sanded, its not that bad.
I think prop blast pertty much came up with what I was looking for.
Now I just need to find some reading like buffing for Dummies.

I was just looking at what surfcaster51 said and Thats a nice buffer and you can buy it as a kit everything included to do the job.

Thanks , Mike
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

Mike,

There are lots of buffers out there. For best results be certain the buffer you get does not turn more than 2500 rpm's.

Ken
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

Yeah I must have missed that it is a 2004 boat. Definitely go easier than wet sanding. Sorry I missed that!
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

Elbow grease, then after that, more elbow grease.
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:48 AM
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Default RE: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

Another endorsement of what propblast said. The 3M rubbing compoud flat out gets the job done. If the boat is an 04 I too seriously doubt the oxidation is so bad that it needs a wet sanding. My experience is that once one gets oxidized to the point it needs compounding, that it will take more frequent maintenance coats of wax to keep it looking great. It's worth it though.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

I'm half way through doing the flag blue hull on my 2003 Albin 28. I'm using 3M Extra Duty and a cheesy multi-speed buffer/grinder from Harbor Freight that is on sale right now for $25! For a tool you only use once a year (hopefully) I would not spend big bucks. It goes round and round just like the expensive ones. Just keep it moving. My hull is very heavily oxidized on one side and is really coming out great. I plan on going over it again with 3M Finesse It then Rejex polymer coat. I will post before and after pictures the next warm day we get here in the NE.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

RicM

I was looking at the same polisher/Sander from harbor Freight, I figured if it lasts long enough to do my boat I am money a head.
I see it has a 1 year warranty also

Mike
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Best way to remove gel coat oxidation

Quote:
badbait - 2/8/2008 7:42 AM
I was looking at the same polisher/Sander from harbor Freight, I figured if it lasts long enough to do my boat I am money a head.
I see it has a 1 year warranty also

Mike
The only thing I'll tell you is that you get what you pay for By low RPMs I'm talking below 1,000 for using the HD Compound.

http://www.coastaltool.com/cgi-bin/S...htm?E+coastest

Don't think of the polisher as a "one time only" tool. Use it every time you wax -- it'll save you time and elbow pain!

PB
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