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Old 03-05-2004, 09:10 PM
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Default How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

In South Florida, there are a lot of boats that just sit in the sun all day, all year. After awhile, they lose their luster and start to look really drab. As old boat veterans, can you guys give a boating newbie like me some tips on how to restore a boat and how much money and time is involved? Thanks for ALL your help. This site is the BEST!
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

Old fashioned rubbing compound and a buffer to be followed up with a good wax! Don't burn the striping. Oh, and don't forget the cold beer.
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:40 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

I 'd like to add, get more beer and invite alot of friends with strong arms.

In all serious....when you rub the palm of your hand over the gel coat and your palm is scratched up and white. You need to remove that layer of gelcoat.

Start with 1200 grit wet/dry sandpaper and use it wet. sand the area that needs cleaning. Then go over with 1800 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Rinse the area with fresh water in between and during. Then use a Rubbing Compound with a buffing wheel. Not an orbital wheel that is used for waxing. The follow up with a good wax that contains a UV Inhibitor.

You may want to try this method in a small area first to find out how much of the surface you need to remove to get to the non-oxidized areas.

You may want to consider buying even more beer and inviting even more friends. In fact, depending how big the boat is....just make it a kegger!!

Good Luck
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:43 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

It will take the right product(s) and a bit of work, but it can be done.

http://www.woody-wax.com/

I haven't found better products to restore a boat finish yet...
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Old 03-05-2004, 09:50 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

as a general rule,:

Its more money than you will ever get out of it.

Its more time than you will have.

Its more work than you ever thought it would be

It takes a labor of love to do it right.



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Old 03-05-2004, 09:56 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

A new payment booklet does the trick for me.
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:22 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

Bad Andy...........Forget my reply, listen to the other guys and save yourself alot of headache....I have to admit, I like the new payment book option the best !
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Old 03-06-2004, 05:02 AM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

I sure is a labour of love bringing back a neglected boat.
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Old 03-10-2004, 05:36 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

Rubbing compound works... but it is work! An easier short cut is to scrub the boat with Soft Scrub with bleach. Rinse well, let dry in sun ... will really brighten things up. Repeat if needed. Then apply a good marine wax.
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Old 03-10-2004, 05:46 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

I used an 8" high speed buffer with 3M restorer. It worked very well. Then while the car detailer was here, I sent him to the garage. He never did a boat before and loved it. So did I, he did it for free . I did go out this year and bought a Porter Cable 5" or so DA buffer. When it warms up some more I'll give it shot with the Woody's wax I hear so much about here.
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Old 03-10-2004, 06:07 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

Andy,

There is always a lot of discussion on this topic. I have asked the same question here before. In any case, I will sum it up for you. In order of severity:

1. Compond and Wax with a bunch of different products (do a search here
for lots of lively discussion on the subject) Cost: Under $100 and lots of elbow grease

2. Compound more than once...wax more than once..... (same as above, just keep at it and use different products until you get it the way you like it) Cost: Under $100 and even more of the elbow grease

3. Buff and sand (not universally recomended. Actually I would say the majority here oppose this option) Cost: Don't know....this is only mentioned by do it your selfers

4. Paint (varous opinions on the relative merits of brands like Awlgrip or Imron and various types of paints from these companies) Some are do it yourselfers if you are braver than I am. Most are only done by pros. Cost: Size dependent...plan on about $3k to $4k for a 20 to 25 foot boat for a pro...

5. Re-Gel Coat: Lots of differing opinions on this one. Most say it is just too damm hard to do. Others think it will not work right since Gel Coat was intended to be added while the boat is in a climate controlled mold. Some think it will work.

Use the search feature and you should get tons more info....
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Old 03-10-2004, 09:27 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

Andy,

On most older boats where the gelcoat has oxidized, much of the original shine can be brought back. As you can tell from the previous posts, it's labor intensive! I've gone through this with a 1983 Mako I bought in 1994 so I can tell you it works. I'm going to run through a worst case scenario -- you may not have to do all of this, but it'll bring back just about any badly oxidized hull. If things aren't too bad, you can skip the first couple of steps and go right to compounding.

Before get started, wash the hull with dishwashing detergent like Dawn. Don't use "boat soap". The reason is Dawn and similar products are stronger and will strip off things typical boat and car soaps won't. Boat/car soaps have a gentler detergent that won't take off the wax -- but right now you want to take off as much as you can.

Step 1. Buy several sheets of wet/dry sandpaper from a marine supply store in 400, 600, and 800 grit each. Fill a small bucket with clean water and a little detergent for lubricant. Starting with the 400 grit, wrap it around a sanding block and dip in the water. You'll sand a small section at a time, maybe 2 ft x 2 ft and -- keep it wet and work in strokes going in the same direction. First go north-south, then east-west with the 400. Then go to another section -- remember to regularly clean the sanding block/paper in the bucket. Don't sand dry!

Step 2. Wash the area you just sanded, and switch to the 600 grit following the same procedure -- working small sections and 90 degree strokes.

Step 3. Wash the hull and move to the 800 grit. Once you done with the 800 grit you're done sanding, though you can do more with 1200 if you're a real masochist!

Time for compounding.

Step 4. Get 3M's Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound and follow the directions. Again, work small 2x2 or 3x3 areas. Get a real buffing wheel to help you from Home Depot or better yet, borrow one. You can't do this by hand and get good results. Your wet sanding will leave small scratches in the gelcoat, but as long as you finish with at least 800 grit, the 3M Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound will take them out.

Step 5. Get 3M's Finesse (basically a very fine rubbing compound) and follow the directions. This product is super and will allow you to get the best out of your gelcoat.

Step 6. Wash, rinse and dry the hull. Now apply a good quality wax -- everyone has their favorites so I won't recommend any. I use 3M's Marine Wax, but many folks think Woody Wax is better -- I've never used it so I can't say.

Yeah, a lot of work, but it can be done. One final word of advice: Stay away from the products that claim to "wipe and glow". They just don't last and you can't go back once you've used them without a lot of work.

Good Luck,

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Old 03-10-2004, 11:22 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

All the rubbing compund and wax will not last as if it were new gelcoat. To keep it in the state after the compound and wx, it will require frequent waxing as compared to gelcoat that was maintained properly since new! If you are going for the new look on an oxidized boat, the only thing that will provide longevity is a boat sprayed with IMRON or AWLGRIP.
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Old 03-10-2004, 11:35 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

Has anyone had good, bad experience, with 3m marine wax? My boat hasn't oxidized yet. But it does need to be waxed on the tops of the cap rail and the sides of the console.

Thanks

Don
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Old 03-11-2004, 07:24 AM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

3M is the best I've ever used on my old Grady, comes up shiney and creamy, lasts all season in NJ. I also bought some Woody Wax I am going to try on my new aluminum trailer just to see how it really does work, I also am gonna test it on the new boats non-skid decks. So ask me again in the fall.
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Old 03-11-2004, 07:51 AM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

Warning, That Woody Wax is pure CRAP. You won't see me get taken on that again! It sure don't last! I think silicone would do the same thing.
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Old 03-11-2004, 08:18 AM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

I waxed my Dusky with the Starbrite with silicone product and can tell you from experience that it is great stuff, but DON'T do the gunwale caps, or any other areas where you might step, because they will become deadly slippery when wet!

In those areas, Woody Wax really shines (excuse the pun). Woody protects the surface so that dirt, fish blood, and other 'stuff' won't stick (clean-up with a hose), however the surface will NOT become slippery when wet. It's great for non-skid areas, but can be used on the hull sides too. Use the product as directed, and it's great stuff.
http://www.woody-wax.com/fiberglass.php
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Old 03-11-2004, 09:54 AM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

3-M restorer and elbow grease. Then four seasons wax worked wonders on a faded gel coat. Best option sell the rig and get the coupon booklet. Wax the new hull every season and you want have to worry about oxidation.
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:13 PM
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Default RE: How do you make an old boat look shiny and new again?

Thanks guys for the comments on the 3m marine wax. I'll give it a shot.

Don
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