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Old 05-11-2018, 10:18 AM
  #1  
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I needed to address some scratches (and gouges) in the gel-coat on my 24' Bay Boat, so I've wet-sanded out the shallower scratches and done gel-coat repair to the deeper ones. Given how far I was into it I went ahead and wet-sanded the full hull to remove any oxidation (the rear of the boat was fairly oxidized at least from handing in the covered slip). I've worked through hand wet-sanding 400, and then using the PorterCable 7424XP with 600, 800, 1500 and will be doing 2000 & 3000 grits tonight/tomorrow.

The question is at that point, what type of compound should I use with my Dewalt polisher - and what pad, wool, or a foam cutting pad? I have some heavy-cut compound, but not sure if I need to go that heavy given I will have sanded down to 3000 grit...... open to recommednations for the best outcome but not wasting my time.....
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mwardncsu View Post
I needed to address some scratches (and gouges) in the gel-coat on my 24' Bay Boat, so I've wet-sanded out the shallower scratches and done gel-coat repair to the deeper ones. Given how far I was into it I went ahead and wet-sanded the full hull to remove any oxidation (the rear of the boat was fairly oxidized at least from handing in the covered slip). I've worked through hand wet-sanding 400, and then using the PorterCable 7424XP with 600, 800, 1500 and will be doing 2000 & 3000 grits tonight/tomorrow.

The question is at that point, what type of compound should I use with my Dewalt polisher - and what pad, wool, or a foam cutting pad? I have some heavy-cut compound, but not sure if I need to go that heavy given I will have sanded down to 3000 grit...... open to recommednations for the best outcome but not wasting my time.....
First off, you've done the hard part. I know from experience that you just put some serious work into your hull. Now for my recommendations. If your finishing with 3000, you won't need a heavy cutting compound at all. Your looking to polish the surface to gloss at this point, not remove oxidation. I always prefer working with a wool pad when using a rotary on gelcoat, so I would look for a general buffing pad to start and a polishing wool pad to finish. In our product line, that would be the Buff Magic Pad and Zero Swirl Pad (both for rotary polishers).

As for the compound, I've got plenty of faith that Buff Magic will give you the results you want. Start slow and bring up the speed for the first pass with the Buff Magic Pad (1800 ramping up to 2600) with a decent amount of pressure. For the last pass with the Zero Swirl Pad, spend the majority of your time at speed, which will emphasize the polishing effect of Buff Magic more than the cutting pads. Whatever compound you end up using, make sure it's a diminishing abrasive compound. If it's not, no big deal, but you'll need to finish up with the a fine polish to really bring out the mirror shine.

Work clean, making sure to switch pads or stop to clean the pads if they start to get loaded up. Spur the pad or clean with a stiff brush after every pass. The more meticulous you are, the better your results. Let me know how it turns out or if you have any questions.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:21 AM
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Thanks for the follow-up - I ended up taking advantage of some time this weekend and went ahead with the wool pad & rotary buffer and the compound I had, followed by a white foam pad & polish. When I examine it very close up with a bright light I can see some "pig tails" from the wool pad, but she is a fishing boat after all and given the color it will never have a super deep reflection/luster - maybe this coming winter I'll bring her back home and give her another go to fully resolve any remaining finish defects, but she's in good enough shape for the summer now at least.

Still need to put on a coat or two of wax - hopefully can get that done this coming weekend....

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Old 05-14-2018, 07:26 AM
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I'm telling you right now you should never ask for more than what you've got right there. That looks fantastic, mate! Yeah, get some wax on it asap and enjoy your boat. Sorry for not getting back to you before the weekend.
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