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-   -   Cut & Polish V2 (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=796397)

grant_west 12-11-2012 8:24 PM

Cut & Polish V2
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Well its been 6 years Since my last polish
The Boat has seen alot of action in 6 years and it was time to have at it all over again. This time I had got turned onto a few new products and had a chance to try them out. Lucky for the boat owners I think the new compounds and Polishing pads make it easy and faster to do then when I did it 6 years ago. So lets get started. Step 1 Take you Whole boat apart!

grant_west 12-11-2012 8:27 PM

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This Picture will give you a idea of the finish's Im working with.

The Area under the Gas cap has never seen the light of day.
The Area around of the Gas Fill Area was the finish I started with.
The Top of the deck was a quick 1500 wet sand and Polish

grant_west 12-11-2012 8:41 PM

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This is the System I ended up using and it works great. Most surface scratches can be removed with 1000 or 1500 wet sand. If your a pro you can use 600 or 800 and wrk you way up but if your not a pro you cant get into to much trouble with 1000 or 1500. These 1000 and 1500 wet sand marks can be taken out with Perfect-It™ Machine Polish, in a matter or moments. So if you don't have any scratches you can skip the sanding part. But if you has some small scratches wet sanding them out will cut your buffer time in 1/2 and the finish comes out better, But I understand if you don't want to touch you boat with paper.
Here is a pic of the 3m Perfect-It™ Machine Polish,

This stuff is white and feels to the hands like it has Zero grit to it.

You use a wool pad with this stuff and you have the buffer on medium or like 1500 rpm's

Keep the surface cover and work in small section's like a 2 or 3 foot section. Work the material into the gell till its all gone and you start to see a polish. THEN STOP
more info here

grant_west 12-11-2012 8:54 PM

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Next Step. Put some of the 3m Machine Polish on a small clean towel and use the 3m Machine Polish to remove all the remaining material. Once the boat is all clean and you have got all the polish off the boat your ready for the next Step.
I used these pads with the Finishing Material.

You lower the speed on the buffer to like low or 1000 Rpm
This will give you a very nice finish.


grant_west 12-11-2012 9:05 PM

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Then I used 3m Hand Glaze. This Hand Glaze has the ability to give the gell color. Example if you have a black boat it will start to lighten up or turn white. The oils in the Hand Glaze will add color or restore color to the gell. If you can apply the Hand glaze and let it soak in over night the oils in the glaze can soak into the finish and add color.

You MUST wax over the top of the hand glaze to lock in the color. The Hand Glaze has NO Wax in it
and will be gone as soon as you wash it a few times. The wax will "seal in" the color.

Wax is a Personal thing so use what you think works best . I like the Meguiar's Marine Wax for the same reasons I like the Hand Glaze it seems to add color threw the use of Oil's its easy to apply and take off.

grant_west 12-11-2012 9:07 PM

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Here is what the finish looks like so far

grant_west 12-11-2012 9:08 PM

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grant_west 12-11-2012 9:10 PM

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Here is a polished section

grant_west 12-11-2012 9:13 PM

If you notice My whole garage is taped off and Plastic is everywhere. These Compounds and Wax's get everywhere. Once they are dry its a PITA to get them gone so IMO its easyer to spend a few Hrs taping everything off and protecting the walls and other surfaces. That includes your trailer.

humboldt9 12-11-2012 10:08 PM

Incredible looking finish... Man how do you find the time to get all this done? Thanks for sharing a lot of good info over the years! Just curious how many man hours did this take?

grant_west 12-11-2012 10:25 PM

Brad: Last year I started my normal winter time project's and I got a little over zellous. B4 you know it I had the whole boat pulled apart and and a "To Do" list that was huge. I worked on my to do list untill May. Then we got a New boat and the summer came on and the boat was on the back burner. So this winter The boat was already apart and I had most of the Mechanical To Do's done. So with all mechanical out of the way It was time to start cut and polish. Now that cut and polish is out of the way. The Pin Stripe is going back on and then The new Rub rail will get installed, Then its time to move inside and install the floor and start putting her back together, The only thing left to do is everything

bass10after 12-12-2012 12:20 AM

Looks great G! I have some pretty heavy oxidation on the outside of my boat and am contemplating doing it myself or having it done... How much time do you think you have into just the wet sanding, polishing, waxing part of the project? I probably wouldn't go into the interior or strip the boat as you did. Having never done any polishing/wet sanding before I'm a little apprehensive, although I'm pretty handy and pick up on things fairly quick.... Would you say it's rookie friendly project? I reviewed your last polishing project earlier in the summer but decided to hold off as some other projects took priority

grant_west 12-12-2012 7:48 AM

Detox. I would tape off and try a small section yourself. If you could do the transome and be happy with the results I would say that you could do the whole boat yourself. The 1000 & 1500 gritt paper is not very aggressive so it won't get you into to much trouble. The machine polish is easy to work with and removes small scratches pretty well. I would say the better you are with the polisher the less you can depend on the wet sanding. The more items you can remove from the boat like grab handles ect the easier it is to do and the better the over all project comes out ( but it takes more time) I would say most people would not want to pay what it costs a pro to do Somthing like this. You can spend 3 to 4 grand no problem doing what you see me doing here in this thread. I would say the deciding factors weather you should try Somthing like this is. Do you have a Garage that's well lit? Can you deal with your boat being pulled apart for a few weeks? Do you or can you make time?
I would say 2 weeks is what you should give yourself for a project like this. I would say you can spend a full day just prepping (masking off your boat and garage) and another 3 or 4 days sanding small scratches and polishing and then another few days detailing and cleaning up.

priszkid 12-14-2012 1:49 PM

That looks great. Totally jealous that you have a garage to house your boat. Nice work!

Truekaotik 12-15-2012 7:47 PM

Grant, may I suggest that if he doesn't feel safe sanding, he can get a Cutter to equal the 1000 - 1500 grit wet paper? Apply it before the machine in the place of sanding...

grant_west 12-15-2012 9:37 PM

True: that's a good Idea. What cutters would you recommend. Only cutters I have used is 3m Super Duty compound.

Truekaotik 12-15-2012 10:05 PM

You can use a 3m medium cutter compound, boat candy crystal cut compound ( my favorite at the moment due to polymers), or meguiars ultimate compound for lighter grit...

Truekaotik 12-16-2012 6:14 AM

Oh also, when your compounding or polishing, use a damp micro fiber cloth instead of more polish to remove the excess build up as you travel from section to section. It may be easier than trying to use polish to to remove the excess due to having to elbow it dry. Water is a wipe off wipe dry kinda thing :)

22vdrive 12-17-2012 7:47 AM

Grant what buffer machine do you use or would recommend?

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

tyler97217 12-17-2012 10:23 AM

You take waxing your boat to a whole new level.

Looks great!

downfortheride 12-17-2012 12:02 PM


Then we got a New boat and the summer came on
What boat did you get?

tampawake 12-17-2012 3:15 PM

Has anyone bought any of the boat candy product? I am interested in some of their stuff for my faded boat.

grant_west 12-17-2012 5:41 PM

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And you can't not do the bottom!

grant_west 12-17-2012 5:43 PM

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Taking all the bits and pieces off is where more than 1/2 of the time spent go's

Truekaotik 12-17-2012 7:20 PM

Looks great Grant!

grant_west 12-18-2012 11:35 AM

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Another advantage of removing the miscellaneous items around your boat is You don't end up with a halo around the parts Plus it's easier to run the buffers over a smooth flat surface rather than work around parts

ktrent 12-28-2012 5:42 PM

amazing work and attention to detail. not many people like you roaming the planet. i could not imagine the cost for a shop to do what you have done and i promise no shop would do near the job and take the time to remove parts and protect tower and trailer.

good job

bass10after 02-05-2013 6:48 PM

I have a few questions. Could I use a 6" orbital with a foam or wool cutting pad or would it be better to use a regular variable speed polisher instead? I have ghosting from the Maristar sticker I removed from the side of the boat as well as some fading on the black striping. Maybe it's oxidation I don't know if there's a difference on gel between the two. I did a test spot using meguires heavy oxidation remover and a cutting pad with the orbital to remove the ghosting and it definitely improved with more effort than I would have thought but still exists. Any help would be appreciated thanks

Bamabonners 02-05-2013 7:46 PM

Wow, that is awesome work!

williamburell 02-05-2013 9:30 PM

I'll join the club and raise you a steam cleaning

bass10after 02-17-2013 7:06 PM

I have a few questions. Could I use a 6" orbital with a foam or wool cutting pad or would it be better to use a regular variable speed polisher instead? I have ghosting from the Maristar sticker I removed from the side of the boat as well as some fading on the black stripingg (maybe it's oxidation I don't know if there's a difference on gel) I also borrowed a variable speed so i guess the question is what would be the best way to go about removing the ghosting and doing the rest of the boat as well

bryce2320 02-17-2013 7:22 PM

Im curious to this too. How did you get your decals off? Heat them up with a blow dryer or something?

ilikebeaverandboats 02-17-2013 7:50 PM


Originally Posted by bryce2320 (Post 1807171)
Im curious to this too. How did you get your decals off? Heat them up with a blow dryer or something?

you cannot typically reapply decals... once you have peeled it off, its off.

bryce2320 02-17-2013 9:10 PM


Originally Posted by ilikebeaverandboats (Post 1807178)
you cannot typically reapply decals... once you have peeled it off, its off.

I must have quoted my post wrong:confused: I was just curious how to get decals off. I tried getting my registration stickers off and they werent wanting to come off with just a razor knife. And I was kicking around the idea of removing my decals too and I figured Id have the same fading that'll need buffed out. I wasnt trying to hijack his question. Just curious how he managed to get the decals off.

chattwake 02-18-2013 5:54 AM

Heat gun and googone with that plastic scalpel tip is what you need. Just don't get the hull too hot and don't scrape too hard. Just go slow and let the googone do its job dissolving the adhesive.

grant_west 02-18-2013 9:32 AM

Bass10after; I would attack the Ghosting with 1000 or 1500 grit wet sand. That way you can be sure your going to get it all out. It's hard to evenly remove oxidation with a buffer. This way you can skip the compound step and go straight to micro fine polishing compound. Your buffer time with be cut down to almost nothing.
Bryce: I used a heat gun to remove pretty much anything that's stuck to the boat (with the exception of registration stickers) if you try and heat them up the top clear coat comes off best bet is to get them room temp or outside temp " in the sun" and they will peel up no problem and can be put back on. I left my CF numbers on. I doubt u could remove them with out damage

bass10after 02-18-2013 1:01 PM

bryce i used my girlfriends hair dryer and some 3m adhesive remover for mine. i found there was a very delicate balance between hot enough to remove the decal and most of its adhesive in one piece and too hot which the decal would just break apart and leave me with a mess. Once i found that balance the process went pretty quickly considering the boat is a 99 with original decals.

bass10after 02-18-2013 1:02 PM

g, would you recomend wet sanding by hand or using an orbital for that part?

grant_west 02-18-2013 5:24 PM

Hand sand and a rubber pad . Start with 1500 ( you can't do to much damage) with 1500 by hand and as u get comfortable you can drop down in grits. Example the lower grits like 600 and 800 you better know what ur doing because they cut much faster. So if ur a newb start out slow and learn the process as you become better you can learn how to cut corners and do it faster

kyle_m 02-18-2013 6:33 PM

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grant, great looking boat, quick question, why did you choose to hand sand and polish, a buffer and buffing compound would give the same result and probably take hald the time, when i worked at a fiberglss shop before the navy we could knock a boat out in an hour or so with the power buffer, heres a little before and after of a boat we did when i was there 2 years ago

grant_west 02-18-2013 11:14 PM

Kyle; I recommend Hand Sanding and Machine polishing.
Some one asked what polisher I recommended. I use a variable speed Mikita but any quality variable will work just as good.

bass10after 02-25-2013 9:25 PM

Just finished up this project, wanted to say thanks to grant and everyone else who chimed in as well. I ended up wet sanding out the ghosting areas followed by 3m superduty compound, then finesse-it II, then meguires NXT generation 2.0 wax. Took me three solid days probably close to 30hrs to complete. I didn't break everything down like grant did, as i don't have a dedicated shop and am at the mercy of our nice weather at the moment. Also got some good advice and materials from b&z auto body in modesto. solid shop with good help and had many different compounds to choose from. i ended up going with the compounds and wax that the employee recomended as he'd done some boat restorations as well. My back hurts, my knees hurt but my boat looks brand new and the pain never felt better.

cadunkle 02-25-2013 10:24 PM

I did mine last year and it came out great!

Tools of the trade... 3m Super Duty rubbing compound, 3m Finesse It II polish, 3m Marine Ultra Paste Wax, Makita 9227C buffer, wool and soft polish pads

That picture is after a quick first shot at the transom. You can see it was getting dark so I didn't finish that night. The whole transom looked like the small parts of oxidized white towards the bottom. That was just after the rubbing/cutting compound.

I believe this was after polishing and before wax.

This is some time after a few times out.

Bang for the buck a good compound and polish is about the best thing you can do to make aging gel look great again. If you have any fading or oxidation I highly recommend it. It's a lot of work, it took me a few days to do mine and I didn't go to the same extent as Grant by removing all hardware and getting every last spot. It still took me a full day and a few evenings after work.

seth25 02-26-2013 10:58 PM

That's unbelievable work! Thanks for sharing.

ghostrider_2 05-12-2013 1:15 PM

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I last did mine when you did yours. Now I have the problem of having transferred cross country and the boat wrap left small scratches on the bow gunnel that are just deep enough to catch a finger nail!:banghead: I was tossing the idea that 1000 grit wet sand I can get them out without breaking through the gel...Then I'm going to continue with the steps of moving to 200 grit, 3M super duty compound, 3M Finesse It, Glaze and final wax. Wasn't sure about using a wool pad with the compound step or using my W7000 Meguires cutting pad like last time. Whats your thoughts on the scratches?:confused: Thanks

grant_west 05-12-2013 7:26 PM

With 1000 grit ur gonna be their all day "but" your pretty sure to do no damage.
I would take 600 grit to it till the scratches are 99% out then go 800 1000 1500 then micro fine and your good to go each time you change grits go a bit larger in your sanding spot. Start small with a pad with 600 and get larger.

ghostrider_2 05-12-2013 8:23 PM

Is there any way to judge how thick the gel is so I don't break thru? This is the first time paper to the boat but I am experienced with clear coats on cars so wet sanding is not new to me. And how big of an area do you recommend around the scratches so that there are no "high-lows" in? Thanks By the way every time we end up transferring back to a cold weather state the wife always makes sure I didn't sell that red boat blanket we got from you years ago!

grant_west 05-12-2013 11:29 PM

If you have any holes in your boat that you can see the profile of what u drilled threw you. Can get a idea how thick the gell is

ghostrider_2 05-15-2013 7:30 PM

Yeah, about that.... only holes are stuff like cup holders, things in the cabin/crew area, kinda sol on that. I never did any drilling on her.

grant_west 05-15-2013 8:19 PM

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Most boats I've seen have the gelcoat finish thickness of a credit card Here's a small piece of my NuTeak on the right and a credit card on the left

ghostrider_2 05-15-2013 9:19 PM

Thanks that picture does help. So since I still see white in the deepest of scratches, I should be able to get them out without going through the gel, correct? If I start to break through I would see another color than white? Thanks

grant_west 05-16-2013 5:12 PM

Ghost: I would hate to tell you to keep going. Only for you to burn through your gel. When you start getting really thin the gell can become translucent. So you don't half to burn through Sometimes to notice a color change. Typically what I do Is I try and remove the scratch 80-90% Through sanding
The remaining should polish out. However some people feel they have more control with the sandpaper And they choose to remove the scratch completely Through sanding And then they only have a little bit of work to do with the polisher.

ghostrider_2 05-17-2013 8:52 PM

Grant - started the wet sanding and its going great but since this the first time I have allot of work ahead planning on it taking 2-3 days of sanding alone. Did you replace using a rubbing compound with that machine polish? If so why? My steps were going to be like the last time - 3M rubbing compound / 3M Finesse It / Glaze / Wax.

ghostrider_2 06-01-2013 8:33 PM

Ok all sanding complete, can I skip the super duty compounding step and go straight to the Finesse It Machine Polish step? Thx

ffmedic74 07-19-2013 5:36 AM

Can you use a random orbital d/a for this project or stick with a traditional polisher

jpaul 07-19-2013 1:00 PM

either or.... the orbital is faster but increases risk of polishing too much.

bwake 09-30-2013 1:57 AM

Hi Grant,

My boat comes up amazingly, but quickly loses its finish after maybe 6 weeks out in the sun. Do you have the same issue?

mnwakerider 09-30-2013 9:12 AM

The length of the improvement really depends on the depth of the treatment. I did a quick "turbo cut' a year back and had the same issue. It only lasted a month or two. The next season I did a full on wetsand and then turbo cut and then wax. It sealed so much better and the colors stayed till I sold over a year later. I did do a quick wax and polish in some of the previously oxidized areas to ensure it stayed. Good luck.

grant_west 09-30-2013 10:22 AM

To answer your question No , my boat holds a shine quite well.
What I have found is polishes with lots of oil in them and add color or depth or shine.
The oils will eventually wash or fade away. What you should try is a polish or wax like Meguires Pure Boat wax. Or a Hand glaze. And then cover that wax or polish with a heavy carnauba paste wax. These thicker Non Liquid wax's will hold in the oils and keep the shine

grant_west 09-30-2013 10:24 AM

I posted before I read Johns post and I agree 100%. Depending on the level that your finish is oxidized you might need a full on wet sand

Greeko 09-30-2013 10:51 AM

Hey Grant,

I was about to undertake detailing the boat...
Have you worked with this?
Is it very similar to the 3m Perfect-It™ Machine Polish?

Thanks in advance

grant_west 09-30-2013 12:49 PM

Nikolas: Yes I have worked with the SUPER duty. that is a Heavy cut polish. My advice is use the compound that is the least abrasive and gets the job done. You might be able to get away with 3m Perfect-It™

Make sure you tape off everything with any of these polished the stuff gets everywhere and is pain to get off.

Greeko 09-30-2013 12:55 PM

Thanks Grant!

Greeko 10-07-2013 11:15 AM

hey Grant,

I used the 3m Perfect-it and it came out "hazy" there is no luster or depth to the finish.
I also used 1500 grit then a bot of the super duty then the perfect it.... I couldn't get ride of some of the 1500 sandpaper scratches..Should I go to 2000? .I'm using a cheaper rotary polishers...like one of those $50 ebay specials with a Makita wool pad.

Any suggestions?

Iceberg 10-07-2013 11:50 AM

You have to be anal about ensuring the grit is completely off all surfaces including not using the same buffing wools; otherwise, you can introduce scratches larger than the grit you are using. 1500g is pretty fine for gelcoat. Even outdoor dust can be more gritty than your finishing compound. Usually the Perfect-it and sealing/waxing compounds with a buffer will work just fine, even a less expensive one.

bass10after 10-07-2013 12:47 PM


Originally Posted by Iceberg (Post 1848215)
You have to be anal about ensuring the grit is completely off all surfaces including not using the same buffing wools; otherwise, you can introduce scratches larger than the grit you are using. 1500g is pretty fine for gelcoat. Even outdoor dust can be more gritty than your finishing compound. Usually the Perfect-it and sealing/waxing compounds with a buffer will work just fine, even a less expensive one.

i did mine following grants write up here as well as some info from my body shop supply house. I used 3m super duty and 3m perfect it as well as 1500. 1. start with wetsand. 2. wool pad and super duty. 3. clean the surface of all remaining super duty. 4. Switch to a black foam finishing pad and perfect it. You can't continue to use the same pad and just switch compounds. Also a wool pad has cutting properties of its own which makes it effective with a heavy duty compound but also defeats the purpose of a finishing compound.

Greeko 10-07-2013 12:52 PM

ahhh, I used 2 wool pads. 1 for heavy cut and 1 for the light cut. I guess I have to get a foam pad.

grant_west 10-07-2013 7:59 PM

The higher the grit you finish with the easyer it is to polish out. Example if you finished with 1000 grit you would have to be real good with a high end polisher. With 2000-3000 grit you could almost polish it out by hand. 3M Perfect it" needs to have a pretty high finish grit to polish out. My advice would be to wet sand with 2000 and then Yes you MUST have a good polisher. Somthing that can spin fast enough to create some Heet. And you will need a a foam pad. This foam pad helps cut/polish. Wool pads are more for compounds like Super Duty. Talked to your local auto body supply store for combos of Polish and what pads best work with the respective polish or compound.

Disclaimer; from the sound of it this may be your first cut and polish job. So with that said I must warn you about burning threw. It's a fine balance between polishing and burning! It's some what of a Art, Mabey you can find somthing to practice on?? Once you get schooled and get your Tequnique down its easy it's just getting your Tequnique that can be a learing curve. I would hate for you to damage your boat "learning" Mabey try polishing the bottom of the boat, if you mess up no ones gonna see :)

Greeko 10-08-2013 9:33 AM

This is my first polish job, I think you're right, I may have pressed too hard and heated up the area because I couldn't get the scratches to go away... I will start on a spot under the boat first...

I picked up a 3M 05733 Perfect-It 8" Ultrafine Foam Polishing Pad, 3M 06064 Perfect-It Machine Polish - 1 Quart and 3M 05990 Hand Glaze - 1 Quart.

I have a variable speed rotary polisher, not a random orbital. As long as I don't lean on it too hard..it maintains a pretty good speed

I will go get some 2000, 2500 and 3000 grit sandpaper to make it easier on me..

Thanks for the coaching!

grant_west 10-08-2013 10:07 AM

Nick: Your gonna need a traditional polisher. A orbital is great for putting on Wax's ect but in no way will do the job for a Cut and Polish. Check out this thread for some advice on a polishers http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showt...085&page=99999
The down side with a Polisher is that It can create Heat. The heat can be Friend and Fo! you need to learn the Art of managing pressure and angle that results in a good polish. To much pressure and heat results in a burnt finish or worse paint damage. If you can learn how and when to apply pressure and back off around sharp edges ect you can avoid damage and get a nice finish. Also. Speed is Key you need enough speed to do the job but not to much to throw compound everywhere and burn your finish. The finishing polishes need the polisher to be slowed way down. So as you get finer and finer with your polishes you need to slow down the buffer

Greeko 10-08-2013 10:52 AM

Thanks Grant, I don't have an orbital, I have a traditional polisher..Just a lower amperage motor and guts, similar to this black and decker WP107B : http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-W...otary+polisher.

Ok, this is all fantastic info. Do you wet your pads or get the area damp for any of the polishing?

I will be posting pictures later this week to show the before...and hopefully after ha ha.

Brian at Liquid Trends is a solid guy. He helped me out with some good gear after I picked up my boat from West Coast Camps down there in your area. I was stationed out there for almost 6 months 2 years ago.... Its a very lake awesome area! Your season is so long compared to ours up here in Canada....sigh lol

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