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Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       04-19-2011, 8:03 AM Reply   
Well I really need to get the boat all shined up for the start of the year... I have an all white Tige 20i with blue and yellow stripes (about 2'' each color)... I just want to keep up on it as it doesn't have a ton of oxidation or anything but I didn't buff it at all last year so I want to definitely buff it this year but don't know what you guys are using and really what kind of technique to use. I can get an buffer from my boss or I could purchase a cheaper model... idk what you guys recommend... do any of you know of any youtube videos showing the buffing process and some helpful tips?

Again the hull doesn't have heavy oxidation or anything major.... I just want to keep up on it... I kept it waxed last year... I sprayed it down with Slimy Grimy after every use then followed up with Babe's spray wax... worked pretty good !
Old     (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       04-19-2011, 8:29 AM Reply   
Here's the buffer I have, it probably isnt the best, but I only use it once or twice a year:

Given your description, I'd start with polish, then just follow up with a good paste wax. There's plenty of advice on this if you do a search on the forum. I use MacGuire's polish and Flagship paste wax which works fine for me.

Good luck!
Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       04-19-2011, 10:14 AM Reply   
so you polish your boat by hand or with a buffer? Then do you wax by hand or with the buffer? I guess I am a little confused on what the difference between a polisher, and wax is
Old     (kenteck)      Join Date: Jan 2005       04-19-2011, 11:54 AM Reply   
It takes an art to know how to buff out any car, truck or boat, you can go from a so so look to a ugly burn in a split second, different types of pads for different types of buffing & different types of polishes, if you want to learn, take a few classes or learn from hands on, to keep up on it, i would suggest have someone do a nice buff on it at a shop, then keep up on it with a nice wax, until you learn the proper way to do it, as far as equipment goes, don’t settle for cheap on this tool.
Old     (swancer)      Join Date: Dec 2009       04-20-2011, 5:35 AM Reply   

They have a ton of great how to videos. Also youtube key word search "detailing a boat" and there is a guy that does a black Mastercraft that pretty informative. He does use a rotary buffer, so understand that you could really damage a vehicle if you are not skilled with it. I have a Porter Cable orbital and it does everything I need it to do and then some.
Old     (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       04-20-2011, 7:38 AM Reply   
For heavy scratches: I use the buffer and the MacGuires boat "One Step Compound".
For lighter scratches and to bring to a shine: buffer + MacGuires boat "polish", for this I use the more compliant foam pad on the buffer
Above two steps will bring the boat to a mirror finish (unless you have some deeper gouges, in which case, you may want to do some wet sanding beforehand)
Final step (for me) is to use the Flagship paste wax and wax the boat by hand.
Its pretty straighforward. Regarding the buffer suggestion above: if you are going to be using it frequently, spend more money and get a better one. I use mine once or twice a year and this one works fine. The pad is where the "rubber meets the road", the buffer is just a motor to turn the pad IMO.

My simpleton explanation: The compound is a more aggessive polish (at least thats how I think of it). The polish is very fine and brings the fiberglass to a mirror finish. The wax is the protectant that makes the boat shine like brand new.
Good luck!

BTW I do not work for MacGuires, its just what I use. There are plenty of options out there and many threads on WW with suggestons...
Old     (gti2lo)      Join Date: Nov 2005       04-20-2011, 11:04 AM Reply   
you guys think I should use a wool pad to polish out the wet sanding marks on blk or foam pad should do?

Also what speed do people recommend... I have a makita.... I am use to cars.... boats is a new game
Old     (Riteride)      Join Date: Sep 2010       04-20-2011, 12:43 PM Reply   
I have owned/ran a Yacht Detail company for 10 years and I always stayed with 3M products. Also use the buffers made by Chicago you can get them at any Harbor Freight and they are one of the cheapest on the market. Most expensive on the market does not always make them the best. I am just about to buff out a 2000 Centurion that has sat in the SUN / Rain for the last 2 years untouched so I will take some videos and post them up as I go..
Old     (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       04-20-2011, 1:24 PM Reply   
Brett that will be cool to see before/during/after pics and instruction. That would be a nice gift to WW.
Old     (razzman)      Join Date: Dec 2006       04-20-2011, 2:19 PM Reply   
Buffing is not hard at all, I wouldn't exactly call it an art. Just remember a few tips; never hold the buffer in one place, use a random pattern, use light pressure. When i did my first buff on a boat I'd never buffed a thing. Looked it up, got some tips, bought a Harbor Freight buffer and 3M products and went to town. When i was done the boat looked new and just as good some i've seen "professionaly" done. That was years ago, now I buff the boat at the beginning of every season to make look it's best. I agree with Brett on the buffer btw, my brothers Porter Cable does no better of a job than the Chicago.
Old     (jetskiprosx)      Join Date: Aug 2004       04-20-2011, 3:12 PM Reply   
I bought a Porter Cable Orbital buffer last spring and love it! Not the best for the tough gel coat of a boat, but perfect for my limited skills and working with my cars. Does a great all around job with the boat and cars. Polish and pads are expensive, so I offer to detail friends/family cars for free, but they need to buy all the stuff and I get to keep it when I'm done
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-20-2011, 3:28 PM Reply   
what about an orbital buffer? good or bad

i picked up one at costco a few years back but have just been a little gunshy and have been doing everything by hand.
Old     (petrey10)      Join Date: Apr 2010       04-21-2011, 7:24 AM Reply   
coudl you guys post a link to the correct foam and wool pads for the above harbor freight buffer... I really appreciate....

Brett I can't wait to see your before and after photos.... my father in law has an old Sea Sprite I/O that really could use some work from oxidation and if my boat goes well I will do his... and probably make my money back in the process.... at least a little bit of it..
Old     (tcaz)      Join Date: Aug 2008       04-21-2011, 9:07 AM Reply   
I'll chime in since I just finished doing some gel coat work about a week ago on my 2001 VLX. It was way overdue. It's been about 5 years since the gel coat had received any attention.

I started by removing the Wakesetter decal (wish I had a picture with it on before). The decal just looked outdated, and with it off, I feel it has a fresh, clean, look to it now. I know you're not wets sanding but my boat needed it. Oxidation was mild to moderate. Some obvious fade and water marks. I put the effort to wet sand and I'm damn glad that I did. After that I just used a Turtle Wax polishing compound that I found in the garage. Applied it by hand, and removed it by hand. The next day, found a 3M Marine polishing compound. I had spoken with some people at our dealership and the sales rep for Mastercraft at TSR, Mike Bohan (extremely cool dude, by the way) who was at the TSR tent for the Texas International Boat Show in Corpus Christi, and was told it won't hurt to apply compound twice. Therefore, I went ahead and used the 3M next. Applied by hand, and removed by hand. Just used a regular hand towel for everything... Results astonished me. I then bought Megiuar's Carnauba Plus wax and applied that with a soft sponge that was included, and removed with a microfiber towel.

I am VERY pleased with my results. Every morning I take a peek outside in my driveway and marvel in its difference.

Here are some before and after shots, although the after shots don't have the wax applied, just the polishing compound. The dried liquid running down the side is from after wet sanding. You can see where the decal was. I was skeptical when removing it, but wet sanding really helped bring the original, never been touched gel coat beneath the decal together with the sun beaten part.

Last edited by tcaz; 04-21-2011 at 9:13 AM.


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