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Buffing Exterior

fairpilot

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I need some thoughts on buffing the exterior of my boat (blue) equipment and Products.
The boat is not bad, after 8 years it does have some rub marks from bumpers and it does have some minor scratching. I have always had a fear of doing anything to it for fear of making something worse. I dont want to end up with swirls marks that show up from every angle. I know glassman is a pro at this probably, just need some pointers for type of equip and best products (mequires, mothers or another brand)
 

Murf'n'surf

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Get yourself a Porter Cable 7424 da polisher and some orange pads from Lake Country. Products to use are endless but I like the 3M line of marine polishes and compounds followed by top coat of Meguires Fleetwax by hand. Choose your 3M product by how badly oxidized your gel is. Usually the cleaner wax will clean up the gel good enough.

The 7424 will not haze or leave buffer trails like a rotary and wool pad will. You can use the 7424 on your cars also. For cars I love the Menzerna line.



Orange Lake Country 5 1/2 Inch Flat Foam Pad by Lake Country http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005GV3VT0/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_c7GUtb0FBPKFA

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher by PORTER-CABLE http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002654I46/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_-aHUtb1GHP6GZ

3M Marine Cleaner and Wax by 3M http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000AY66D/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_KcHUtb0EDV0SG
 
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jetboater4life

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OCMD

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Don't spend more than 50 bucks on a polisher when a cheap orbital works fine. As for the expensive pads? No need for those either. Just get a good non-cleaner paste wax (assuming your finish in in good shape - I do not know how to handle a finish that is not pristine as all my stuff is purchased show room sharp and remains that way). Apply by hand in circular fashion. After it dries to a haze, take your buffer - and - using the crappy buffer pad supplied with your cheap polisher, you grab a microfiber cloth and place that square cloth on the round buffer pad, and buff away. Yep, this is basically a hand polishing with a microfiber cloth, done easily with the cheap polisher. Exchange or re-adjust the microfiber cloth as needed. You finish the deal (and nooks and crannies) by hand, again, with the microfiber cloth. Dead serious, this is all you need to do. As an example, here is a $37 polisher which is still too expensive - I bet you can find one at an auto parts store for $25 bucks.

http://www.batteryjunction.com/wagan-2068.html?gclid=CJSk0u24sr8CFRJk7AodlwkAlA

The polisher I used keeping my 2001 LS2000 in showroom condition for many years, I still use to this day on my 230. Paid abut 15 bucks for it over ten years ago. Never had to buy polishing pads. Just grab a bagful of microfiber cloths, and do as instructed. Your boat will look great.

As for cleaning crud off your boat, especially that gray crap back in that nozzle area? The best cleaner is also the least expensive. Totally Awesome, which you can purchase at most dollar stores. Dilute it as needed but for tough stains? Use it full strength. This is the best cleaner out there and the best thing about it is the cheap price.

http://www.lastotallyawesome.com/

I had a video posted on how to do this on some old Yami site, but I can't locate it anymore. Guess I will have to make a new one next week as I perform my mid season waxing.

Don't believe me? This photo of my 2001 LS 2000 was taken in April, 2013 around the time I sold it. Kept in this condition by Totally Awesome and a cheap polisher.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

boat 1.jpg
 

OCMD

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MikeyL

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Get yourself a Porter Cable 7424 da polisher and some orange pads from Lake Country. Products to use are endless but I like the 3M line of marine polishes and compounds followed by top coat of Meguires Fleetwax by hand. Choose your 3M product by how badly oxidized your gel is. Usually the clearer wax with clean up the gel good enough.

The 7424 will not haze or leave buffer trails like a rotary will. You can use it on your cars also.




Orange Lake Country 5 1/2 Inch Flat Foam Pad by Lake Country http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005GV3VT0/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_c7GUtb0FBPKFA

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher by PORTER-CABLE http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002654I46/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_-aHUtb1GHP6GZ

3M Marine Cleaner and Wax by 3M http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000AY66D/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_KcHUtb0EDV0SG
Very Sage advice. I have been posting the exact same thoughts and recommendations for years. The Porter Cable has become the STANDARD Of Excellence for even Professional Polishing firms. ANd very reasonably priced, thanks to Amazon. Thanks, Murf for posting this. Hopefully it will help many others to understand a QUALITY set up and how it will make their lives better !
Many Blessed Wishes your way, Mikey Lulejian - Lake OConee, GA
 

cane.mba

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5 Minute overview on removing oxidation from gel coat

1 hour and 15 minute overview on boat detailing
 

4x15mph

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Porter cable is a standard for polishing cars and it is as great for the boat. I bought a harbor Freight version and so far it is doing an excellent job with my cars and boat.

Depending on the color of your boat, the effort and approach may vary. I know my white boat is as easy as it gets and having waxed it again this weekend, it looks like @OCMD boat did. I will say that I have the second cleanest LS.

Black or a dark color will be more difficult as it is with a car. My process for my black car is similar to what @Murf'n'surf described although I use the orbital polisher for the cleaning step(s) and then I follow up with an orbital buffer to buff the wax. Like shining shoes, it is helpful to wet down the boat after you apply the wax and follow that up with another buff. This gives you a more even coat of wax. This all sounds like overkill but for a dark color car (boat?) it helps. With my white car/boat, it was and is a lot easier

I like the suggestion of the Totally Awesome and I will have to try that. For now, I use Simple Green
 

fairpilot

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Great thanks. The boat has zero oxidation. I need to bring back some areas that are scratched. We had bumpers over side one time for the day and it rubbed the gel coat leavinf an area very finely scratched and dull. I also have a few scratches that are a bit heavier that I would like to try to remove.
 

cane.mba

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The longer video has great tips on buffing, cleaning sunbrella, vinyl, etc. can't remember if he addresses dock rash or light scratches..
 

Murf'n'surf

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@fairpilot It sounds like you are going to need a little bit of wet sanding on your fender scratches. The cleaning and polishing might hide it well enough for you but to get the scratches out, you will need wet sanding.

Be careful with cheap DA polishers, a lot of them don't provide a true dual action to the standards that Porter Cable and other brand names produce.
 
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RightStuff

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KXCam22

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I have the cheapie simonize DA polisher. Under $20 and still going. Use the meguires boat wax due to easy access to it. Cam.
 

Glassman

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I need some thoughts on buffing the exterior of my boat (blue) equipment and Products.
I'll bet you can hire somebody to do it for a Benjamin. :cool:

Otherwise, if you are hell bent on doing it yourself, Murf pretty much nailed it. Have fun, don't hurt yourself.
 

OCMD

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As promised, here is the cheapskate's video on how to make a boat shine. Remember, my boat is kept in pristine condition so I don't have to deal with oxidation, scratches, etc. Keep in mind with one of those high priced buffers, if you are not careful, you will burn right through the gel coat with the high speed, dual action buffers. That is why there is a benefit both in cost and no damage to your boat, in using a simple low priced buffer as I do. It is called GEL coat for a reason. A car finish is not gel coat and there is a huge difference between these two type of finishes. You definitely want to use a high priced buffer on a car, but I pay someone to detail my cars. Boats? Soft surface? Keep it simple and safe. No need for the high priced equipment, as you will see. At the end of the video, I give a shout out to Totally Awesome cleaner, the cleaner the high priced "name" cleaners do not want you to know about.

 

pagekl

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@fairpilot, I'd think twice on wet sanding. I did my boat today and the areas I sanded still have a dull look to them. I used polishing compound and waxed afterwards, but I can still tell it doesn't look like it did before sanding. Maybe I needed to compound it a little longer than I did. This was my first crack at it and first with using a a DA polisher. I'll keep polishing and waxing it to see if the showroom shine will come back. I should have just went with a polishing or rubbing compound, if the polishing wasn't doing the job to get the scratches and fender/dock rash taken care of. I still have to do the port side and will try other options before wet sanding again.
 

DoubleThrust

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@fairpilot, I'd think twice on wet sanding. I did my boat today and the areas I sanded still have a dull look to them. I used polishing compound and waxed afterwards, but I can still tell it doesn't look like it did before sanding. Maybe I needed to compound it a little longer than I did. This was my first crack at it and first with using a a DA polisher. I'll keep polishing and waxing it to see if the showroom shine will come back. I should have just went with a polishing or rubbing compound, if the polishing wasn't doing the job to get the scratches and fender/dock rash taken care of. I still have to do the port side and will try other options before wet sanding again.
Agreed. A D/A polisher should work for fender marring, and shine up scratches.

Sanding is another level - I've done both on my boat, but for different reasons. Only sand if you have too, and have lots of grits and be ready to take as much time as it takes.

The d/a polisher is care free in comparison... I always start there.
 

Rigger

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Thought I'd give just a slightly different experience. I had one really nasty bumper rash from last year on my brand new boat! It was from one of my 12 inch inflatable round vinyl buoy balls! It made a NICE 1'x1' spot that looked down right awful! I always knew I could probably buff it out but man it took some effort. Wet sanding never came into the equation for me. I've got a PC7424 D/A polisher and I've got a Dewalt DWP849X 7/9" polisher. Figuring it would take more than the D/A to get this out I started right out with the Dewalt. As Murf mentioned Lake Country pads are great and that's what I use as well. I started with a wool polishing pad - yep a wool polishing pad here ---> http://www.autogeek.net/elwhshfipopa.html and Meguiar"s #49, Oxidation Remover- Heavy Duty Cleaner. This came recommended from a local marine detailer. Set the speed at 1500rpm and did just as the video above shows. Back and forth and up and down, ALWAYS moving. Holy crap what a difference! Some of the scratches were deeper than I thought though. So I repeated. Then I followed this up with a white pad and Mequiar's #45 High Gloss Polish. AMAZING! For the final finish a blue pad (a red pad would work great as well) and Mequiar's #56 Pure Wax. I was floored at how good it looked and felt! It felt like soft butter and you couldn't tell anything had ever happened! I am by no means a professional but this worked out like a pro had done it. As whacked as this may seem to some it looks brand new!
 

mark_m

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As promised, here is the cheapskate's video on how to make a boat shine. Remember, my boat is kept in pristine condition so I don't have to deal with oxidation, scratches, etc. Keep in mind with one of those high priced buffers, if you are not careful, you will burn right through the gel coat with the high speed, dual action buffers. That is why there is a benefit both in cost and no damage to your boat, in using a simple low priced buffer as I do. It is called GEL coat for a reason. A car finish is not gel coat and there is a huge difference between these two type of finishes. You definitely want to use a high priced buffer on a car, but I pay someone to detail my cars. Boats? Soft surface? Keep it simple and safe. No need for the high priced equipment, as you will see. At the end of the video, I give a shout out to Totally Awesome cleaner, the cleaner the high priced "name" cleaners do not want you to know about.

@OCMD please help me remember to pickup that local wax when I come to MD
 

Murf'n'surf

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As promised, here is the cheapskate's video on how to make a boat shine. Remember, my boat is kept in pristine condition so I don't have to deal with oxidation, scratches, etc. Keep in mind with one of those high priced buffers, if you are not careful, you will burn right through the gel coat with the high speed, dual action buffers. That is why there is a benefit both in cost and no damage to your boat, in using a simple low priced buffer as I do. It is called GEL coat for a reason. A car finish is not gel coat and there is a huge difference between these two type of finishes. You definitely want to use a high priced buffer on a car, but I pay someone to detail my cars. Boats? Soft surface? Keep it simple and safe. No need for the high priced equipment, as you will see. At the end of the video, I give a shout out to Totally Awesome cleaner, the cleaner the high priced "name" cleaners do not want you to know about.

Your statement about DA polishers being able to damage your gel coat is incorrect. Please don't take this as a personal attack, just clarifying this for anyone who might reference this thread. I have been polishing boats, yachts, PWC's, exotic cars and anything else that needs a shine for a little over 15 years. DA polishers will not and can not damage your gelcoat or car finish unless the operator willfully and stupidly holds the pad in one spot for a loooong time and creates a burn mark. Even then the power of the DA shouldn't create major damage. Conversely, if someone picks up a rotary buffer with a wool pad, they can burn through any type of finish in no time flat! As with any tool new to you..... Take your time and use your head, stay away from edges where the gel and paint are thinner and work neatly as waxes and polishes can damage nearby surfaces like black plastic.
 
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