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harrydunn
03-14-2008, 11:00 AM
Greetings--

Are there any affordable options for fixing these scratches? This is an extremely close-up shot of them with camera flash--they are not too noticeable from 10-15' away in normal sunlight, so any touch-up would not have to look perfect. Previous owner got a little freaky with the dock a few times it would appear. Brother's 1994 Maristar 200.

Thanks.

http://bengal.missouri.edu/~mckenziemb/DSC02030.JPG
http://bengal.missouri.edu/~mckenziemb/DSC02024.JPG
http://bengal.missouri.edu/~mckenziemb/DSC02026.JPG

BrianM
03-14-2008, 11:03 AM
That scratch looks to be sandable to me. Not that hard to do yourself for the cost of some sandpaper and compound. I had a similar scratch on my '88 that was sanded out and looked perfect.

flipper
03-14-2008, 11:09 AM
Kind of hard to tell how deep they are, but I agree with Brian. Looks like you should be able to sand them out. At least most of the scratch.

BrianM
03-14-2008, 11:16 AM
And for the how to do it here is the quick and dirty version. Search a bit and you will find multiple posts on this. I have had extremely good results with the following method.

Supplies Needed

600 grit wet dry sandpaper
1000 or 1200 grit wet dry paper
A bucket of clean water with a drop or two of dish soap in it
3m Super Duty Rubbing Compound
3m Finesse-It-II Polishing Compound
Your favorite Wax
Applicators and/or terry towels for the compound and waxes

Let your papers soak in the bucket for a few minutes to get it nice and wet. Start with the 600 grit and keeping the area very wet sand the scratch in a circular motion. Rinse with clean water often to check the progress. As soon as you see that the scratch has disappeared, stop and move to next step. If at any time you see a bit of black coming through STOP as you have sanded through the top layer of colored gel. Just pay attention and you shouldn't have a problem.

After the scratch is gone you move to the 1000 or 1200 grit paper and again sand the whole area in a circular motion removing all of the 600 grit scratches. Again keep the paper nice and wet and rinse often to check your work.

Now move to the Super Duty Compound. Apply this by hand to the entire area. The compound is progressive and will remove all of the 1000/1200 grit scratches. Work this firmly by hand until the compound has broken down. Then buff off any remaining residue with a clean cloth. I usually compound the area twice.

After compounding move to the Finesse-It. Again apply by hand to the entire area and work it really well then buff with a cloth. Two applications should bring back all of the luster to the area and blend it in nicely with the surrounding gel.

Finally finish up with a good coat of wax.

A couple of other notes. If the scratch is very light you may be able to get away with starting with the 1000 grit paper and sometimes even the compound. Always use the least agressive method possible. Also make sure you use light pressure with the paper over an area that overlaps the scratch or the previous paper so you get a nice smooth finish without a 'dimple' or 'wave' from where you sanded a very small area deeper than the surrounding gel.

I have had great success with this method. Your results may very and I take no responsibility for the outcome of using this method.

mcdoon
03-14-2008, 12:43 PM
That's a nice writeup Brian. I'll be using it in a few weeks on mine. Thanks.

park190
03-14-2008, 12:53 PM
That's a nice writeup Brian. I'll be using it in a few weeks on mine. Thanks.

Much agreed. Thanks, Brian!

bec1971
03-14-2008, 04:30 PM
I have similar scratches in my 94 225 vrs. My question is, if you can see white through the gel coat, will sanding still get them out?

Thanks

BrianM
03-14-2008, 04:33 PM
I have similar scratches in my 94 225 vrs. My question is, if you can see white through the gel coat, will sanding still get them out?

Thanks
White, the answer is generally yes, black, the answer is most definitely no. The white is just the unpolished gel. A lot of times you can get some compound and get the color to come back in the scratch although the scratch itself is still there. Generally if the scratch is just deep enough to catch a nail on you will have no problem at all sanding it out.

harrydunn
03-15-2008, 12:15 PM
Thanks. Going to give this a try this afternoon.

BrianM
03-15-2008, 12:26 PM
Thanks. Going to give this a try this afternoon.

Make sure you post a picture of the results.

harrydunn
03-17-2008, 07:47 PM
Scratches were a little too deep to be sanded out. However, we were able to remove several other lighter scratches and scuffs on the boat. Touched-up the "MasterCraft" decals as well. Removed the "Maristar 200" decals to replace with new.

Thanks.

BrianM
03-17-2008, 07:50 PM
Scratches were a little too deep to be sanded out. However, we were able to remove several other lighter scratches and scuffs on the boat. Touched-up the "MasterCraft" decals as well. Removed the "Maristar 200" decals to replace with new.

Thanks.

So how did you come to the conclusion they were too deep to be sanded? Sanding all the way to the black? :eek3: Just kidding but I am curious to hear the determination and how the method worked for you on the lighter scratches.

harrydunn
03-18-2008, 12:28 AM
Well, being new to the process of sanding gelcoats (and the fact that this was my brother's boat!), we weren't exactly sure how far down we could sand before it would be difficult to bring back the 'luster' of that particular area. We definitely gave them a lot of attention before we decided to err on the side of caustion. They were fairly deep once we looked at them. As far as the lighter scratches, your write-up worked well.

I suppose I would call the really deep ones more of a 'gouge' than a scratch. Looks like the original owner probably entered a dock-ramming contest and took at least 3rd. Do you think we should give the deep scratches another shot? It would be nice to get them out as the boat only has 237 hours on it.

jpattigr
03-18-2008, 02:20 AM
FYI, I had some deep gouges on my boat from a nail head on a dock, the scratches were over 1-2 mm deep and I never thought they would sand out, but they did!!
You would be surprised at how deep you can go, get your brother to do it himself as it is a lot of work on deep ones!!

Good luck,

BrianM
03-18-2008, 09:02 AM
As said above gel is pretty thick and generally if you cannot see black they can indeed be sanded. It is just going ot take more time with the 600. As far as bringing back the luster it is just as easy no matter how deep. The limiting factor is the depth of the scratch itself. The first scratch I had done on my old boat was long and deep. I had a professional do it but he sanded the entire thing out. I watched him do it and decided it wasn't all that difficult so read and tried some other myslf.

That said you may want to buy one of the gel goat repair kits, This will require you to mix some gel color and hardner then fill the scratch first. After you do this you will still sand to blend the areas and make everything smooth. The only problem with this method is getting the color to match. You may want to go with a profesional on this.

Grover777
03-21-2008, 04:08 PM
Thanks for this posting. I looked at a MC today. It has several of these light scratches, looks like the cover straps etc rubbed when towing. I wasnt sure if this was going to be a deal breaker or how much it should affect what I may offer.

Grover777
03-24-2008, 10:25 PM
I have attached a pic of what the majority of the scratches look like. The scratches are in the center of the picture brighter white than the biizzard I was in at the time. The blowing snow makes it look like there are more scratches.

Are these easily removed by the sanding procedures described in this thread?

Thanks

BrianM
03-24-2008, 11:12 PM
I have attached a pic of what the majority of the scratches look like. The scratches are in the center of the picture brighter white than the biizzard I was in at the time. The blowing snow makes it look like there are more scratches.

Are these easily removed by the sanding procedures described in this thread?

Thanks

A little hard to tell from those photos but they should be sandable.

Gonzo
07-08-2008, 01:46 AM
Digging one out with a question,

Brian, what about the rest of the gel coat, once you sanded out scratches, was it an obvious color difference? My gel looks pretty good but I dont know what it looked like originally, guess I could always try it and if I need to sand the whole thing down in the spring.

dapicatti
07-08-2008, 01:52 AM
BrianM
are you instructions in the FAQ? If not they should be.

BrianM
07-08-2008, 10:11 AM
Digging one out with a question,

Brian, what about the rest of the gel coat, once you sanded out scratches, was it an obvious color difference? My gel looks pretty good but I dont know what it looked like originally, guess I could always try it and if I need to sand the whole thing down in the spring.

I have never had an issue with the color blending in well but on the small places I have done the rest of the gel on the boats was nearly perfect. Unless the gel is badly oxidized you should be able to blend out pretty well with the compound and the polish. Remember that you will need to overlap each step of the process. For a small scratch you are going to end up blending out with the polish probably a minimum of 12" .

Gonzo
07-08-2008, 10:18 AM
gottcha, wetsand spot with 600, step out with 1000 or 1200to about 12" around the actual scratch... I think I have it. i have 4 or 5 in a row down one side, again PO got in a fight with the dock... that reminds me I need some firehose for my new posts :) Thanks again, Great writeup!