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rasmithaz
10-18-2004, 03:57 PM
I am getting close to finishing the mechanical concerns on a boat I bought a few months ago and I'm getting ready to clean this boat up. I have played around a bit with vinegar and water and hand applying rubbing coumpound and wax to try to remove the water spots and faded discoloration below the water line. It hasn't worked, but now I'm going to get real serious about attacking this project. How do I start and how do I finish? I want to make this boat look as nice as some of the boat pictures I've seen posted here. I'm not afraid of work so feel free to give advice and I'll get busy. Thanks.

east tx skier
10-18-2004, 05:57 PM
I've never tried it, but I've heard a lot of people who've been pleased with the results they've gotten from snobowl toilet cleaner (you heard right) for the water spots. Others have done well with vinegar and water solutions. Just stay away from anything with bleach in it and you'll do alright. I've always used a very mild soap dilluted heavily in water as my manual recommends.

McGuire's car wax and a random orbit buffer has been highly recommended, although a hand buffing has always worked for me. A polishing compound helps, and if it doesn't, a rubbing compound will probalby do well (just make sure you work your way back up the chain to wax). I've heard people have good results with the 3M products.

Don't use armour all on the seats. Use 303 protectant. A mild soap and water (heavily dilluted) combination will usually take care of your upholstery. I hear the MasterCraft vinyl cleaner will take out the rest.

Finally, when all is said and done, put the cover on the boat, even if it's inside. Keeping the dirt off is the key to keeping it clean. When you take it out of the water. Wipe it down religiously. Wax it about twice per season.

NeilM
10-18-2004, 06:05 PM
There's a thread on the MBO site where a 50-50 mix of Hydrogen Peroxide and Lysol Toilet Bowl cleaner is recommended. Lots of positive comments from those who have tried it. (I haven't as of yet).

I've watched the detailers at the dealership spray on a commercial toilet bowl cleaner (high in Muriatic Acid) onto hulls that have literally an inch or more of algae & crud stuck to them - it dissolves in a couple of hours.

I tried a more mild ("Toilet Duck") product after picking up some algae scum on mine this summer -- didn't work well at all -- too much elbow grease... If I end up in that condition again next summer, I'm definitely going to try the 'MBO mix'.

After that, a good bottom wax, fiberglass wax, and 303 on the vinyl and you're in great shape...

MasterCrafting
10-18-2004, 07:14 PM
We had some dark river stains and we couldn't get it off very easy. We went to West Marine and they guy said "this is some strong S**t it should take care of ya" he advised that you be very careful when using it. I would recomend it... but put a bag over your metal parts because it corrodes them almost instantly. what is this mystery solution? On-Off it did the whole boat in 5 mins. Its factory white again!

Ric
10-18-2004, 07:23 PM
I've used bathroom cleaner like x7 and even a lysol brand that worked and yes it is WORK because you must wax afterward. Think of it this way, you've cleaned the surface of the gelcoat so clean that it now needs something to protect the porous surface from crudding up again.

Thrall
10-19-2004, 10:03 AM
There are many excellent methods for cleaning up the gel coat, as posted above. The fading, though, is oxidation and will need to be compounded and polished out. There are other threads that explain what is needed to do this.

rasmithaz
10-19-2004, 10:34 PM
Thrall... are you cleaning off the same apache lake stuff I am? I think I read everything and this is what I got. This is in addition to the above posts. McGuires no. 49 Heavy duty Oxidation and Scratch remover. 3M Industrial Marine Grade Buffing Compound then seal with 3M Finesse It or McGuires Mirror Glaze. 3M Marine Fiberglass Restorer/Wax then seal with 3M Ultra High Performance Wax. If you have a small scratch you can use 2400 and 3600 micro mesh sandpaper soaked overnight in water. Carpet cleaning looks like Woolite with oxyclean or 409 Spray carpet cleaner. Upholstery protectant 303..Is there a brand name and where do you buy it? Will a 1650 RPM Craftsman electric 6" Polisher do the trick on the rubbing compounds and wax buffing or do I have to increase to a 2500 or above polisher?

east tx skier
10-20-2004, 11:35 AM
You can get the 303 at Overtons.

Tgchrist
10-20-2004, 10:40 PM
If the gelcoat is highly faded definitely go with the Mequires,49. Light fade go with color restorer, 44. Then the 3M finnesse it and 3M high performance wax. I have used a lot of different waxes and the 3M is the best. Good Luck.

captkidd
10-21-2004, 11:21 AM
Where do you find the Meguiar's 49?

wesgardner
10-29-2004, 02:31 PM
Below the waterline - for STAINS use "On and Off" available at West Marine

Above the waterline - compound and wax

Upholstry - Soft Scrub w/ Bleach (green label) leave it on a while - works very well - don't make a habit of it - follow with 303...


Wes

east tx skier
10-29-2004, 03:42 PM
I wouldn't suggest you use any bleach products on the vinyl. Just my $.02.

Thrall
11-01-2004, 09:40 AM
rasmithaz,
Yeah, I've been cleaning the same cr@p off my boat every frickin weekend all year. Actually I was at Apache 2 weeks ago, and the water's much cleaner now. Nothing but water spots on the boat. All summer Canyon and Saguaro would leave a major slime line around the boat and some preatty hellacious waterspots. For daily cleanup, I just use vinegar and water, which works quite well as long as the boat is waxed regularly.
(Side note: Up in Northern WI for labor day and my buddy from IL brought up his boat, black gel coat on the sides of the hull. Left the boat in the water for 3 days and when we pulled it out there wasn't a water spot one on the boat. He started wiping it down and you couldn't tell where it was wiped off and where it was not! That's some nice water.)
I posted on another thread about the procedure I used for polishing up my boat. Looks like you're on the right track. A low speed buffer will work much better than doing it by hand, but the higher the speed, the quicker it will go. When I did my boat this spring after buying it, one side was badly oxidized and it had quite a few light scratches. I spent 2 good 12 hr + days wetsanding, buffing and polishing. And that was with a professional air polisher 3300 rpms I think. If you have a good compressor, I would reccomend spending the money on an air polisher and the correct pads for buffing and polishing. It'll set you back about $150, but they'll be good forever and works on your boat and cars. I'll try to bring up the other thread!
Edit: Give it a shot w/ your polisher first though, it'll still be way better than by hand. If it is taking too long for you, you can get an elect polisher that runs a little higher rpms (looks like an angle grinder) and this will work as well as the more expensive ones, just won't last as long. Before I got my air polisher, the electric ones would last for only 3 or 4 complete jobs (buff and polish out a wetsanded car). Make sure that you get a good quality wool pad, as well.

Thrall
11-01-2004, 09:56 AM
Check out the "Painting my MC" thread in General Discussion. This is the procedure I used, and the same procedure I use on autos as well. It works quite well and you can get rid of any surface scratches, blemishes, fading, etc; short of dep scratches or gouges that are thru the gelcoat or real deep (don't want to sand off 3/4 of the gel coat just to remove a scratch).
Be patient though, you have to cover the same area in multiple steps and cheating on any of the steps will not get you the desired results.
If you live close to Gilbert, give me a shout and I can give you some pointers.

rasmithaz
11-02-2004, 11:06 AM
Thrall...I started the boat cleaning a couple of weeks ago. I gave the boat a good soap and water washing after I removed all of the grease on the fiberglass from the mechanical work that I finally finished ( I still haven't put this boat in the water yet). After the washing I had some water spots that have probably been there for two years, thick white calcium looking bottom crud and oxidation that has faded the color below the water line on only the starboard side. I read somewhere to use Zep Lime and Calcium Remover. I ordered a gallon on the internet and sprayed a small amount of full strength on the bottom crud and it bubbled up and that stuff started falling off. I sprayed a couple times and hosed it off and it took it all off. I started vinegar and water cleaning in increasing strengths and and finally got all of the water spots out except on the top of the Mastercraft decal on the port side. I hit that area and the oxidation by hand rubbing 3M medium cut rubbing coumpound. Water spots gone but oxidation unchanged. Buffed oxidation with 1650 rpm polisher using same medium cut coumpound. I didn't wax it right away and it all came back. I then hand rubbed the coumpound again and waxed it twice right away. The faded color is creeping back. I am going to step up the coumpound strength using the same polisher next. I am way over 24 beers.

Thrall
11-02-2004, 11:53 AM
ras,
The 3M medium cut, i think is the same as I used. On the back, it should say "to remove 1200 grit scratches......". That wont shine it up by itself. After compounding, you need to machine polish it to take out the rubbing compound scratches. Then wax. The low speed polisher may take it longer to achieve your goal too.
Diractions say to apply, buff/polish until all compound disappears.
I usually do this twice for each area, and in the middle of each application sprinkle a little water on the pad to bring up the compound again. Kinda like 4 passes.
I'm no gel coat expert, but I noticed that on the worst area of my boat, it did start to oxidize again slightly (dark color) after about 6wks (in the water every weekend, w/ no wax for that time period). I polished out that small area and it's held fine now for several months.
I think I specified the materials in my other post in the "Gen Discuss" section. Otherwise, go to any good auto body supply shop and tell them what you want to do. They'll fix you up w/ the right stuff.

rasmithaz
11-02-2004, 02:29 PM
Hey thrall.....When you say "after coumpounding, you need to machine polish it to take out the rubbing coumpound scratches" are you doing this with a clean dry pad and sprinkle water on the pad after the first run or do you use something else on the pad ? I have spoken with auto body shops and auto paint distributers here in tucson and nobody talks boat fiberglass. The only recommendations I have gotten are heavy duty abrasive marine rubbing coumpounds. I want to slowly work up into stronger products and stop when it looks good.

Thrall
11-02-2004, 03:26 PM
ras,
Read the thread in General Discussion " Paint my MC" it has a detailed list of the process.
Compounding (rubbing compound) is the first step for heavy oxidation removal. (2x on each area if necessary, wet the pad a little during each time). This is also the next step after wet sanding to remove scratches.
After this, the surface will still not be as shiny as it should be. Next step: Polishing compound. Same process as rubbing compound except 1 step finer abraisiv
If you're super picky w/ dark colors, machine glaze is 1 step finer than polishing, same process again (takes out any swirl marks). Not really necessary though. IMO
Then Wax.
Make sure you thoroughly clean the surface and the pad between stages.
If you're talking to autobody guys, it's the same process as sanding, buffing and polishing a car.
Edit:
After reading your post again, yes you will have to start with heavy abraisive rubbing compound. Then work your way finer, polish, to get the shine.
Don't be too worried about hurting your gel coat.
1. it's considerably thicker than car paint
2. keep the buffer moving all the time and you won't burn through
3. don't run the buffer directly against corners or sharp edges. As you are buffing, these areas will get hit enough to clean them up. If not, just run the buffer over them lightly. These will be the first to burn through if you use heavy pressure on them.

Todd Brosius
11-14-2004, 08:01 PM
Has anyone tried the product "Zing?" It contains an acid that seems to really eat the water spots. Pros - Cons. Obviously followed by a premium wax.

JimN
11-14-2004, 09:58 PM
Zing works fine, but if you can do it without using acid, the process wont involve as many other parts and systems. If the Zing gets on any bare metal, it rusts. If it gets on and cracked or peeling paint, it speeds the cycle and it will peel faster and then rust. Electrical contacts, brake parts, etc.

Another thing, make sure you use the Zing for fiberglass, not aluminum. I don't remember which comes in the blue bottle or the red one but it shows what it should be used for right on the bottle.

Thrall
03-07-2005, 11:20 AM
back to the top

mika
03-09-2005, 02:55 PM
I can remember trying to work the shine back into a boat we had about 12 years ago. And yes it is a ton of work. All the materials listed here work very well. It is a trial and error process to see what works better for you. I just offer a simple suggestion. Once you get the shine back the fun starts. That fun is to keep it. Here is what I have done and it has worked perfect so far. I am lucky enough to have a boat hoist so the bottom is nerver an issue for me. But the sides are another story. When we got our MC in 98 the very first thing we did was had what is called a waterline cover made for it. I think it cost like 350 to 400 bucks. Well a waterline cover or at least this one covers the top and the sides and back. It is the ultimate in protection. We had a local cover shop custom make it. Money well spent. Have been told countless times that we have the cleanest PS 190 around. The cover can be a handful to put on some times but with it weight on gold.

Hoosier Bob
07-04-2005, 06:06 PM
Wow! Nothing but water spots after every run. A friend said to try Heinz Distilled White Vinegar. Already mixed in a 1/2 gallon jug ready for the spray bottle. Removed all spots including old spots off of everything. Stainless and all other metal is "spotless." No spots on the hull or rail. After every day out spray and wipe and remains perfect. Even appears to leave behind the wax. Clear and smooth finish is easily waxed. So far works excellent. If anyone knows of any problems with this, other than always smelling like an "easter Egg" please let me know.

lakes Rick
07-04-2005, 06:41 PM
My anal friend spends HOURS buffing all of his cars, boats and hot rods.. He has an older sanger day cruiser V-drive that he has been really frustrated with bringing out the shine.. Now let me say you and I would think its just fine, but he is a buffing addict..

He has used all the above methods and has recently encountered something new recommended to him by some fiberglass guru..

All of the above methods are for PAINTED surfaces and we have a GEL coat surface.. The guru got him some metal polish and he told me that his boat has never shined like it does now.. The can actually said " Metal and fiberglass polish".. He also got another lead that following it up with Jewelers Rouge on a buffing wheel will really shine it.. All waxes will work, as they are just a protectant, unlike compounds and polishes.... Just my 02 cents....

Davo
07-06-2005, 03:18 PM
Interesting.

I just did a polish and wax this last Saturday on my '02. Overall, the gel coat is in good shape, but the transom had some oxidation and I couldn't get it to look as good as the rest of the boat. I hit it twice with the 3M Polisher and Wax for heavy oxidation using an orbital mostly. I attempted to use a Makita high speed on about 2000 rpm, but I was sketched out and thought I was doing more harm than good. I did follow up with Trewax Boat Wax (carnuba).

I was just thinking the transom could look a little better and wasn't sure how "hard" to polish it. :rolleyes:

Jorski
07-07-2005, 08:36 AM
My anal friend spends HOURS buffing all of his cars, boats and hot rods.. He has an older sanger day cruiser V-drive that he has been really frustrated with bringing out the shine.. Now let me say you and I would think its just fine, but he is a buffing addict..

He has used all the above methods and has recently encountered something new recommended to him by some fiberglass guru..

All of the above methods are for PAINTED surfaces and we have a GEL coat surface.. The guru got him some metal polish and he told me that his boat has never shined like it does now.. The can actually said " Metal and fiberglass polish".. He also got another lead that following it up with Jewelers Rouge on a buffing wheel will really shine it.. All waxes will work, as they are just a protectant, unlike compounds and polishes.... Just my 02 cents....
I have tried Flitz (http://www.flitz.com/) and it works well, but it is just an abrasive, it seemed to be very similar to rubbing compound.

Crash
07-25-2005, 01:31 PM
Last weekend I tried a chemical my neighbor (Malibu driver) uses on his baby all the time to clean the scum stain (Fox River) off the hull. I was shocked!!!!! It wiped right off!! (Actually the slower you wipe the cleaner it gets.) I had no idea my hull was that white! Ever since I bought it, it always had a slight off white look to it and I thought thats what color it was. The week before, it was sitting in a scum creek and stained the hull pretty bad so I tried it. It's 50% Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner and 50% Hydrogen Peroxide. Just in case... I immediately washed down and wiped with vinger, soon to follow with wax.

Sorry for the crappy picture quality...

BuoyChaser
10-20-2005, 03:13 PM
[QUOTE=Crash]50% Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner and 50% Hydrogen Peroxide[QUOTE]

i'll have to pass this on to my friends who are too CHEAP to buy a LIFT!!!instead they spend all summer wasting precious elbow grease that should be spent in the course...

wetback
10-25-2005, 07:21 PM
Do you guys clean and wax the bottom of the boat? If I don't have a hoist, how do I do it? Do I role around under the trailer for a while?

X-45
10-25-2005, 07:46 PM
Do you guys clean and wax the bottom of the boat? If I don't have a hoist, how do I do it? Do I role around under the trailer for a while?


Yap, nothing like getting face to face under your boat. :D

wetback
10-26-2005, 12:19 PM
How about where the trailer bunks are, any tricks to waxing under those, or does that strip of boat just miss out on the waxing.