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  #11  
Old 10-14-2012, 12:09 PM
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TX Wind TX Wind is offline
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DO NOT paint a boat.....bad idea....especially one like yours that is getting worth more, not less.

Boats are gel coated for a reason and not because it's cheaper. It's not. It can be a real pain to work with gel coat but it has glorious advantages. When it fades, it does not have to be repainted or re gel coated. Some wet sanding and buffing will bring it back to new and it is far more durable than paint.

So...for the chipped places on your boat taping and sanding is a good start. Remember that gel coat has to be cut off from the air or it won't dry. This is done by covering it with wax paper and taping the edges off on small spots or misting on form release on larger pieces. Do NOT do both. It is an either or kind of thing.

Before you do any gel repair:
You should give your boat a good 3 part compounding to remove oxidized gel and bring back the color as close to original as possible. If you don't, the gel repairs will fade and not match the boat in a few weeks or months but typically about 8 weeks or so in my experience. I recommend the 3M products and your boat doesn't appear overly oxidized from the photos so no wet sanding.

This is how I do it:

Wash boat with dish soap and water

Compound with 3M Heavy Duty Rubbing Compound and wool wheel with rotary buffer at 1600-2000 RPM

Do NOT wash boat. Use a clean wool wheel and 3M Clean and Glaze same buffer and speed. For deeper shine switch to foam wheel and go over boat or use an orbital buffer with wool then foam wheel. The more you do this step the more it typically shines.

Apply 3M Marine wax with UV inhibitors with an orbital buffer.


After you have completed the buffing process, your arms should feel like they are going to fall off. That's how you know you got it right because it takes 12-16 hours to do. But....many of the scratches that are so prevalent on your boat now will disappear. You will be surprised how much better it can look. In fact, your boat will almost look like new. A good way to tell how close is peel back one of your CF numbers.

Also....you can not use an orbital buffer to compound with. Rotary buffers look like grinders but spin much slower. They can be bought for less than a hundred bucks for a cheap to midrange one or 200-250 for a pro grade one. Orbital buffers can be had at Wal Mart for less than 30 bucks. I suggest a rotary buffer with variable speeds. I turn mine way down and apply the compound to the wheel of my buffer. It helps keep it from throwing the compound off. Then I slowly speed it up once the compound is spread.

Also....the scratches on the front of your boat may compound out a great deal. If they don't, you can tape and sand them just like the chip marks and apply gel coat.

Hope that helps...
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  #12  
Old 10-14-2012, 12:18 PM
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TX Wind TX Wind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg205 View Post
You can try to match up the gel coat and blend and keep the blue. Lot's of sources for gel coat. Nice thing about gel coat is that it cures in the same color as wet....so you can mix test and mix until you match color and then add the hardener...

Then you can fix just what's needed. The remaining the gel can be refinished...there are many threads here showing and describing the process and supplies needed.
BE SURE TO COMPOUND OUT THE GENERAL AREA TO REMOVE OXIDATION FIRST.
If you don't you're new gel will fade and not match later. But the answer on the scratches I see is no you don't have to sand down to the glass.

Gel coat is a polyester resin just like fiber glass is so it's not like painting a surface where the paint is dissimilar in quality to the surface being painted. In the factory, the gel is sprayed into the mold first, then the fiberglass is hand layered on top of the cured gel coat. Saves tons of sanding time.
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  #13  
Old 10-14-2012, 03:14 PM
mctristar mctristar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg205 View Post
You can try to match up the gel coat and blend and keep the blue. Lot's of sources for gel coat. Nice thing about gel coat is that it cures in the same color as wet....so you can mix test and mix until you match color and then add the hardener...

Then you can fix just what's needed. The remaining the gel can be refinished...there are many threads here showing and describing the process and supplies needed.

Are you considering ever adding a real windshield?
i have been searching through numerous threads but all i have found is people refinishing, like wet sanding and such, none where someone is blending coats.

and yes lmao im getting a windshield, the one that was on there when i bought the boat was cracked right down the middle, im having a local plastic place make me a new one.
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  #14  
Old 10-14-2012, 03:20 PM
mctristar mctristar is offline
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im going to buy a rotary buffer as the hull needs to be buffed out too and i know it will clean up great. i just wasnt sure about all the scratches on the blue.

ill try the buffing method first and ill post up the results

any other tips are always appreciated
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  #15  
Old 10-14-2012, 03:21 PM
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mikeg205 mikeg205 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mctristar View Post
i have been searching through numerous threads but all i have found is people refinishing, like wet sanding and such, none where someone is blending coats.

and yes lmao im getting a windshield, the one that was on there when i bought the boat was cracked right down the middle, im having a local plastic place make me a new one.
Blending is an art..

This is video I saw a year ago... it gives you the basis to start gel coat repair...there are tons video's on youtube...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZxyrxIC2Ts
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  #16  
Old 10-15-2012, 05:47 PM
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Blending won't be so bad if you buff it first. Small areas are pretty easy to fix and some scratches that won't buff out can be lightly sanded out. It's not as bad as you think. But absolutely buff it first. It's a must. My local fiberglass guy says the same thing.
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  #17  
Old 10-15-2012, 09:38 PM
mctristar mctristar is offline
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sweet im getting the supplies together this week
im going with the 3m heavy duty compound followed up with the 3m finese II, then some wax.

i know to use wool for the buffing, but is there any special foam pad i should get for the finese and waxing stage?

Last edited by mctristar; 10-16-2012 at 12:00 AM.
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  #18  
Old 10-16-2012, 02:58 PM
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TX Wind TX Wind is offline
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I've never tried the finesse. I always used clean and glaze by 3M. You can use a foam pad but I prefer to use wool initially, then if you prefer, switch to foam and it will improve the shine, then use an orbital and it will get even better. The more you do it, the better it looks.

Also...a quick tip for when you are in the first step and compounding. If you wet your finger and mark the hull and the color changes, you still have oxidation. You may still have it anyway but you're getting close if the color doesn't change when wet. Also...it should be like a mirror that you can read a paper in practically. Otherwise, you need to buff more. If you don't get the oxidation all out (and blue oxidizes badly) it will haze when you put the wax on rather than getting a deep shine. And....your boat should be shining like crazy by the time you are ready to wax it. Wax doesn't make it shine...shine makes it shine. Wax just protects it. I don't like to wash the compound off between the first and second steps either. It is supposed to work in conjunction with a good 2nd step compound. After that, excess should be wiped off with a chamois cloth and then waxed. Only wash in the beginning is the point.

one other tip....your wool pads can be washed with water no soap is necessary.
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  #19  
Old 10-16-2012, 11:30 PM
mctristar mctristar is offline
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cool thank you.
i saw the clean n glaze also, i think that and the finese stuff are basically the same, both are 2nd step products.
so your saying in step one compounding when i wet my finger and wipe it on the boat if it doesnt change color then i can move to step 2?
so step 2 is where the shining begins correct?
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  #20  
Old 10-17-2012, 10:35 AM
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Actually it means you're getting close. It also needs a good shine to it. I don't think your boat is that badly oxidized from the pictures but if you get to that point, it's going to look pretty good. I've found in restoration that sometimes I have to do this several times to get them back completely but that's on boats that are in bad shape. One thing is for sure, I've never done a boat in under 9 or 10 hours even if it wasn't that bad. It takes time and it's tedious. I've learned that my teenage nephew and his friends will do it for a few bucks. I let them do the heavy compounding and just do touch up.

Looks like the finesse is the right stuff but it needs a cleaner afterward to remove residual material. The compounding is the hard part and the glazing and cleaning happens much faster. The wax happens very fast as the wax is more of a protectant than a shining agent. It's also a little easier to get into the glazing because the boat starts to really shine a lot.

Here's a link that might help...it shows the sanding process. Some of those scratches may be able to be sanded out then buffed if they are not too deep.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke5kfYz9Ybw
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