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mtnbkr738

How to Buff out my Sunsetter

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mtnbkr738

Hi, Can someone help me with a step by step procedure on how to buff out my boat? Never done it before, so i need to know what to buy and how to do it. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

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vigwilson

I started off with a harbor freight buffer, used it for 3 years now and still running great. You definitely want this style not one of those from walmart. High speed buffer is where its at. Use wool for polish and compound, and foam for wax. Depending if there is little fading or oxidation, a polish should handle it. If its really bad start with a rubbing compound. Two separate wool wheels one for polish other for compound, unless you wash between application. From there read the directions on the back of the products. A basic list is

High speed buffer, polisher from harbor freight around $30, you don't need a 400 dollar wheel I don't care what people say

Wool Wheels

Foam wheel

Rubbing Compound

Polish

Wax

To be honest I don't even use fancy polish or compound. I use walmarts turtle wax stuff in a green and black squeeze bottle.

Wax is where you put your money. I use meguires flagship marine wax from cabelas. Heard good things about collinites too.

And a lot of labor, time, persistence. :thumbup:

On a side not. Gelcoat is tough, buff with care but don't be scared of it! Boats are very easy to learn on, gel coat is tough thick stuff. I have wet sanded out some deeeeep scratches before compounding,polishing, waxing and never went all the way through

Edited by vigwilson

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Jimmy Buffett

I use the same procedure. I prefer regular turtle wax rubbing compound, 3M Finesse It II Finishing Compound for polish, and 3M Marine Paste Wax but I'm sure other products work just fine too. The 3M Wax looks great but it makes the top deck too slippery, so I use something else above the rubrail (just can't remember the name).

You can also buff out scuff marks from the rub rail with wet #0000 steel wool and some wax.

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05hammerhead

So, Ive heard from a number of different places that I needed to get a porter cable buffer/polisher (Which run like $120) but you guys are pointing out youre using $15 palm buffers. So whats the real story?

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Asmodeus2112

I'm no expert, but I just bought this because I'm cheap. http://www.harborfreight.com/6-in-variable-speed-dual-action-polisher-69924.html

It makes the pad go round, but I'm sure the Porter Cable is better. For half the price I'm willing to take the chance. Seems like everything I go to do to the boat will cost 200+ dollars, so I try to make my decisions carefully and this seemed like an ok place to save a bit of money.

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Bill_AirJunky

So, Ive heard from a number of different places that I needed to get a porter cable buffer/polisher (Which run like $120) but you guys are pointing out youre using $15 palm buffers. So whats the real story?

The real story is I'm too cheap to buy the real tool if I'm only going to use it once a year. I've used that palm buffer like 5 or 6 times over the last 5 or 6 yrs & it's been great.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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jk13

If it's bad (chalky) you'll need a rotary buffer, not a DA polisher.

Wet sanded and polished mine. Can't imagine how long it would have taken with a DA. Good news is gel coat is nearly impossible to burn through--just keep the tool moving and use enough product. Experiment on small areas until you figure out how all the stuff you bought works best together.

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vigwilson

Like I said 30 or 40 dollar polisher from the harbor freight and never look back. Especially for rough looking gel coat. It's never let me down after probably around 40 hours on it. It's variable speed. Makes it nice speed it up for polishing slow it down for wax. Mines a ten inch wheel or so

Slide44.PNG

Edited by vigwilson

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mtnbkr738

Hey thx for the help--QUESTION - where is best place to buy the compounds and wool pads etc? marina or online or ?? thx!

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jk13

If you have a local body shop supply store, otherwise Car Quest auto parts stores usually have a good selection around here.

How bad is it and what colors?

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vigwilson

Hey thx for the help--QUESTION - where is best place to buy the compounds and wool pads etc? marina or online or ?? thx!

If your going cheap, like I did. Opt for the harbor freight stuff. wool pads, foam pad. Ive been using the same stuff for 3 years and bought it for minimal expense. I hit the good old wally world for compound/polish but that's up to you. Cabelas is the only place around me with marine wax I don't have the luxury or boat dealers or boat parts stores. That would be too convenient apparently!

If you go with the hand polisher I think you use the one wheel it comes with then use cloth bonnets to cover it. Those at the Wally World too

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Bill_AirJunky

..........is the only place around me with marine wax I don't have the luxury or boat dealers or boat parts stores. That would be too convenient apparently!

Get on Amazon & check on prices. 303 Repellent is $33 for the 32 oz bottle at my local upholstery shop. Or $20 shipped on Amazon.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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Michigan boarder

How bad is it and what colors?

That's what I was thinking, can you post up some pics?

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rennis

I have a Porter Cable that I use - I skipped the Harbor Freight equivalent because I use it a lot (I detail the boat annually, and 4 cars as well.) And when your friends find out you have a polisher, they will ask to borrow it, believe me. Mine gets used a LOT.

I use polishing pads from Griot's for applying compounds or polishes, and always just apply the wax by hand. I've used the 3M Finesse It with good results, with a good coat of marine wax over the top - lots of options there.

I plan on using 3M Marine Compound this year too - there was some stubborn water spotting/fading in certain spots in the Gel the Finesse It could not tackle last year.

Whenever you start - be sure to strip off any existing wax ( washing with dish soap is a common method) and attempt to remove any surface contaminents from the gel coat before you start polishing. In automotive circles, this is accomplished by clay-barring. I'm not sure what the preferred method is for gel coat.

Before you go to town on the hull, take the time to mask off bits and pieces you won't want to polish. Emblems, windshield frame, etc.

Edited by rennis

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TNWILSON

I have this (http://www.autogeek.net/porter-cable-7424xp.html) works pretty well. Don't expect a miracle though...if your gel is chalky or has a lot of surface scratches it will NOT remove them...even with the extreme cut from PBC. I'm gonna try a buddy's rotary buffer and if that doesn't I guess I'll be doing some wet sanding. Scratches that I have are WAY to light to require gel (can't even catch a finger or even feel them hardly) but the DA just doesn't cut enough with the foam pads. Like others have said above if it's bad...rotary and wool pads. Good luck

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