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Mardimus

Gel Coat Restore

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Mardimus

I purchased a 2009 Malibu 23 LSV Wakesetter in May from a friend with only 80 hours on it.  The only issues with the boat, and its immaculate, are the Gel Coat, Stereo (posted in stereo thread) and the ballast pumps (posted in ballast thread).  The boat is awesome but before the end of the summer I need to restore this gel coat.  Looking for help and tips as I have researched a ton and feel like I am spending way to much time or quality time and need some reassurance.  Here we go... 

So I purchased the following from Performance Boat Candy ( http://www.performanceboatcandy.com):

1.) Performance Boat Candy™ Crystal Cut Extreme Compound (http://www.performanceboatcandy.com/shop/Boat-Care-Products/Crystal-Cut-Extreme-Compound.html)

2.) Performance Boat Candy - Crystal Cut Polish (http://www.performanceboatcandy.com/shop/Boat-Care-Products/Crystal-Cut-Polish.html)

3.) Performance Boat Candy - Crystal Gloss (http://www.performanceboatcandy.com/shop/Boat-Care-Products/Crystal-Gloss.html)

4.) Performance Boat Candy - Speed Gloss (http://www.performanceboatcandy.com/shop/Boat-Care-Products/Speed-Gloss.html)

Buffing pads from Amazon: TCP Global Ultimate 6 Pad Buffing and Polishing Kit with 6-8" Pads; 5 Waffle Foam & 1 Wool Grip Pads and a 5/8" Threaded Polisher Grip Backing Plate (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040HA9Y6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

I own a Porter Cable Dual-Action Polsher/Buffer (http://www.performanceboatcandy.com/shop/Polishers-and-Pads/Porter-Cable-Dual-Action-Polsher-Buffer.html)  

and a Harbor Freight  7 in. 10 Amp Heavy Duty Digital Variable Speed Polisher (https://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/polishers/7-in-10-amp-heavy-duty-digital-variable-speed-polisher-62297.html)

I started with a damp (spray bottle dampening) wool pad and the Crystal Cut Extreme Compound from PBC using my porter cable.  It did very little and no red color on the wool pad.  I next moved up to the Harbor Freight polisher at 1000rpm. Still no color on the wool pad and it didn't do anything to the gel coat.  I then upped the speed a bit to 1500 and then 2000 only to see very little color on the wool pad and an hour and a half gone in my 2 foot by 2 foot section.  Next I picked up some muriatic acid and diluted it and sprayed a small area.  hosed it off after 3 min and nothing happened.  Used an undiluted amount and again left it for a a couple minutes with no change.  Moved on to the hard labor.  

Next I went to the home depot and picked up a carton of 600 grit and 800 grit wet sand paper.  I masked off a two foot by two foot section and started to go at it by hand.  Lots of color flowing off (looked like I went nuts with red paint) and finally it started to match the upper color and sheen on the boat.  I then used my Porter Cable Dual Action with a brown foam pad and the extreme cut to shine it up even more, followed by the blue pad and the cut polish, and then again with the gloss.  It took a long time to get through the 2x2 area.  Pics below.  No swirl marks and it looks good.  I will remove the metal Malibu logo and tape off some of the metal parts, etc.  Getting in between the decal will be interesting.  

So I am asking all of you from a newbie to this gel coat restore what am i doing right or wrong and how can I improve?  

 

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Cole2001

If you’re getting good results I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. I’m no expert that’s for sure but just make sure you aren’t taking it too far and taking away the finish. 

Nice work!

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boardjnky4

That looks good to me! It’s all about finding a process that works for you.

personally, I use a long throw dual action polisher with Lake Country purple wool pad for compounding, and lake country hybrid foam green or white pad for polishing. I’ve had good results with 3m super duty compound on the purple pad. And I’ve had good luck with finesse it polish and chemical guys gel coat restorer on the green or white pad.

You may end up needing to just replace those decals so you can get underneath them.

Edited by boardjnky4

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Mardimus
9 hours ago, Cole2001 said:

If you’re getting good results I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. I’m no expert that’s for sure but just make sure you aren’t taking it too far and taking away the finish. 

Nice work!

Thanks man.  much appreciated.

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Mardimus
1 hour ago, boardjnky4 said:

That looks good to me! It’s all about finding a process that works for you.

personally, I use a long throw dual action polisher with Lake Country purple wool pad for compounding, and lake country hybrid foam green or white pad for polishing. I’ve had good results with 3m super duty compound on the purple pad. And I’ve had good luck with finesse it polish and chemical guys gel coat restorer on the green or white pad.

You may end up needing to just replace those decals so you can get underneath them.

I might give your process a try.  I have a whole boat to do and the wet sanding is going to be a lot of work.  Which is fine as i don't mind the work but I will do a better job of up keep compared to previous owner. 

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boardjnky4
17 minutes ago, Mardimus said:

I might give your process a try.  I have a whole boat to do and the wet sanding is going to be a lot of work.  Which is fine as i don't mind the work but I will do a better job of up keep compared to previous owner. 

You may still have to wetsand that. It'll be easier to wetsand if you don't have to go around the decals.

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Mardimus
26 minutes ago, boardjnky4 said:

You may still have to wetsand that. It'll be easier to wetsand if you don't have to go around the decals.

Where do you all purchase the decals from?  Your so right though,  it would be much easier.  :)

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boardjnky4

This is the polisher that I have. The 21mm throw is really what helps it cut quickly as a DA. Most smaller throw DA machines won't cut powerfully on gelcoat. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y2BTGYT/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also put this backing plate on it, so that I can use 5.5" pads. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IXAIW94/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Mardimus
28 minutes ago, boardjnky4 said:

This is the polisher that I have. The 21mm throw is really what helps it cut quickly as a DA. Most smaller throw DA machines won't cut powerfully on gelcoat. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y2BTGYT/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also put this backing plate on it, so that I can use 5.5" pads. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IXAIW94/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Looking at Long throw polishers now. This is opening up a whole new obsession as I am also in the process of waxing and polishing my truck (other autos too) and I take frequent trips to Griots garage. Expensive obsession on the rise. Lol

Thanka for the links. 

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boardjnky4
1 minute ago, Mardimus said:

Looking at Long throw polishers now. This is opening up a whole new obsession as I am also in the process of waxing and polishing my truck (other autos too) and I take frequent trips to Griots garage. Expensive obsession on the rise. Lol

Thanka for the links. 

Oh trust me, I'm right there with ya.

This guy is annoying, but this is a pro talking about the above knock-off Long Throw 

 

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hunter77ah
9 minutes ago, Mardimus said:

Looking at Long throw polishers now. This is opening up a whole new obsession as I am also in the process of waxing and polishing my truck (other autos too) and I take frequent trips to Griots garage. Expensive obsession on the rise. Lol

Thanka for the links. 

I know the feeling.  I bought a griots garage DA for a quick project.  Now I want to polish EVERYTHING!

Edited by hunter77ah

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Mardimus
5 hours ago, boardjnky4 said:

That looks good to me! It’s all about finding a process that works for you.

personally, I use a long throw dual action polisher with Lake Country purple wool pad for compounding, and lake country hybrid foam green or white pad for polishing. I’ve had good results with 3m super duty compound on the purple pad. And I’ve had good luck with finesse it polish and chemical guys gel coat restorer on the green or white pad.

You may end up needing to just replace those decals so you can get underneath them.

Ordered the pads of Amazon. Got aloce Prime!!!  

As for the 3M Finesse-it polish, is this the correct stuff: 3M 05928 Finesse-It II Machine Polish - 1 Quart https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006GBTP8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_AsBDBb6V92F0H

and chemical guys:  Chemical Guys MBW11016 Marine and Boat Revive Polish (16 oz) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014VXPVVY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_nuBDBb8NJVH1T

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Mardimus
12 minutes ago, hunter77ah said:

I know the feeling.  I bought a griots garage DA for a quick project.  Now I want to polish EVERYTHING!

Yeah I am headed there this weekend for some product. Might be dropping a few bills on a new DA. Lol 

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Mardimus
22 minutes ago, boardjnky4 said:

Oh trust me, I'm right there with ya.

This guy is annoying, but this is a pro talking about the above knock-off Long Throw 

 

I watched that just now. Thanks. Intriguing and your right annoying. Lol. 

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boardjnky4
34 minutes ago, Mardimus said:

Ordered the pads of Amazon. Got aloce Prime!!!  

As for the 3M Finesse-it polish, is this the correct stuff: 3M 05928 Finesse-It II Machine Polish - 1 Quart https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006GBTP8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_AsBDBb6V92F0H

and chemical guys:  Chemical Guys MBW11016 Marine and Boat Revive Polish (16 oz) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014VXPVVY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_nuBDBb8NJVH1T

Correct on both accounts. I'm guessing that some of what you already have might be super similar, though.

Edited by boardjnky4

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Mardimus
21 minutes ago, boardjnky4 said:

Correct on both accounts. I'm guessing that some of what you already have might be super similar, though.

Probably but not super expensive and might be worth checking out. Just want to make sure I have the correct product. 

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