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Author Topic:   Detailing
simon posted 05-14-2000 09:15 AM ET (US)   Profile for simon   Send Email to simon  
Gents,
I want to start detailing my 77 outrage...just a few questions though.

1. I have hundreds of small nicks all over the boat, is their some sort of touch "paint" vice gel coat and sanding.

2. For the bottom of the boat, I am thinking of using "awl grip" or variant because I keep it on a trailer. The existing bottom paint is worn and decrepid looking.

3. What is the best way to bring out the "shine" on the boat. I plan on using a boat wax, and buff it real good.

Any suggestions?

thanks,
Pat

jimh posted 05-14-2000 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Re: repairing "nicks"

The depth of the "nick" determines the repair. The hull laminates are different colors, and guide you.

If the scratch is the same color, you're still in the gelcoat layer and you can just buff it out.

If you see bluish laminate, you're into the 'glass and you'll need to build up a simple repair.

If you see brownish material, you're into the foam and you'll need to make a major repair, possibly removing more material.

Epoxy is a good choice for structural repair. It is designed for good adhesion, it is easy to use, and it comes in small repair "kit" quantities.

For gelcoat-only repairs, or top coating the epoxy, try the SPECTRUM COLORS matched oem-color gelcoat. You can get it from West Marine.

Gelcoat can be built up much thicker than paint. It is (to me) harder to work with than epoxy. Start the gelcoat repairs in an area that doesn't show much so you can learn the technique. When you get the technique mastered, then try the high-visibility areas.

Re: bottom paint

For a trailered boat the best bottom paint is no bottom paint.

Re: "shine"

There are many products available. If really oxidized perhaps wet-sanding is the way to start, then rubbing compounds, then wax. The original gelcoat is only 18-20 mils thick, so don't sand/rub too hard!

--jim

lhg posted 05-14-2000 11:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Simon: I've been detailing Whalers for years now, and here's what I have learned, to keep my boats looking like new.

1. Bottom paint - because I keep my boats on trailers, I don't need to use it. At one time I was looking into buying a used Whaler that did have it, and wondered about having it removed. I was told that, yes, it can be removed with a special paint remover, but then I would find a "roughed-up" gelcoat surface that would need to be wet sanded and buffed back up. When bottom paint is applied to a new hull, they usually take a disc sander to it first, so that the paint will adhere, and you have to "undo" this damage.
My guess it's a big job and you have to be able to access the bottom for the work.

2. Gelcoat nicks: There is no touch-up paint you can use for this! You have to use a gelcoat patch kit like Jim has said. There's plenty of guides out there on how to fix these, including Whaler's own instructions. The most important thing that I have discovered, however, is to never use any wet sanding around the repair area courser than #400, and then wet sand back up using 600, 1000 & 1500 grades.(generally you have to get these micro-fine grades at an auto store) Ending with just 600 leaves too much rubbing work, and the repair usually can always be seen. After the 1500, use the redish auto rubbing compound, then the steps in item 3. below.

3. For gelcoat detailing (high polishing & waxing) I basically use Whaler's recommendations. They ought to know!
It's a 3 step process, and for larger areas an ORBITAL buffer is needed for a professional outcome. (Circular buffers will leave swirl marks) Don't use anything stronger than necessary to remove oxidation, since as Jim has said the gelcoat is quite thin and you can polish right through it, especially on edges & corners. If noticeable oxidation & dullness is showing, I first use Meguires #44, applying the liquid material by power, and polishing off by hand.
This stuff is not that strong, but all you need unless the hull is really trashed. If #44 doesn't cut it, only then go to something more abrasive, then come back to #44 as an additional step. Next, use 3M's "Finesse-It II" micro-finishing compound. (It's fairly pricey, but goes a long way) This is a KEY step and don't scrimp on it! Apply & polish the same way. This stuff gives the gelcoat a factory original deep gloss. Third, apply a PURE boat wax, using the same system of application by orbital buffer and polishing off by hand. I use Collinite's boat wax and find that it really lasts and shruggs off hull skum lines, etc. In future detailings, you will probably not need step one, or possibly even #2.

simon posted 05-15-2000 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for simon  Send Email to simon     
thanks guys for the gouge...A lot to think about.
lhg posted 04-05-2001 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Bringing this back up for Geroge Nagy. This should do the trick for you George!
george nagy posted 04-05-2001 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
Hey LHG if you are still in town how about giving me a hand polishing the boat this weekend. I'm just fooling thanks for the info. I was going to use a circular machine. FYI to all if your boat is bottom painted and you keep it out of the water use a paint that will last through a re-launch, I use interlux paint that exfoliates like soap. I think it is called micron csc or something, I roll it for even texture. thanks and good luck to all!
scottfarm posted 04-05-2001 06:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for scottfarm  Send Email to scottfarm     
Get a color matched gelcoat paste repair kit from Mini Craft of Florida,INC. You just get some paste out, put a few drops of hardner in it, and apply. Mine is desert tan and matches exactly. I use an automotive DA sander with 180--220--then 400 and polish. Very easy and looks great. Dennis
lhg posted 05-25-2001 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
This subject seems to be of continuing interest, and this thread hard to find. So here it is again.

The final step, pure wax, that I use is Collonite's #925 Fiberglass Boat Wax. It has no cleaning agents in it, and I have not found any automotive style or other boat wax that even comes close to the high luster look of Collonite. A pint bottle is about $14, so it's not cheap! But it goes a long way. Apply with orbital buffer, and hand polish.

Dr T posted 08-23-2001 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Overton's carries a product called Vertglas Gel Coat Restoration System.

Has anyone had any experience with this product?

What are the Pro's and Con's?

jameso posted 08-23-2001 01:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
I have had good results "painting" gel coat cracks and chips,,,this is how I do it and is just my 2 cents worth. I went to art house and bought two tubes of paint one is parchment (I think) the other is white. This is just acrylic artists paint. I then put a bit of the parchment color and white on the lid of a butter dish. Mix this until it is the color of your boat. All whalers are a different color,,,the sun will oxidize desert tan to an off white. When I get the color I want i apply it with a small artist brush. The good thing about this is two fold. One if it does not match wipe it off and change mix...Two. It is water soluble and can be thinned as desired. I have "painted" several small areas and after a year it seems to be holding up nicely. I usuallly finish with a 1200 or finer grit and then polish and wax.
Jim Armstrong
jimh posted 08-23-2001 02:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In the process of mechanically removing some bottom paint from my transom, I added a few nicks to the otherwise virgin gelcoat underneath that bottom paint.

Once the paint was gone, I carefully sanded these out, using wet sanding technique with a 3M-ExtraFine sanding foam pad. Then I used Mequirs#44 and FinesseIt-II to restore the luster (As you can tell, I have been listening to LHG.)

I thought I was doing a swell job, until I got done and stepped back to look at the like new shine of the transom.

Wow, I could see all these tiny little dimples where I had sanded out the nicks!

On the other side of the transom, I removed more bottom paint but left the nicks I made alone. I'll get back to them later and fill them with gelcoat. I'd rather have thicker gelcoat than sand it down to remove a few minor cosmetic scratches.

--jimh

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