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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-05-2006, 8:44 AM Reply   
This is no big deal to any of you body shop guy's (richard) but I thought I would post some how to photo's of color sanding and polishing the top deck of my Air. I kept the finish well waxed and polished but no matter how much wax or polish you apply your just making scratches shine. The finish was some what clouded because of all the random small scratches. No scratches that would stick out just tiny ones that would cloud the surface.
Here are some of the things you will need.

Makita Polisher- With a Polish pad and a foam pad. Flexable sanding block. 1000,1500,2000 grit sandpaper. Spray water bottle. Masking tape. Rubbing compound. Micro Fine polishing compond. Hand glaze. Wax. I use the small air polisher for the hard to get spots you dont need it but it makes it easy,

Then I used plastic to keep the interior clean

Then I used Green chemical tape because it is some what water proof. When you color sand the top you use water and if you use regular masking tape the water will reliese the tape.
This is the deck after it has been sanded with 1000 grit

1500 and 2000 grit

This is after rubbing compound and Micro fine polishing compound.

Im not finished yet but all reddy you can see a huge differance in the finish between the spots I have cut and polished and the unfinished spots. Ill post more photo's as I go along.

Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-05-2006, 8:47 AM Reply   
After Rubbing compound and Micro-Fine
Old     (breadbutta)      Join Date: Dec 2003       02-05-2006, 9:08 AM Reply   
That looks really amazing and I have to compliment you on your workmanship.

But somebody has too much free time (not to mention the cleanest boat at the lake)
Old    mendo247            02-05-2006, 9:17 AM Reply   
Great Work!!! im impressed.. thats a big and brave job to take on.. i had a kid who came in this week after he tried that on his car(not a good idea to sand and buff away on a clear coat paint job lol)..what youve done looks awesome.. how easy are the sand scratches coming out?? very important to cover up all mouldings and interior with tape(as youve done) also watch your trailer if that compounds splatters on your trailer and dries overnight or even in the sun it can be a beotch to get off... good work!
Old     (mitchj)      Join Date: Aug 2002       02-05-2006, 9:23 AM Reply   
That looks great I didnt have enough sack to do it myself,its being done this week. I hope it turns out looking like that !!
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-05-2006, 10:09 AM Reply   
To much time on my hand's LOL isnt that what you want. Im proud to say Yea I have to much time on my hands that means I can do what ever the hell I want. How many of you are gonna spend the whole day watching the Stupid Bowl and eating chips. IMO thats to much time on your hands at the end of the day I feel better knowing that I scratched one of my "to do" things off my list instead of being happy or sad my team won or lost. I say all these things very above light hearted no offence to anyone who wants to relax and enjoy the big game. Party On.

My scratches are comming out pretty easy. 1000 grit and a few sec's and they are gone. The 1500 and 2000 are just to lighten the time I need to spend with the buffer. I can polish out the 1000 grit scratches with the polisher alone but If I use the 1500 and 2000 it only takes a few mins with the polisher and its done.

The Hand glaze and the Boat wax bring a rich deep shine to the surface. I was pretty happy to note that the spots where the window mounted and the sun has never shone you could not see a differance in color No fadeing at all. I would have thought with 5 years of use you would notice a slight color differance. But my boat dosent sit out side all day evey day. And like I said I always had lots of wax on the surface.
Old     (tparider)      Join Date: Aug 2003       02-05-2006, 12:30 PM Reply   
How thick is the color gelcoat in the average boat? Is there any worry of going all the way through that and hitting white underneath the color?

I don't need to go down to 1000 grit or get out anything huge, but I'd love to re-achieve that lustrous shine and get some small scratches out - I'm just nervous about breaking through the black gelcoat and then I'm screwed.
Old     (jayc)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-05-2006, 2:21 PM Reply   
No need to worry about going through the gel. I wet sanded my mastercraft 3 times over the years to get the colour back and it was fine, never once went through.

Gelcoat is really really thick compared with paint.
Old     (twakess)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-05-2006, 6:42 PM Reply   
Nice, work Grant. Looks killer although I don't think some people know how much work it is. Also I bet you found alot of spots the factory missed. I went over my SAN when I first got it because I could see some sand scraches the missed.
Old    mendo247            02-05-2006, 8:56 PM Reply   
good point squid! ive also noticed that on my new sanger, the first couple times i washed it i noticed a few spots here and there that they didnt get all their scratches out.. i figured id give it a year and run my buffer over the whole boat..
Old     (superairdawg)      Join Date: May 2003       02-06-2006, 8:35 AM Reply   
"How thick is the color gelcoat in the average boat? Is there any worry of going all the way through that and hitting white underneath the color?"

Actually, this can be a concern if not done w/utmost caution (as Grant obviously is doing). A bud of mine had his dealership do some warranty work on his X-10 and they apparently got carried away cleaning it prior to his picking it up. They rubbed through some of the blue side gelcoat to where white specks were visible. You can imagine he wasn't too happy with them at that point.

I'd say the moral of the story is just be careful how much elbow grease you use and don't get too carried away with heavy-duty grit compound. Plus, you probably wouldn't want to do that sort of cleaning every year!
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       02-06-2006, 11:59 AM Reply   
Looks great Grant!

I have been told that the gelcoat on most boats is 5 mills and 7 mills on a Nautique (actually was told that by a MC dealer).

On my old boat it had the big black side stripe, I had to polish the water spots out every winter. The new boat just has the dark blue stripe so I think I can get away with every other year? So I would say it depends on the color, darker = more often.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-06-2006, 12:35 PM Reply   
When I cut the hole for my Transome remote I was able to see how thick the gell coat was. Im sure in diffrent spots of the boat it might be thicker than others. My gell back there was about 5-7 sheets of paper thick. I used that as a guide. Jasons 209 master craft His gell coat was like twice as thick as my'n. And that might explane whay it was and is cracking all over the place. The edges of the boat the gell is gonna be thinner and easyer to sand threw so becarefull on sharp edges. I say practice on your next door neighbor's car offer him a free polish if your not shure how to do it. Or if you have a shop where people drop their boat by you can practice on customers boat's LOL Hey Richard when are you bringing you boat down I have heard black is real hard to polish I wanna give it a try, LOL
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-06-2006, 12:42 PM Reply   
Another pain in the butt is That. I have polished it so well that even the spots that didn't need polishing before I started now look like hell. Im seeing thing's scratches in spots that I never saw before. Example The back side of my dash board. You never touch it it should look fine WRONG. After you polish the deck and its real smooth and flat and shiney The non polished spots dull. So if you are gonna do it either turn a blind eye to all the nooks and crannys or be prepaire to to the whole thing or blend the edges real good
Old     (mitchm)      Join Date: Sep 2002       02-06-2006, 1:53 PM Reply   
Grant, Have anymore 'after' pics? Looks good!
Old     (wakescene)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-06-2006, 3:07 PM Reply   
Would you mind listing your choices for polish's, specifically the 3M products. I have used them for years but you don't always see all of the product line at certain stores.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-06-2006, 6:33 PM Reply   
I use all 3m polishing products in this order
3M Rubbing Compound, Then 3M "Finess IT" finishing compound. Then 3M "Hand Glaze" Then I use Mcguires "Boat Wax"

I start with 1000 and then 1500 then 2000
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-06-2006, 6:43 PM Reply   
Ok when I brought my boat inside under my super lit garage. Flurescent lights will show every thing. And what ever spots didnt get polished show up big time. You can see some of the scratches one either side of the pop up cleet.

So I took out both rear cleat's

Remove the siicone and sand the aera

Now it look's perfict you cant see a blend like you did before
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-06-2006, 6:53 PM Reply   

This was a smal aera behind the tower leg where the polisher had a hard time getting.

So you spend 15 min building a block to stop compound flying all over the place. It will save you Hrs of cleaning compund all over your boat

(Message edited by grant_west on February 06, 2006)
Old     (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-06-2006, 7:04 PM Reply   
Your work and dedication to perfection is outstanding. I am very impressed.
Old     (twakess)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-06-2006, 9:18 PM Reply   
Grant, Norton offers a 3in small buffer and wet sander all in buffer kit. Its cool for small stuff. Once again nice job lots of work but well worth it in the end.
Old     (wakescene)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-06-2006, 9:44 PM Reply   
Grant, I just realized that you removed your windshield...slipped right by me earlier!

And by the way, fantastic work. You have inspired me to go the wet-sand and polish route this spring with my boat. got some hard stains and a load of mini scratches like you showed that need attending to.

Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-07-2006, 2:15 AM Reply   
I have a Astro 3 inch DA and a Astro 3 inch polisher. The thing is that the 3 inch polisher wont polish as good as the larger Makita. The larger Makita polisher you can put a bit more pressure on it and it is able to cut a bit easyer.

KG yea I took the window off to powder coat the frame and thats when I did the carbon fiber vents and I figured this would be the best time to do this job.
Old     (toyotafreak)      Join Date: Sep 2003       02-07-2006, 6:54 AM Reply   
Big project. I tried last year to start this and ended up spending a big weekend simply washing the exterior, interior and carpet and then cleaning the upholstery with vinyl cleaner (looks great, though). By the time I was ready to break out the rubbing compound, the weekend was coming up short and dust was starting to accumulate. Must be nice to have the Super Lighted boat house. Grant, LOL about the "you got time for sports" reminder. We all run around saying we don't have time for jack...
Old    nautique226            02-07-2006, 9:02 AM Reply   
Nice job again Grant keep up the good work!
Old    mendo247            02-09-2006, 7:45 PM Reply   
Well grant, since you dont seem to have a problem figuring out my line of work, youve inspired me to start a little project of my own! ive decided to build and wire my own system! i just got back from kragen with a head unit and some subs and a wiring kit, picked up a little juice from the guy on the corner, figure ive got some scrap wood laying around for a tower box, ill post pics in the morning..
Old    walt            02-09-2006, 7:56 PM Reply   
Old     (redv215)      Join Date: Mar 2005       02-09-2006, 8:30 PM Reply   
Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-14-2006, 11:40 AM Reply   
Grant nice job:

Maybe you can give me some suggestions

I just recently bought a 60’houseboat on Lake Mead, which is in Great condition except for the haze or oxidation on the outside. It is a 1999 I’m not sure if has ever been waxed.

Not looking to buff every possible scratch out, as you have but I do want to restore the outside back to its original shine.

Thanks for any input.

Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-14-2006, 12:19 PM Reply   
3M Rubbing compound and a wool buffing pad and buffer will remove haze or oxidation and minor scratch's in no time.
Thats what I would start with. Then 3M Micro fine and a foam pad. to remove the scratches the Rubbing compund left behind. Then a coat of wax and you will be "BLING status"
Old     (ccripps)      Join Date: Oct 2003       02-14-2006, 1:20 PM Reply   
So should I use a obital Buffer with a wool pad or a varable Polisher like you are using.

3step porocess
1) start with 3m Rubbing Compond.
which one perfect-it 3000 or II or other

2)then 3m Micro Fine polishing compound.
do you have a 3m item number, this product doesn't show up on their web site

3)Then coat of Wax which on my boat I also apply with Obital Buffer and then remove by hand.

Sorry for the detail questions but it is a big job and I don't want to screw this up.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-15-2006, 10:05 AM Reply   
A orbital will not work for polishing. You need to use a polisher like in the first photo of this thread. A orbital will not create enough heet to remove scratches. A orbital works great for hand glaze and wax where friction is not a part of the polishing process.

Yea you got it right. If you want to make make the color deeper you can add 3M Hand Glaze before you wax Im guessing your boat is white so it might nt make a differance. Try it and see if the glaze makes your shine deeper it did with my'n
Old     (depoint50ae)      Join Date: Jul 2005       02-15-2006, 10:44 AM Reply   
Is this the same process to buff out swirl marks on an automobile? I have some light scratches on my clearcoat on my truck and I would like to hook it up real purdy like.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-15-2006, 11:13 AM Reply   
becarefull: This is a quote from Richard he manages a body shop "i had a kid who came in this week after he tried that on his car(not a good idea to sand and buff away on a clear coat paint job lol)

Gell is much thicker than automotive clear. If you know what your doing sanding clear in no big deal but if you have never done it then I would say dont risk it or use much less agressive compounds and polishes and do it by hand/ I.E Use a wax with a bit of cutting ability in it you should be able to stay out of trouble. I just dont want to tell someone how to do it and they mess up the finish.

Ill use a quote a scuba dive instructor said to me. He said "dont touch anything under the water you dont know, and thats pretty much everything"

Old     (uga33)      Join Date: Jul 2003       02-15-2006, 12:17 PM Reply   
I can't believe the red did not fade at all. I will be a ordering a new boat here soon and wanted to go all red and was afraid the red would fade in a couple of years. That is good to hear.
Old     (depoint50ae)      Join Date: Jul 2005       02-15-2006, 1:01 PM Reply   
I like the PADI training quote: if it is really pretty, Really ugly, or doesn't swim away from you don't touch it.

So I can use the rubbing compounds and run better chances of jacking up my clear coat/paint?


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