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  #1  
Old 06-04-2020, 10:21 PM
kmp690 kmp690 is offline
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Boat: 1998 Maristar 225 VRS
Location: DFW, TX
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Gel coat correction newbie

My gel coat has not been maintained as it should be and after this past off season it has some pretty decent oxidation in some areas (at least in my underqualified opinion).

I started looking into compounding, buffing, and waxing so I can learn and get it to shine like most of the MC's I see on here. I ended up borrowing a family members Porter cable orbital, 7424xp, and bought a wool pad for compounding and a couple lake country foam pads for buffing and waxing (red and white). I also bought the Meguiars Fiberglass Restoration System, figuring my gel coat isn't too terrible and it would be enough for the job.

Shortly after purchasing these I also decided to take off the old crappy looking MC vinyl decals and a dealer decal that was on the stern. Eventually I intend to replace the "Mastercraft" decal on the stern and the two on the rear sides.

Anyways, after getting the decals off I realize I have some pretty bad "ghosting" on the blue areas of the gel coat and I'm beginning to think that what I currently have to work with will not cut it.

Looking for opinions from the shine gods on here to see if that's the case. Is wet sanding the only way to correct this?

1st pic is from tonight. I was beginning to test the buffer and oxidation remover on the top left section. You can see the heaviest oxidation on the boat in the second picture, above the rub rail.
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Last edited by kmp690; 06-04-2020 at 10:35 PM. Reason: pics
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2020, 12:27 AM
Tsumi Tsumi is offline
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I've had good luck with 3M Restorer and Wax. I would start there and see what that nets you. You can start light and go harsher later if light doesn't work, but you can't do the reverse.
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2020, 02:23 AM
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Thrall Thrall is offline
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Lose the orbital and get a rotary polisher and get after it.
Heavy oxidized areas, buff it first with heavy cut compound then polish.
You likely won't get rid of all the ghosting, but if you put a new decal, either the same size or one that covers "most" of the old decal area you'll never notice it.
It will look like new when you're done.
Doesn't look bad enough to sand first.
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Old 06-05-2020, 01:07 PM
kmp690 kmp690 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsumi View Post
I've had good luck with 3M Restorer and Wax. I would start there and see what that nets you. You can start light and go harsher later if light doesn't work, but you can't do the reverse.
I appreciate the feedback! After research, I feel like the Meguires kit that I have should be able to achieve the same as the 3M Restorer and Wax, but Ill definitely keep it in mind.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrall View Post
Lose the orbital and get a rotary polisher and get after it.
Heavy oxidized areas, buff it first with heavy cut compound then polish.
You likely won't get rid of all the ghosting, but if you put a new decal, either the same size or one that covers "most" of the old decal area you'll never notice it.
It will look like new when you're done.
Doesn't look bad enough to sand first.
Like others, being new to this and reading threads that state you can burn through pretty easily with a rotary, I have been hesitant. My uncle had the PC orbital already so I just borrowed that. I think I read posts from you on other threads stating any rotary will do? Do you polish and wax with the rotary as well or would you use an orbital for that?

I will eventually get new decals for the rear, but that'll probably be next year at least. I'll be rolling naked this season, and I guess with some ghosts (but hopefully not as bad). Luckily you dont really see any ghosting where the "Maristar" decals were, even before buffing.
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2020, 02:28 PM
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blackhawk blackhawk is offline
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Here is a thread that I put together listing all the products that I used. Don't be afraid to sand if you go through the steps that I list. The compound will take out 800-1000 grit sandpaper scratches easily with only 20-30 seconds of buffing. I know a lot of people swear by the foam pads, but I just haven't had much luck with them and they are much slower.

https://teamtalk.mastercraft.com/sho...ighlight=glaze
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Old 06-05-2020, 03:09 PM
kmp690 kmp690 is offline
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Your boat looked really good in the pictures on that thread, blackhawk!

I planned on avoiding wet sanding if I could. I was mainly asking about it to see if doing so would benefit me more when trying to get rid of the ghosting. However, after reading more, it seems that it may not be worth the effort and time will fade those areas like the rest of the boat..

Thrall said to ditch the orbital and get a rotary, so I have been looking into some. I am trying to weigh my options, should I fork out the cash for a Makita or Dewalt or should I go with a cheap $50-$80 from Harbor Freight or Northern Tool. I have read mixed opinions, some say the cheap ones work just fine..
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Old 06-05-2020, 03:42 PM
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tjrowbot tjrowbot is offline
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I would go with a quality rotary buffer over a harbor freight type, just my opinion. I have a Dewalt and that thing is heavy. I got Chemical Brothers multi pack foam pads, and 3M restorer. My black looks very good. SKIP the Orbital, its not made for what you are trying to accomplish
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  #8  
Old 06-05-2020, 09:35 PM
Pokey1 Pokey1 is offline
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Iíve been there. There is hope.
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  #9  
Old 06-07-2020, 10:28 PM
kmp690 kmp690 is offline
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Alright, as advised I went ahead and ordered a rotary polisher.. specifically the Dewalt DWP849X. It arrived today so I am currently working on the stern again now. I can definitely tell a difference between the orbital and this thing!

That being said, I have some concerns:
1. I have read many times that less is more when talking about compound, you do not need a whole lot. However, I am going through it a lot quicker than I thought that I would! At the rate I'm going, I will have to order at least another bottle of Meguiars 49 if I compound the entire boat.
2. I cannot seem to get the raised edge just above the rub rail with the polisher. I also need to figure out how to get around the edges of the handle/tow eye in the middle. Are yall doing areas like this by hand? If so, what are you using? I have tried using a microfiber cloth to rub the compound in but that doesnt seem to work.
3. I have some swirls from compounding. Do I need to go back over these areas with compound at a different speed and/or less or no pressure? Or will these clear up when I move on to polishing (2nd step)?

Bare with me, this is a learning process and my first time ever attempting to buff/polish anything..
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2020, 09:22 AM
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blackhawk blackhawk is offline
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That sounds like a lot of compound, but I have never used the Meguiar's. With the 3M compound, I did my entire boat with less than 1/2 a bottle but it was a big bottle. I think it was quart size. Are you using foam or wool pads? With the 3M compound and wool pads, I have never noticed any swirl marks. The polish should hopefully take out the swirls.

Getting around the hardware is tough. Unless you take off the hardware, doing it by hand is your only option. You have to rub in the compound with some speed and pressure. Some fine wet sanding may help out in those tough areas. Maybe try 1200 grit. Do it in a inconspicuous spot first to try.
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