Well, OK, the boat didn't actually sink so maybe "back from Davey Jones' Locker" is a bit of a stretch. We think you'll agree, however, that the condition was in such a state as to make your heart sink if you had to deal with this situation yourself.
The boat came to us through Ash Erickson, Meguiar's Marine/RV Sales & Training Rep and we thought this was a great time to do a write up on a boat detailing. With that in mind...... geez, this boat needed some help!!
This is how it came to us - a 21' 1979 Ski Supreme with original finish. Ouch. Gel coat that old is essentially beyond the limits of its useful life, and this one was dry and chalky. The oxidized, almost flaky white gel coat would literally rub off on your fingertips. It was dry as a bone.
As you can see, the tires and wheels were in need of some TLC as well.
The exhaust tips had lost their luster too.
And the interior and dock bumpers had definitely seen better days.
We were going to need an arsenal of products..... luckily we have a source handy for such an arsenal.
So where to start......washing, of course! Here, Ash gets to work with the hose and Meguiar's Boat Wash.
Next we grabbed the Meguiar's Detailing Masking Tape and covered the trim.
Ash made the call to start out with M67 One Step Compound with a W7207 cutting pad on the G110v2. Now, many of you know that we caution against use of a cutting pad on a D/A, but that's when dealing with automotive paint. Gel coat is much harder and much thicker than automotive paint, so while a cutting pad might haze paint it actually comes in quite handy when dealing with oxidized, very hard gel coat.
Using this product and tool on gel coat is pretty much like using a typical paint cleaner on your car. Same speed, same kind of pressure, same small work area. M67 is a product that actually feels a bit coarse when rubbed between your fingers, but a badly oxidized, old gel coat needs that sort of power to correct it.
Once the product has been worked until it's almost, but not quite, gone it's time to stop buffing and wipe off the excess. Not a bad improvement for the first pass, eh? Oh, and the glossier looking strip toward the top of the red would be the area normally protected by the boat cover.
Hey, is that an actual reflection in the side now??????
Ash does a little test using M45 High Gloss Polish to see if it would add some additional gloss and/or help with the buff out if applied first.
Yep, that is a definite reflection!
In an attempt to determine if we really were on the right track, Ash did a test spot using a rotary buffer.
We stayed with the W7207 cutting pad and M67 One Step Compound, but the combination of badly dried out gel and the heat of rotary conspired against us and the product dried up very quickly. So we stayed with the G110v2 for the whole process.
Paul (AKA the other pc) spent the day with us and was a huge help. We can always count on Paul's enthusiastic participation in this sort of thing. He's either a glutton for punishment or just a super nice guy!! Thanks for all the help with this project, Paul!
As the correction progressed and it came time to wax, nothing less than Flagship Premium Marine Wax would do.
Derek Bemiss of DetailWerks popped in for a bit too. He was detailing cars all day long very nearby, so when it came time to take a lunch break he came down to work on the boat. He might be the only guy who takes a break from detailing by, um, detailing.
But there was more than gel coat to deal with on this day. Here we take a crack (no pun intended) at the plastic windows with a little PlastX on a W8004 polishing pad running on a pneumatic D/A mini tool.
The G110v2 came in really handy for the expanse of dirty vinyl on the interior too. Here Paul cleans up the back seat with some M39 Heavy Duty Vinyl Cleaner and a W8207 polishing pad.
Here's a 50/50 shot of the center engine cover. That M39/W8207/G110v2 did a great job here and throughout the interior of the boat.
The dock bumpers cleaned up beautifully too. This was just a quick hit of M39 by hand.
Remember those nasty exhaust tips? Well, they're shiny again thanks to M93 Marine/RV Metal Polish.
The wheels got the same M93 treatment, while the tires were cleaned with M39 and a brush. Tires were then dressed with M40.
Seemed to work OK, didn't it??
Paul put the finishing touches on the plastic windscreens while Ash finished off the interior. But look at the color on the hull of the boat now. It's red again!
It's red and it shines.
It's red and it can actually reflect objects. In this case, the "no parking" paint on the parking lot.
So there you have it. After approximately 18 man hours of work the boat looks ready for the water again, and the owner won't be embarrassed when he rolls it off the trailer and runs the tow rope out the back. Heck, he'll probably have skiers lined up waiting for their turn to slalom behind this baby!