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Is There a Point Where You Shouldn't Use Compound On Your Old Gelcoat?

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    Is There a Point Where You Shouldn't Use Compound On Your Old Gelcoat?

    Gearing up for spring with the 96 2855 I just bought. It's my first boat, so needless to say I haven't waxed one before.

    The boat is white-ish. I've seen worse, and I've seen better. I'd like to polish it up new, and I'm thinking about using Shurhold Buff Magic, followed by their wax.

    The thing that bugs me is the idea of removing layers of gelcoat with that compound, no matter how little it may be. I found a bottle of 3M Rubbing Compound onboard, and I have no way of knowing how much the previous owner used it. The last thing I want to is wear right through the gelcoat and create a bigger problem for myself.

    Any thoughts? Should I just wax the boat and call it good?
    "Binti B"
    1996 2855 Ciera Sunbridge

    #2
    For that year boat I would not be concerned about removing too much gelcoat. Buff Magic is not very aggressive so you should be fine. 3M makes a #2 buffing/polishing compound I use on my 86 Bayliner every year. It does a great job and prepares the surface for wax. I use the 3m wax also. They both come in purple bottles. I highly recommend them. I did not have much luck with Shurhold products.
    Gibraltar, Mi.
    1986- 3870- Hino 175's
    1988 26' Shamrock/ Diesel
    14' Zodiac Bay Runner

    Comment


      #3
      I have always used 3M buffing compounds and I would recommend using in this order step 1 could be skipped.
      1) 3M Heavy duty rubbing compound (brown). Used for highly oxidation gelcoat.
      2) 3M Imperial compound slightly oxidation gelcoat
      3) 3M Finesse it for removing fine scratches from compounding
      depending on amount of oxidation you could skip a step ou two.I also use double sided wool pads on my buffer. Then I follow with Colinite past wax,buff in an towel off.
      Yes you can buff thru the gelcoat,I have a couple of small spots. You should call last owner see how often he buffed it.?
      Brad & Sharon
      Lady Jake
      1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
      LaConner,Wa. (summer)
      2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
      kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

      Comment


        #4
        All the product recommendations are good, Gel coat normally is 20 mils thick, to put that in perspective your new car has a paint coating of 2 mills or less.
        Slightly modified 2859 6.5 Diesel Bravo III X drive
        96 Dodge 5.9 5 speed Gear vender OD.

        Comment


          #5
          I want to agree with brad4550 regarding 3M Finesse It II Glaze.

          As the last step before waxing, it gives a mirror like finish.

          I then apply 3M Ultra Performance Paste Wax.

          I bought a Ryobi cordless random orbital buffer and use it to apply both.

          Even if applied by hand, the wax is easy on/off and smells good.

          Neither product is cheap but I have been pleased with the results each spring.
          Present Boat- 2018 VR5 4.5/200hp Mercruiser
          Last Boat- 1998 Capri 1950CL 3.0 Mercruiser

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by vr5200 View Post
            I want to agree with brad4550 regarding 3M Finesse It II Glaze.

            As the last step before waxing, it gives a mirror like finish.

            I then apply 3M Ultra Performance Paste Wax.

            I bought a Ryobi cordless random orbital buffer and use it to apply both.

            Even if applied by hand, the wax is easy on/off and smells good.

            Neither product is cheap but I have been pleased with the results each spring.
            Regarding that Ryobi, did you get the 6" or the 10" one? I've been eyeing those as I shop for buffers.

            Thanks for all the recommendations so far guys.
            "Binti B"
            1996 2855 Ciera Sunbridge

            Comment


              #7
              Compounding is typically done with a variable speed rotary polisher. I used an inexpensive version from harbor freight with wool pad. They go up in quality and price from there.
              https://www.harborfreight.com/7-in-1...SABEgKzi_D_BwE
              Dave
              Edmonds, WA
              "THE FIX"
              '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
              (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
              The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
              Misc. projects thread
              https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

              Comment


                #8
                I got this 6 inch model (no battery or charger- just bare tool)

                https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-18...E&gclsrc=aw.ds


                Got the bonnets from Walmart-----

                copy/paste from late 2017
                Present Boat- 2018 VR5 4.5/200hp Mercruiser
                Last Boat- 1998 Capri 1950CL 3.0 Mercruiser

                Comment


                  #9
                  I've been using a variable speed Maktia for buffing for at least 20 years (same one) and a random orbital Porter Cable I use to put on the wax......Although they are getting heavier over the years...has anyone found a robust LIGHT WEIGHT buffer or is that a dream.??
                  Brad & Sharon
                  Lady Jake
                  1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
                  LaConner,Wa. (summer)
                  2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
                  kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

                  Comment


                  • Pcpete
                    Pcpete commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I’ve been looking at spring loaded tool hangers to lift my buffer. That way I should be able to just direct and apply pressure without holding the buffer in place.

                  • builderdude
                    builderdude commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Come on guys, it’s a fantastic upper body workout🤣
                    That Makita is the cats meow, brings back my auto body days👍🏼

                  #10
                  If I had a college aged kid, Id buy him a new Toyota Tacoma, a buffer, a generator, and $500 in supplies, and point him to the marina. Total investment maybe $35,000? Cheaper than college.
                  Last time I asked, a guy at the marina wanted $900 to buff my 2859.
                  Any of you all make $900 a day?
                  Esteban
                  Huntington Beach, California
                  2018 Element 16
                  Currently looking for 32xx in South Florida
                  Former Bayliners: 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Originally posted by brad4550 View Post
                    I have always used 3M buffing compounds and I would recommend using in this order step 1 could be skipped.
                    1) 3M Heavy duty rubbing compound (brown). Used for highly oxidation gelcoat.
                    2) 3M Imperial compound slightly oxidation gelcoat
                    3) 3M Finesse it for removing fine scratches from compounding
                    depending on amount of oxidation you could skip a step ou two.I also use double sided wool pads on my buffer. Then I follow with Colinite past wax,buff in an towel off.
                    Yes you can buff thru the gelcoat,I have a couple of small spots. You should call last owner see how often he buffed it.?
                    I like the Collinite waxes as well....925 is as good and as easy astir gets in my opinion. I also use the Buff Magic, personally it’s all I have used as it was recommended to me. I buffed our 1987 SR 300 for the first time, it was heavily oxidized in my opinion any ways and it did a great job. On our 2012 185 I also use Buff Magic, and don’t think that it’s too abrasive at all. Worse spots require more time on that area that’s all....
                    Hell, Michigan (yes we really live in a city named "Hell" in Michigan)
                    2012 BR 185 - 3.0 TKS
                    1999 Chaparral 233 Sunesta Ltd., 5.0 Volvo
                    1985 Harris Flotebote Classic 240
                    1993 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR
                    1993 Yamaha Waverunner III
                    1995 Yamaha Waverunner III GP
                    1995 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR PRO

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Hell, Michigan (yes we really live in a city named "Hell" in Michigan)
                      2012 BR 185 - 3.0 TKS
                      1999 Chaparral 233 Sunesta Ltd., 5.0 Volvo
                      1985 Harris Flotebote Classic 240
                      1993 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR
                      1993 Yamaha Waverunner III
                      1995 Yamaha Waverunner III GP
                      1995 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR PRO

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Yes you can buff through gel coat so be careful but it is a necessary evil for a well maintained boat. The big trick is to keep it waxed after you have it shined up so that you do not have to buff again any time soon. Use a good quality wax and give the boat a good thorough waxing a minimum of twice yearly (more if you are in a sunnier area). Spring and fall at the bare minimum. Buy an orbital waxer (they are really cheap) and just know that you are going to allocate some maintenance time to this job. And btw - there are no viable shortcuts.....forget all the liquid floor wax talk etc. And go with good quality marine wax.
                        Currently watching from shore while deciding what my next boat will be !

                        Comment


                          #14
                          You won’t grind through your gel coat. At least in your lifetime. Use a rotary polisher. Harbour Freight has a perfectly adequate selection. I’ve had good luck with 3M products. I strongly disagree with our brothers who recommend wax. Invest in a ceramic sealer. You won’t regret it. If you don’t use a ceramic product, at least use an acrylic sealer. Wax is big time old school.
                          Midnight Star
                          1996 3587
                          Twin diesels, Hino 250's
                          Ladysmith, BC
                          History: 1996 - 2655, 2001 - 2855, 1984 - 3270

                          Comment


                            #15
                            Originally posted by freedre View Post
                            You won’t grind through your gel coat. At least in your lifetime.
                            ive seen many boats that the owners had polished thru the gel coat in an attempt to keep a shiny boat.... I owned one once and when I went to sell it, the boat was in excellent condition and showed very well and I would have gotten a premium price for it except there were too many lookers who turned it down because it needed paint.. I ended up selling for almost 10 grand less than if the gel coat wouldnt have been polished off... and they ALL agreed that a dirty boat can be cleaned and polished back, but one that has had its shiny condition "loved to death" is too expensive to to pay top price for...

                            ive bought and sold a lot of boats and seen too many people polish the heck out of their boat thinking they will get top dollar from it, but then neglect the real problems...and others who pay someone to make it shiny, but it remains a "dock queen" never goes anywhere, or gets other work done to it (their lubberly ways of thinking says if they dont use the boat, then there is no need because it doesnt break or need any maintenance)....

                            and I know some people have a lot of time and money to spend, or are obsessive about their expensive toy and will do any and all things to keep it ALL in top form, but im going to step out on a skinny limb of the hangin' tree and say that I think the majority of boat owners DONT fall into this group of people... most smaller pleasure boat owners are a LOT more relaxed in their efforts either because of time or money issues, but still want to impress the neighbors, which is why its mostly the things that can be seen is what will get the most attention.... and just because some dont agree doesnt mean im wrong... ive been around boats all my life (working boats and pleasure boats) and this isnt a sudden thought or opinion, but has developed over many years from seeing everything that I have during my life.

                            keeping the boat looking like new takes far more effort than keeping the maintenance done up properly... so after a few years, some owners get tired of the polishing and let the shine go in place of better maintenance practices...' as long as the gel coat isnt polished away, the boat can be brought back to shiny if it needs to be sold, and most of us will learn that general maintenance is more important than shine is...

                            so its my opinion that "shiny" does nothing for the boat or the owner of it.... but a good looking boat that is clean and in well kept order shows the owner to be proud and sensible.... and chasing the "shine" every season is not really productive.

                            get the boat clean then put a good long lasting sealer on it and put the real effort into the maintenance to keep it dependable, and enjoy it.... I know... there are some that actually "enjoy" the polishing and other boat work to cruising the boat, which I dont understand and will never put any effort into trying....

                            find a happy medium for the shine and keep the maintenance done up so its turn-key and ready to go at a moments notice, and you will be a much happier boat owner....



                            NU LIBERTE'
                            Salem, OR

                            1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
                            5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
                            N2K equipped throughout..
                            2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
                            2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
                            '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
                            Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

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