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Boat Detailers Hate This Man!-gctid812005

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    Boat Detailers Hate This Man!-gctid812005

    Tried a new method for detailing the exterior of the boat today. Had power washed the hull, but the gel coat was looking dull. As you all know, waxing the topside of the boat is a major pain with all the corners and angles and getting a orbital waxer on it is near impossible.

    Anyhow, I've been researching and reading a bunch of discussions on the use of commercial floor polishes on fiberglass gelcoat. There are a ton of YouTube videos on the subject with long term tests showing the products stand up for over a year without having to be re-applied.

    Here are the steps I used along with some photos that do a side by side comparison of the hull.

    Step 1: Clean the Hull

    First stage: used a pressure washer to remove the pollen and major chunks that had accumulated.

    Second stage: I then used a $1.75 bottle of toilet bowl cleaner to remove the stains and marks off the boat. Applied with a microfiber cloth on a long pole (for areas hard to reach) and a washing mit for areas that needed more scrubbing. I did the entire topside and hull sides. Gave the hull a good rinse with water

    Third stage: Washed the boat again with TSP to remove any of the cleaning products and residual grease/grime.

    Step 2: Wax the Hull

    For this step I used Zep Wet Look Floor Polish. This product is found at Home Depot in the floor cleaning section in a 1 gallon bottle for approximately $20. It's applied full strength using a microfiber cloth. I used the same cloth on a long pole I used for washing (after rinsing it off well). The product is simply wiped onto the hull wet, and left to dry for approximately 30 minutes. I applied 4 coats (so far) of the product. I simply went from bow to stern with both the pole and mit, had a coffee, and went back to the bow once again.

    I have to say, the outcome is stunning. The gelcoat on my boat has never looked this good. I had people walking by on the dock saying "wow"!!! Seagulls actually bi-passed my boat and crapped on the boats elsewhere in the marina it looked so good! This product is acrylic. It can be easily removed using the correct removal product (Zep floor polish remover).

    Now, I know that if it's not the first reply... there are going to be the naysayers -- you can't polish your boat without using an expensive wax and a polisher and getting super tired and sore. All I can say, is do the reading, and long term tests (YouTube and elsewhere). There is a great overview on THT that I found helpful.

    So here are some comparison photos. I did half the boat. It's easiest to see the difference on the brow -- an area I simply can't wax because I can't get up there. You can see the polish applied to the left side. The right side is clean but not polished. Basically where you see the reflection is the area that has been polished. The other area is simply too dull to reflect. This is what the product looks like after it has dried too!!! Even the rubber bow trim and the paint around my windows came out looking fantastic!

    Some friends watching me.....

    1999 Bayliner 3388
    Twin Cummins 4BTA
    Fisherman, Cruiser, Boaticus-enthusiasticus-maximus
    Member Royal Victoria Yacht Club

    Used it about 15 years back.

    Put on maybe 3-4 coats year one and 2 more year two.

    By end of year two had some yellowing.

    By beginning of year three had some peeling and additional yellowing.

    Used a couple of 5 gallon pails of stripper to get it off, gloves , eye protection and a lot of scrubbing.

    Not nearly as easy or safe as I thought to remove.

    Ended up taking more time and money than I thought by a long shot.

    I still use a lot of that acrylic and floor wax overcoat but its applied on the floors at work.

    No more for me - hope your longer range experience is better - YMMV
    Northport NY


      Yep... it's not stabilized for UV and as the fiberglass oxidizes it'll start letting go. I know it looks shiny, but there are no shortcuts over the long haul. Cut wax, polish and then wax topcoat. No other real way to do it.
      Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels


      1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"


        I tried it on our first boat, a 2655.

        Big mistake.

        Hope your experience is better.
        Midnight Star
        1996 3587
        Twin diesels, Hino 250's
        Ladysmith, BC
        History: 1996 - 2655, 2001 - 2855, 1984 - 3270


          Same results here. Looked great for a year or two, but then it started sluffing off. I still have some spots that didn't clean up well. Hope your luck is better than mine.
          Two C's 1990 3888 MY, 175 Hinos, Hurth 630 Trannys
          Past Commodore Emerald Rose Yacht Club
          Member International Order of the Blue Gavel
          MMSI: 338030604


            Ha Ha ! yes, The floor polish is the best kept secret going in The detail world... I have been using Zep high traffic on my boat for about five years now and it is absolutely awesome. The super high gloss polish and scratch resistance not to mention the incredible increase in traction on the decks make it a no brainer for someone who uses their boat all the time. Never mind the naysayers, It works and it works well. I know a few tricks about application and removal if your interested. Cheers !
            1990 3888 Bayliner, Twin 351's


              I used a product called TSRW (This Stuff Really Works) a bunch of years ago with similar issues. Discoloration and absorption of black stuff from the rail road and mills. It was a bugger to get off.

              However, since prep is often the hardest part, it looks to me like there are some good ideas with the toilet bowl cleaner for stains and the tsp wash down.
              P/C Pete
              Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
              1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
              Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
              MMSI 367770440


                As mentioned, floor wax will yellow and breakdown over time and for every coat you add, it becomes that much more work removing...I don't know about the environmental issues in water as well. I am in the chemical business and know that our floor wax stripper would in no way be approved for literally dumping into water when trying to remove wax buildup. That is one reason why when you strip a floor, the right way, you have to "wet-vac" the wax and stripper mixture from the floor...stripper doesn't get rid of the wax, it re-emulsifiers it so that it can be picked up...

                But if it works for you all the best..
                Lake Hartwell, GA
                2012 BR 185 - 3.0 TKS
                1999 Chaparral 233 Sunesta Ltd., 5.0 Volvo
                1987 SeaRay 300 - Twin 454’s
                1993 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR
                1993 Yamaha Waverunner III
                1995 Yamaha Waverunner III GP
                1995 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR PRO
                1996 SeaDoo GTX
                1999 SeaDoo GTX


                  Just finished using the "floor wax method" today. Have been doing it for years. First on a 1977 Penn Yan and now on my 1999 2452. Yeah it may peel a bit, but I don't care I just scrub the finish to get er clean and then a couple of coats of floor wax. Looks like new. I can deal with a bit of imperfections as I waxed the entire boat in under 2 hours. Just be sure to keep up with it yearly. It's a boat, and a 17 year old boat. I like how it shines all year and haven't seen any yellowing whatsoever. The prep is the hard part and I only had to do it initially. RV's have a dedicated website for detailed directions.
                  1999 Ciera 2452 5.7L BII
                  1989 Wahoo 1850 Offshore 2000 Johnson 130
                  1996 Parker Pilothouse 2520 MVSC 2016 Mercury Verado 250
                  12' Jon Boat 3.5 Suzuki


                    Liquid Glass is the best product to use. Last at least 2 seasons.
                    1999 3988
                    Cummins 270s


                      Here is another good article on the process:

                      I finished the boat today and it looks incredible. Like all the articles state, it is a process that needs to be followed to be successful. Cleaning and surface prep is critical and it's important to re-apply it rather than let it peel and fade. I will likely do another application in the early fall. I did my decks and cockpit area as that often gets very grimy from fishing.

                      It appears that eventually it will have to be stripped off and re-applied. They make a product to strip it which sounds easy to use.

                      All in all, there would be no way I could have made the boat look as good as it does now using a hand polisher and wax.
                      1999 Bayliner 3388
                      Twin Cummins 4BTA
                      Fisherman, Cruiser, Boaticus-enthusiasticus-maximus
                      Member Royal Victoria Yacht Club