Polishing advice for a large area

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by oscarisapc, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. oscarisapc

    oscarisapc Active Member

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    Hi Folks
    This is a bit different. I need some advice on an electric polisher – not for my car but for my narrow boat. It is a relatively new boat and was painted to a gloss automotive type finish about 8 years ago. The paintwork is looking a bit tired after being out in the sunlight all this time. It really needs a light T-cut and polish but the problem is – the boat is 57 feet long and I don’t have the energy or inclination to polish both sides of a 57 foot boat. Those of you who are thinking “well that’s what your wife is for” must believe me that we have already had that conversation.
    We have bought a cheap electric polisher from Halfords but it is hopeless. It doesn’t seem to do any polishing and if I press hard it makes swirls. [Used on little seen areas so far]. Is there a polisher I can obtain that works and is likely to be useful in this situation? - I have 240v and 12 v electricity supplies. Also advice on polish – I have tried the Autoglym I use on my car which is Ok but there may be better alternatives for this size of task. Thanks.
     
  2. bolide

    bolide MB Enthusiast

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    What does the boat builder recommend?

    Nick Froome
     
  3. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    A standard rotary polisher will do the trick but use a fine polish to avoid cutting into the paint too much.

    One like this with a few pads will do the job.

    Silverline Car Mop Polisher Buffer and Sander 180mm 1200w on eBay!

    In future wax the paintwork to stop bleaching. Don't do the gunwales though, or you might take an early bath.
     
  4. millo777

    millo777 MB Enthusiast

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  5. Clkrichard

    Clkrichard Active Member

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    If you are a Newbie to machine polishing I would not start learning with a rotary no matter how cheap they may appear. Your paint is likely to be softer than car paint and a rotary could easily burn through it.
    Start with a dual action - something like a Kestrel DAS6 and use Meguiars 105 followed by 205 . After those you could then apply wax if you wanted to.
    Detailing World website will steer you in the right direction and videos by the Junkman are very educational. There are offers on DA polishers too .... Have a look on Clean Your Car.
     
  6. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    A rotary isn't going to be a problem, especially on 4mm steel as it will suck heat out of the paint tremendously.
     
  7. Clkrichard

    Clkrichard Active Member

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    Dieselman I hear what you say but an inexperienced machine polisher will still be more likely to burn through the boats paint with a rotary than with a DA.
    It would be interesting to hear what paint is on there now . It wont be anything a hard as the "ceramic" finish on an MB !
    Its up to the OP to decide but going straight to a rotary is unecessarily risky unless he is a fan of sanding and repainting the areas he damages while learning. That is hardly time saving though.
     
  8. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Even a novice won't burn paint with a rotary polisher unless using a hard pad and cutting compound.
     
  9. Clkrichard

    Clkrichard Active Member

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    There is no point in trying to polish unprepared paint and the first stage therefore would be to "cut" the surface debris and imperfections in the paint. If it is hand painted marine paint thats where a rotary can be dangerous in the hands of a novice. Why do you object to the much safer option of a DA ?
     
  10. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    A DA polisher will take forever as it just can't cut the paint quickly enough and the user will have white finger and swollen wrists.
     
  11. Rory

    Rory MB Enthusiast

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    I think he should clay it first. :)
     
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  12. Clkrichard

    Clkrichard Active Member

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    Before or after the snowfoam Rory ?
    Dieselman we will have to agree to differ on rotary vs DA for a novice.
     
  13. mikec32

    mikec32 Active Member

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    Do these 'narrow boats' have a gel goat like a sea cruiser? If so the gel coats are like concrete. We have a 120 foot sun seeker in London to do in the summer and for this you need oversized wool pads and aggressive compounds such as Megs 105. Either way you need a rotary and a lot of time. The best thing to do as it was originally made for marine use is crystal lacquer the finished article too. This will stop contamination problems in the future. Just to give you an idea, this sunseeker is going to take 6 of us 5 weeks to complete front to back, but obviously it's gel coat. So depending on the lacquered finish will depend on length of time to do the job properly.

    Cheers
    Mike
     
  14. Clkrichard

    Clkrichard Active Member

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    Mike narrow boats are normally steel hulled then sprayed or brush painted which is why I was erring on the side of caution by suggesting a DA.
    I think we need the OP to tell us a bit more about the existing finish
     
  15. mikec32

    mikec32 Active Member

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    /\ thanks bud! That does sound interesting. If that's brush painted there is no way on earth you would polish that. Just brush paint it again if its looking tired:) Anyway I'm sure the boat is lacquered hence why the guys here. So let me know what the finish is and ill let you know the best method. But as above a job like this I would also polish with caution!
     
  16. OP
    OP
    oscarisapc

    oscarisapc Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice. The boat is spray painted with a cellulose based paint over primer and undercoat. It is not gel coat. It looked stunning when new but 7 summers worth of sun have taken their toll. I think the suggestion of a dual action polisher sounds what I need combined with a suitable polish to just take off the bloomed layer and protect the rest. Time is not an issue. Assuming we get some fine weather, I can do it a bit at a time. The manufacturer is no longer trading, which is a pity as it is a nice boat well made. Traditional narrow boats were rough finished and hand painted working tools but modern boats made for the leisure cruiser have all mod cons including a smart shiny finish.
     
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  17. mikec32

    mikec32 Active Member

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    Ah I see so there is no lacquer. In that case if its faded (depending on its paint type) a d.a. With the Meguairs microfibre system will do the trick! If you live nearby you can borrow my pdg to measure the paint. It'll help with knowing how much you can hammer the paint:)
     
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  18. OP
    OP
    oscarisapc

    oscarisapc Active Member

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    Thanks for the offer. The boat is in Gloucester but I doubt my polishing will be accurate enough to use a gauge.I will get a polisher and proceed cautiously. Cheers.
     
  19. Clkrichard

    Clkrichard Active Member

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  20. Barney The SL

    Barney The SL New Member

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    hello, new to the forum, old to cars.

    Reading through the forum, and saw this, kinda agree an orbital is dangerous in the hands of a novice, but the silverline is a decent tool and pretty foolproof on setting "1", my mate did his fairline with mine and didnt kill the thing.
     
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