Sunday, June 16, 2013

Compound, Finish, Wax On, Wax Off

This boat is so close to getting back in the water I can taste it! But what would a maiden voyage be without a wax and polish? Whisky Tango looks great wet, but when its dry the gelcoat has a slightly cloudy appearance.

Gelcoat is the coating sprayed up against a highly polished mold at the beginning of the fiberglass layup process. On new boats, this surface is very smooth, mirror-like and pleasing to the eye. As gelcoat ages, it becomes porous. The more porous it becomes, the more easily it stains, the worse it looks and the harder it is to clean. Since our boat had at least 5 years of oxidation, I decided to have the whole boat polished and waxed to make Whisky Tango shine like new!

Although this is a potential do it yourself project, polishing gel-coat is part art and a part hard labor. While I'm not afraid of labor, I decided to bring in the professionals on this one. I called Perutti Boat Works in Costa Mesa, CA. They have a mobile service and are very easy to work with. They completed a 3-part Compound, Finishing and Wax of the boat. Here's what they did:

Step 1 Compounding
Since the whole boat and especially the topsides were really faded, this was done to bring back the original color and knock out the ugly, faded look. The compound was applied with an electric polisher and a pad.

Step 2 Finishing
The next step they did was to follow the Compounding with a Finishing Material boat polish in order to get a glossy, bright finish. The finishing was also done with a polisher and a pad.

Step 3 Waxing
After the boat polish was applied, the final step was to protect the finish with a wax. It's important to seal and protect the finish with a good wax to maintain the gloss from the finishing step.

This was an all day process but was well worth it as the results were amazing.

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