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All Aboard Boats: Gloss Attention

Use these products to keep your ride looking sharp.

May 20, 2010
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In a recent post, I shared what I learned while maintaining boats for others as a paying proposition, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. To show that I still practice what I preach, check out this shot of my 1997 Regulator 23. Built in 1996, its dark blue finish is serving its 14th season in sun and salt. Pretty cool, huh?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Regulator builds a good boat with top raw materials, such as the Trevira Stop Print and vinylester resin used in the lay-up of my boat, so I can’t take all the credit. For my part, I’ve used every brand of wax, compound and polish under the sun over the years. Many are very good. But I use these to keep my ride looking sharp.

1. Farecla Profile 200 Coarse Cut. This compound cuts the chalkiness and brings back the blue when applied using a seven-inch polisher fitted with a nappy, 100 percent wool pad set at 3,500 rpm to buff it off.

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2. Farecla Profile 300 Rapid Cut. This is a finer polish, removing any swirl marks and “flattening” the rough work done by the 200 Coarse Cut. Where the 200 brings back color, the 300 brings back the gloss. It too is applied and buffed off with a 100 percent wool pad, this time spinning 3,000 rpm.

3. To seal the deal, I use 3M Marine Ultra Performance Paste Wax. This is applied very thin, by hand, allowed to dry hard, then buffed off with a fine wool pad turning 2,500 rpm. The ability of this wax to stand up to sun, salt water and repeated washings is great.

Tip: Change pads frequently to properly remove (buff out) wax and compound. I used six separate pads in detailing my 23-foot boat. That’s two for each product — my regimen requires “going around” the boat six times, a full day’s work. A spur, like this one, helps extend a pad’s usefulness on the job. After the job’s completed, I wash my pads in the washing machine using hot water.

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