if the clear coat is gone, when you polish your pad will start to show the color of the paint. When you polish you are removing a small amount of paint. If you are polishing clear coat; the paint is clear (obveosly) so you don't see the paint building up on the pad. If it was the base coat (color) that you are polishing, you will be able to see the paint; that you removed; on the pad.
I just recently did a detail on my dads Seadoo PWC, and it's not nearly as fun as I expected. There are so many different panels that need to be worked on, instead of a few big panels. And so many different materials used on the body (there was like 4 different textures of plastic trim).
I used Optimum Poli-seal on the lower half. WG Finishing Glaze on the upper painted panels, with a coat of Collinite 845, topped with DP Max Wax (the DP was just for looks while it's in storage). All of the plastic trim was dressed with Optimum Opti-bond tire gel. The Opti-bond worked fantastic! It even looked good on the ruberized foam material on the back platform.
Here's a picture of how it turned out: