View Full Version : Training boat for boat detailing class - Red ROBALO Center Console

Mike Phillips
02-03-2016, 05:25 PM
Boat Detailing Class Training Boat - Red ROBALO Center Console (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/marine-31-boat-detailing-classes/98540-boat-detailing-class-training-boat-red-robalo-center-console.html)

Here's the training boat for the boat detailing class this Saturday. It's a 2011 25' ROBALO Center Console with heavy oxidation and ghosting from where the lettering was removed.





If you're attending this class then you have received an e-mail from me including the link to this thread.

Removing the oxidation and restoring a factory new finish to this boat will be a real challenge so be sure to get a good night's sleep.


Mike Phillips
02-03-2016, 05:29 PM
We'll be using the machine sanding, machine compounding, machine polishing techniques shared in this book. I wrote this book to also act as the course outline.


You can get a copy Saturday morning before the class starts to take notes in if you like. The book is $20.00

It can also be ordered online here,

On Autogeek.com

How To Detail Boats With Marine 31 by Mike Phillips (http://www.autogeek.net/marine-31-boat-book.html)


Mike Phillips
02-04-2016, 05:14 PM

The boat for our boat detailing class arrived today and I took some pictures to document the before condition.

Here she is out in front of Autogeek's Show Car Garage where we teach all our boat and car detailing classes in a fully functional and stocked detailing shop plus its air conditioned!


This picture is called...

Framing up the shot


Now I've zoomed in to show you the damage to the gel-coat from the South Florida sun and marine environment.





You can also see streaks in the gel-coat that are "in" the gel-coat not simply "on" the gel-coat.


My friend Mark Dixon brought the boat down for the owner. Most boat guys can back a boat into anything and anywhere.


And here she is ready for the class on Saturday.


The oxidation isn't as apparent under the overhead florescent lights but it's there just the same as documented with the outdoor pictures.


Hologram Scratches
Here's some light to reveal the dull, oxidized gel-coat PLUS the holograms in the gel-coat finish instilled by a wool pad on a rotary buffer.


The lines you see in the gel-coat going side-to-side copy the direction the rotary buffer was moved side-to-side when the boat was last buffed about a year ago.


Here you can see more signs of holograms....


Here you can see oxidation, holograms and the ghosting left by some vinyl graphics that have been removed.



Once in a while I get someone on FB that makes a comment about using boats or cars that actually need work and what these handful of people don't know is that I have probably the longest history of documenting the true before condition of our projects in the forum world and the Facebook world. And of course I'll get the process pictures and the after pictures.


Mike Phillips
02-04-2016, 05:16 PM
Just to note....

Holograms or the scratch pattern left in the gel-coat by a rotary buffer are the normal results for boat detailing in the world.

I think I'm the only person that has addressed this issue with an article and you can read it here.

Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips (http://www.marine31online.com/forum/showthread.php?t=138)

I"m also happy to say that in our classes you learn how to use a rotary buffer but you also learn how to finish out hologram free when buffing out boats.


Mike Phillips
02-04-2016, 05:22 PM
Back when I worked for Meguiar's my friend and peer in this industry Mike Pennington alwasy used to stress the importance of working clean. He would say,

Always work clean

He meant the shop environment should be clean, your work station should be clean, your tools should be clean as should your pads and products and even you.

I've alwasy remember that from Mike and I practice it and teach it in all our classes.

The garage and classroom are being set-up today and tomorrow for Saturday's full-day class. This includes a clean shop to work in for all our classes, both our boat detailing classes and our automotive detailing classes.

Here's Mike and Tony getting the floor clean and shiny!




More pictures tomorrow of all the tools and products you learn at one of these classes.


Mike Phillips
02-05-2016, 02:39 PM
Test Spot on a boat

Machine sanded
I machine sanded this center section to remove oxidation, streaking and water spots.


Before condition on the left side of the test spot


Before condition on the right side of the test spot


3 easy steps to perfection

1. Compounding with the Flex PE14 a wool pad and Marine 31 Marine 31 Captainís One-Step Compound & Polish.

2. Polishing with the RUPES BigFoot 21 with a RUPES blue course pad and Marine 31 Captainís One-Step Compound & Polish.

3. Machine waxing with Marine 31


Not only can you see the dramatic before and after but you can also see the entire hull is filled with holograms by the light reflecting off the upper right hand corner of the hull in the picture below.


Products used

Marine 31 Captainís One-Step Compound & Polish (http://www.marine31.com/compound-for-painted-boats.html)

Marine 31 Gel Coat Carnauba Wax + Sealant (http://www.autogeek.net/m31-701.html)

FLEX PE14-2-150 Rotary Polisher (http://www.autogeek.net/flex-pe14-2-150-rotary-polisher.html)

7.5 inch Electrified White Sheepskin Final Polishing Pad (http://www.autogeek.net/lc-wool-sheepskin-polishing-pad-7inch.html)

Rupes LHR 21ES Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-lhr-21es-big-foot-polisher.html)

RUPES blue coarse foam pad (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-foam-pads.html)

Mirka Abralon Sanding Discs (http://www.autogeek.net/mirka-sanding-products.html)

The test spot proves the system selected works to restore a better than new factory finish to the gel-coat hull on this boat and this will be the approach the class uses tomorrow to finish the job as a part of the hands-on training provided at all our classes both marine and automotive.


Mike Phillips
02-05-2016, 06:06 PM
Well the boats ready and the classroom is ready to go for tomorrow morning.

See everyone attending this class at 7:00am SHARP!


02-06-2016, 01:03 AM
Man that gel coat is hammered and neglected! Nice test bed you found for the class Mike.

What grit paper did you use for the test spot?

Mike Phillips
02-06-2016, 05:56 AM
Man that gel coat is hammered and neglected! Nice test bed you found for the class Mike.

What grit paper did you use for the test spot?

Thanks for asking Mike. :xyxthumbs:

I started with #3000 and finished with #4000, the oxidation is widespread but it's shallow since this boat was buffed out one year ago. If the oxidation was worse and deeper into the gel-coat I could have started at a lower grit like #1000 and worked back out to #3000 or #4000.

All my classes are about teaching technique, so the techniques the students will learn will work for new boats in great condition or older boats in neglected condition.

Also, I could have sanded with #2000 and finished with #3000 but I find that quite a few of the students in my classes are not experienced with rotary buffers.

I want them to have both a great learning experience and also enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done and it's much easier to buff out #4000 grit sanding marks 100 percent than it is lower grits.

My how-to book pretty much covers every conceivable tool combination and offers multiple options for how many steps a person wants to do for boat detailing.

For the condition of this boat I'm showing what I consider the best combination for the least amount of steps, the least amount of grunt muscle for the maximum shine and gloss. In fact, the test spot I did rivals a show car finish on a car.


And... unlike how most boat detailing is done and how this boat was buffed, there are not holograms left in the gel-coat finish.

Holograms just lead to faster oxidation since the detailer leaves the surface dramatically more open versus a completely smooth, flat surface.

I explain this in the only article I've ever seen written on the topic of holograms and boats.

Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips (http://www.marine31online.com/forum/showthread.php?t=138)

Time to turn on the air conditioning and have some coffee as the students will be arriving in the next hour.


Mike Phillips
02-06-2016, 11:25 AM
***Lunch Break***

:hungry: :hungry: :hungry:

02-06-2016, 12:19 PM
Will be on the lookout for pictures.

02-06-2016, 12:47 PM
***Lunch Break***

:hungry: :hungry: :hungry:

That's the best occasion to detail a Robalo... (Robalo in Portuguese means Sea Bass!) :xyxthumbs:

02-07-2016, 12:25 AM
This will definitely be a beautiful boat when done. I would like to take the class some day.

07-12-2016, 07:34 PM
It's a great disappointment to me that there has been no follow up to this here or in the other AutoGeek forums.