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  1. #1
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    Pads/Backing Plates/etc for boat gelcoat detail? Small areas

    Browsed around quite a bit but haven't found the definitive "guide" I'm looking for I guess. Living in the city after college I've been out of the game for awhile, but I have my PC DA and all of my auto detail stuff back home. We need to do a compound/polish (hoping no wet sand) polish on the hull of our family boat, so I've picked up some 3m wool pads and so w meguiars and Marine 31 compounds and polishes to try.

    What I'm trying to figure out is what smaller pads to get and more importantly, what backing plates go with what size pad. There are some areas of the transom obscured by grab handles and cleats that I would rather not remove, so I think an extension and some 1-4" range pads are I. Order, but for the life of me I cannot get a good handle on what pad goes with what backing plates (I swear every manufacturer is a mess, even finding the right plate for the 3m pads for the rotary was a nightmare.)

    I've been looking at the lake country hybrid or wool pads, can anyone confirm what works right/well with what? I've found the 3" and 6" extension kit, but it appears lake country has like 2.5" backing plates, 2 7/8", 2 3/4", 3", etc seems all over the place. Any direction on what combo works well for those tight spots would be appreciated.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Pads/Backing Plates/etc for boat gelcoat detail? Small areas

    How about Flex 1"-3" backing plates and foam pads? Little pricey but you get what you pay for in quality. Team them up with the Lake Country extensions and you are set. Maybe get some wool pads if needed.

    FLEX Rotary Backing Plates 1, 2, 3 Inch Diameter

    FLEX PE8 Rotary Foam Pads 1, 2, 3 Inch Diameter

    Lake Country Rotary Extensions Kit

  3. #3
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    Re: Pads/Backing Plates/etc for boat gelcoat detail? Small areas

    I could be wrong, but my understanding is the foam pads are not going to cut it (literally) for the gelcoat work and I'll specifically need wool (hence the few 8" 3m pads). Trying to figure out which sized back plate works correctly with which sized pad. The fact that every pad description doesn't state "accepts x.xx" backing plate" is kinda crazy to me.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Pads/Backing Plates/etc for boat gelcoat detail? Small areas

    Ya I agree with you that the size of the pad face and the velcro should be stated in the description when buying it.

    What I could found from the descriptions this is the LC backing for rotary threads and 3.5" spot buffs pads and 4" wool pad. It's so you get a little safety zone from the backing plate to the edge of the pad. Hydrotech and ccs pads and flat pads. Look for the ones that are thicker foam and not the thin pads that are popular on the DA. Electricfied wool pad 4" and 3.5" purple foam wool pad for wool if going with LC pads. Maybe some others chaim in on what they use on boats gelcoat.

    Rotary 2 7/8 inch Flexible Backing Plate, backing plates, back plate, lake country backing pad

    Electrified sheepskin wool compounding pad, spot buff wool pad, 4 inch wool buffing pad, lake country wool pad

    Foamed Wool 3.5 inch Buffing/Polishing Pad, spot polish with Lake Country Foamed Wool Pad, wool buffing pad, small wool pad

  5. #5
    Senior Member Markymapo's Avatar
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    Re: Pads/Backing Plates/etc for boat gelcoat detail? Small areas

    Will the the wool pads be good enough. I started last fall,doing test areas, on our Cobalt 242 and wool was not good enough. I hit with wet sanding, then wool, then compound, then polish; and that worked. Now to finish the boat this spring. Mike Phillips has a great book here on stages of repair n what to use, I suggest starting with that. I missed his class this year as I was on business trip to China.
    2018 CaymanS, 2016 BMW M4
    2015 Lexus IS 350
    2016 Ford F150

  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Pads/Backing Plates/etc for boat gelcoat detail? Small areas

    I'd recommend getting the Lake Country Rotary Buffer Extension Kit and some small wool pads.

    The Cyclo Wool pads work fine on the rotary and both Buff & Shine and Lake Country make 3.5" wool pads.


    If I'm' going to CUT I tend to prefer a real wool pad, not a fluffy wool pad light duty wool pad. Here's some pictures showing the FLEX PE14 at work on a console. The compact size allowed the guys to get into tight places. Extension would help too. A full size rotary won't do this type of surgical work.





    Robert Diterlizzi is using the Flex PE14 Lightweight, Compact Rotary Polisher with the 3" PFW thin pads to knock out the intricate areas and tight spots on the console.




    A full size rotary buffer couldn't do this...




    This is Rick's first time to one of our boat detailing classes and Rick wanted to learn how to use a rotary buffer, so I matched him up with Robert for some expert one-on-one training.




    Robert and Rick making gel-coat shine!






    More pictures here,

    16' Key Largo Center Console Boat Detailing Class with Marine 31


    Mike Phillips
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  7. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Pads/Backing Plates/etc for boat gelcoat detail? Small areas

    Here's a young Andre using a 3.5" wool pad on the PE14









    More pictures here,

    Pictures: 2000 Baja 232 Boss High Performance Extreme Makeover


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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  8. #8
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Pads/Backing Plates/etc for boat gelcoat detail? Small areas

    I used to hold a lot of free classes and then do what's called a

    Write-up

    But no one seems to care anymore?


    More here,

    Pictures and Comments from Boat Detailing Projects - Marine 31 Forum


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Paul A.'s Avatar
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    Re: Pads/Backing Plates/etc for boat gelcoat detail? Small areas

    There ya go, Speez, right there from The Master himself.

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