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  1. #11
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Also....


    For everyone's insight and education...


    If you're experienced detailing cars, you know just how perfect you can get car paint, both single stage and basecoat/clearcoat paints.

    When it comes to GEL-COAT - because it's porous, you cannot get the same perfect looking finish like you can with car paint. You can get close, but not the same.


    So I always teach to

    LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS



    And if you detail boats for money,

    Lower your customer's expectations.


    Then as I also teach,

    Under promise and over deliver.



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  3. #12
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    It's very much appreciated that you do share your knowledge and experience. I've got a hell of a lot out of it and I've only been on the forum for a short while so thanks

    Those Mirka Abralon pads look the business. I note that they go in 1000 grit increments. Do you use all three 1000, 2000 then 3000 followed by the wool pad and Captains Compound?

  4. #13
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    It is very much appreciated that you do share your knowledge and experience. I've learned a lot already and have only been on the forum a short while so thank you for that

    Those Mirka Abralon cutting pads look good. I note that that go in increments of 1000 grit size. Do you find that you'll use all three 1000, 2000 and 3000 for a badly oxidised boat?

  5. #14
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Totts View Post

    It's very much appreciated that you do share your knowledge and experience. I've got a hell of a lot out of it and I've only been on the forum for a short while so thanks
    Thank you. Compliment is much appreciated. This forum is simply a part of Autogeek's Customer Care Department only instead of calling us on the phone you join this forum and ask your question. And unlike a phone call, the info I type out and share endures forever, or at least as long as Autogeek pays their server bill.

    You can try posting your questions to the Autogeek Detailing 101 Facebook Group too and get help there too.




    Quote Originally Posted by Totts View Post


    Those Mirka Abralon pads look the business. I note that they go in 1000 grit increments. Do you use all three 1000, 2000 then 3000 followed by the wool pad and Captains Compound?

    No and Yes.

    You always use the least aggressive process to get the job done. I explain this in-depth in my article here,


    The two reasons WHY you should always do a Test Spot before buffing out any car


    Simply change the last word in the above title to boat and everything else I wrote applies the same.


    My goal when restoring neglected gel-coat on any boat would be to use the least aggressive process as possible. With severely neglected boats, the oxidation goes INTO the gel-coat, it's not just ON the outside surface of the gel-coat. If you don't remove all the oxidation IN the gel-coat the results you create from only compounding will be short lived - in my experience.

    For my boat classes, I bring in the WORST boats I can find - thus I can teach sanding. So many boat owners don't have the ability or simply don't take care of their boats so it's natural to see lots of boats with severe oxidation.

    To be honest, I don't really like detailing big boats. The ONLY boat I really ever liked to detail was my Sanger and that's because if you look at it, the majority of the boat is the top of the hull and on a boat trailer it's waist high. It's like buffing out a table. It doesn't get any easier than that.








    So to your questions...



    Quote Originally Posted by Totts View Post

    Do you use all three 1000, 2000 then 3000 followed by the wool pad and Captains Compound?
    You use the sanding disc that gets the job done, (removes the oxidation/deep oxidation), then finish out progressively (if you don't start with #4000), and then YES you use a wool pad with the Captain's Compound to remove your sanding marks.

    After compounding, machine polish using the same compound AS YOUR POLISH and use a RUPES coarse blue foam pad on an orbital polisher. This will remove the holograms left by the FIBERS in the wool pad and leave a show car finish on your boat.


    If it were me, I would use the BEAST or the SUPA BEAST for the polishing step.



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  7. #15
    Newbie Member dnadrifterr's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Was this "blue pad" a soft foam waxing pad, like Lake Country sells?

    Being you're using 3M products, if the blue pad the convoluted 3M waffle pad, which is a soft foam finishing pad?

    A microfiber pad should have left a hard shine with marring. Always remember

    Fibers are abrasives

    The individual fibers will leave their own cuts in the surface, thus micro-marring (or holograms when using a rotary buffer). But even with marring or holograms, I would expect a microfiber pad to leave a hard shine. The Porter Cable is a great tool but also one of the weakest DAs on the market.


    1. We're you on the 6 Speed Setting?
    2. Did you mark your backing plate?
    3. Was the pad rotating when buffing?

    Thanks for all the information Mike. Yes I red through some your class examples and the two very badly oxidized blue boats was amazing. The pictures you showed of the maroon one and the gloss achieved were amazing.

    Yes, I was using the LC soft blue pads. I didnt try the microfiber very long and didn't try it on a panel that I hadn't already used the blue foam on. I have only touched a very small part of the boat. The majority of the boat is actually a deep red in good shape with little oxidation, so with this new info I am hoping I can use the blue coarse pads and have a stunning result.

    Thanks again for all the info....now if only I could get my hands on one your boat detailing books. :-)

    Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? -  Pics-img_2393-large-jpg
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  8. #16
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by dnadrifterr View Post

    The majority of the boat is actually a deep red in good shape with little oxidation, so with this new info I am hoping I can use the blue coarse pads and have a stunning result.

    Nice boat!




    Keep us updated as to how this project turns out.



  9. #17
    Newbie Member dnadrifterr's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    Keep us updated as to how this project turns out.

    Thanks! Will do.
    2019 Audi S6, 2017 GMC Sierra, 2004 BMW M3
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  10. #18
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    I ordered a couple of blue Rupes cutting pads and Mike kindly sent some Captains Compound for me to try with them. Captains Compound is a one step compound and polish.

    The blue Rupes pads are really quite course and stiff, more so than I was expecting and the Captains Compound was the opposite, that is to say, when rubbed between the fingers, its creamy with almost no discernible texture. I was expecting to feel some grittiness but then I guess Captains Compound isn't professing to be a heavy cut compound such as 3M's offering.

    I waited for a sunny day so I could really see what was going on and tried the combination on two boats, one or which is gelcoat and the other has been painted.

    As there's little flex in the Rupes pad, it does take a bit of getting used as they don't hug the surface like softer pads, however, the combination worked very well on both boats, which is cutting and polishing at the same time. Under sunlight, I could see that the combination had worked well on the moderately oxidised surfaces and I couldn't see any swirl marks, holograms and fine scratches were removed nicely.

    So in essence, the combination works well together, a successful result. In addition, I didn't see any dulling/frosting with that annealed texture I mentioned before, the reason why this thread was started in the first place.

  11. #19
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Totts View Post

    In addition, I didn't see any dulling/frosting with that annealed texture I mentioned before, the reason why this thread was started in the first place.

    Thanks for the update and it sounds like you have found a combination to accomplish the goal.


    Just to note - the Captain's compound is aggressive, it just uses hi tech abrasive technology, thus the reason you don't feel any grit or abrasive particles. IN fact if feels more like a hand lotion.


    Also - I've never used the Captains Compound and the RUPES blue foam pads to tackle neglected boats. I START with an even more aggressive process of sanding and then buffing with wool pads and rotary buffers. I use the Captain's Compound and the RUPES blue foam pads to remove the holograms scratches from the wool pads/rotary buffers and THEN use the Captain's Compound and RUPES blue foam pads to create a show car finish on a boat.

    So for anyone to use the Captain's compound and the RUPES blue foam pads to START a de-oxidation process - while it should work - it's going to take a lot more foam pads because as the foam becomes wet with product it's going to become soft and then stop cutting and polishing, which is the desired end result.


    I remember the BIG PICTURE goal was how to "polish" without dulling and that's what I originally prescribed the Captain's Compound/RUPES blue foam pads for. I don't remember prescribing it for the initial oxidation removal, this will always be done better and faster using wool pad and a rotary buffer.


    Make sense?


    Thanks for updating both threads. For those following, here's the other thread.


    Polishing gelcoat makes it go dull - what am I doing wrong?



  12. #20
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Gelcoat Polish Question - Removed swirls but also deep gloss? - Pics

    Quote Originally Posted by dnadrifterr View Post

    Thanks! Will do.

    Any update?



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