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  1. #1
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    BLACK BOAT - Product advice recommendation

    BLACK BOAT - Product advice recommendation




    I've been reading with interest many of the threads here and am ready to purchase some items so that I can give my boat a good cleaning and polish. I'm a little confused as to what I should be trying.

    Boat is only 2 years old - black hull, there is really no oxidation to speak of, but there are some light scuff marks from bumpers, along with a few swirl marks here and there from the dealer 'buffing' them out as a courtesy during service.

    I do have an older Griots/porter cable DA random orbital. In reading up, this seems like it may not be ideal to use.

    Is it worth investing in one of the kits being sold here with the Flex XC3401 Dual action orbital polisher?

    I was planning on using the M31 Captains one-step compound & polish. For that, I see a lot of mention about the Rupes Blue Coarse Foam pad, but it seems not available. Is there a replacement?

    Any advice is appreciated!





  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Product advice recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by tminvt View Post
    I've been reading with interest many of the threads here and am ready to purchase some items so that I can give my boat a good cleaning and polish. I'm a little confused as to what I should be trying.

    Boat is only 2 years old - black hull, there is really no oxidation to speak of, but there are some light scuff marks from bumpers, along with a few swirl marks here and there from the dealer 'buffing' them out as a courtesy during service.

    I do have an older Griots/porter cable DA random orbital. In reading up, this seems like it may not be ideal to use.

    Is it worth investing in one of the kits being sold here with the Flex XC3401 Dual action orbital polisher?

    I was planning on using the M31 Captains one-step compound & polish. For that, I see a lot of mention about the Rupes Blue Coarse Foam pad, but it seems not available. Is there a replacement?

    Any advice is appreciated!

    Hang tight...

    And welcome to AutogeekOnline!



  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Product advice recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by tminvt View Post

    I've been reading with interest many of the threads here and am ready to purchase some items so that I can give my boat a good cleaning and polish. I'm a little confused as to what I should be trying.

    Boat is only 2 years old - black hull, there is really no oxidation to speak of, but there are some light scuff marks from bumpers, along with a few swirl marks here and there from the dealer 'buffing' them out as a courtesy during service.

    I do have an older Griots/porter cable DA random orbital. In reading up, this seems like it may not be ideal to use.
    The Griot's polisher you have is a

    Free Spinning 8mm Random Orbital Polisher


    It's a great tool. It is also weaker as it relates to a tool like the FLEX XC3401 or any of the FLEX BEAST polishers.

    Quote Originally Posted by tminvt View Post

    Is it worth investing in one of the kits being sold here with the Flex XC3401 Dual action orbital polisher?
    For my time and money I say yes.

    You say your boat's gelcoat is in good condition, so you could get the job done using the Griot's tool. As long as it doesn't look like this,

    Car Detailing History - First Generation Griots Garage Polisher





    Quote Originally Posted by tminvt View Post

    I was planning on using the M31 Captains one-step compound & polish. For that, I see a lot of mention about the Rupes Blue Coarse Foam pad, but it seems not available. Is there a replacement?

    Any advice is appreciated!
    RUPES discontinued their first generation coarse, blue foam cutting pad. They have introduced a replacement but I haven't personally taken a liking to it yet. I love the new yellow and white foam pads as well as all their fiber pads, just not the new blue pad. I think I have an article on this somewhere?


    The good news is Buff and Shine makes a VERY similar pad. This is the pad I switched my class over to for the 2021 Boat Detailing Class. It comes in a variety of sizes. For a Griot's polisher, you could use the 6" or 7" pad depending on what size backing plate you have.

    The Griot's polisher came with a 6" backing plate. You'll get better performance and better correction from this tool if you get a 5" backing plate.


    These blue foam pads are very sharp and coarse but they do work good on "most" gel-coats for "polishing". That said, it's always a good idea to do a TEST SPOT and make sure the process you "think" is going to work actually works before buffing out the entire boat.

    So what I would recommend to you is to order a couple of blue coarse and a maroon medium pads and test them boat and see what kind of results you get and then go with it. Once you figure out which pad works the best, order at least 6 more. When buffing with FOAM - once the foam becomes wet with product it's useless until you wash it and dry it. Dry foam pads buff great. Wet foam pads waste your time. This is why I'm always teaching guys to use LOTS of pads if buffing with foam.


    Here's links,

    5 Inch Coarse Blue Heavy Cutting Foam Pad

    5 Inch Maroon Medium Cut Foam Pad



    The descriptions read 5" but these are in fact 6". I've sent an e-mail to the AG webmaster to correct. Lucky for me I'm a speed typist because I have other things to do today.



    Here's the link to a 5" backing plate.

    Griot's Garage 5 Inch Vented Backing Plate



    Do you still have the backing plate wrench?


    If not, I have a spare I can include with your package.


    Also - the Captain's Compound is the best. I type a LOT about abrasive technology and it uses great abrasive technology. It's expensive but it will not let you down. Bad abrasive technology is going to SCOUR that black gelcoat and make it look horrible.



  4. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Product advice recommendation

    I have to go machine polish a glass window on a 1957 Corvette.

    If you want to call to discuss, here's my cell

    760-515-0444




  5. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Product advice recommendation

    Also - after you compound the boat, you have options to SEAL the gelcoat surface.

    If it were me? I'd use a ceramic coating. It will last much longer and you'll have already done the hard part - compounding the hull.



  6. #6
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    Re: Product advice recommendation

    Mike,
    Thanks for the great reply! Just what I was hoping for. I watched a couple of your boat videos this morning and picked up some additional info for sure.

    I hear you on the DA types -agree it might be worth the investment for a more powerful one. I took a look at the older porter cable/griots I have, it is not the one in your photos, it is a 7336. I bought that years ago, and it seems like the Flex models will work more effectively.

    I will go with your pad recommendations, size, etc.

    After polishing with the recommended pads and Captain's compound, would I then need any other pad and product to finish before applying something to seal?

    And for the ceramic seal -this effectively replaces the traditional wax, correct? Or can the hull be waxed then sealed?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Product advice recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by tminvt View Post

    After polishing with the recommended pads and Captain's compound, would I then need any other pad and product to finish before applying something to seal?
    In my boat classes, we CUT with the Captain's Compound and then we POLISH with the Captain's Compound. I always get show boat results. BUT - this is where testing comes into play. I'm confident the Captain's Compound can start and finish out your gelcoat, but pad type is the key. So you need to do some testing.


    Quote Originally Posted by tminvt View Post

    And for the ceramic seal -this effectively replaces the traditional wax, correct? Or can the hull be waxed then sealed?

    Thanks!
    You can use conventional waxes and sealants.

    OR

    You can seal with a ceramic coating.

    You don't want or need to do both. Coatings will not bond to the surface if you first apply a wax or sealant. For most coatings you'll need to use a panel wipe first.

    I've been told you can also use the 303 Graphene Nano Spray Coating. Have not done it myself but it's lower cost and less steps.


    In this review plus the video, I share the basics of using a ceramic coating on gelcoat. The steps I share apply to most if not all ceramic gelcoat coatings.

    Review: Marine 31 Vessel Coat UV Pro



    With the 303 you could skip the panel wipe step.

    Review: 303 Graphene Nano Spray Coating


    I don't know that 303 tested this product on gelcoat and also boats in the water. I have a gelcoat panel in the garage and I could wipe it on and then wipe it off but it lives in a garage. Huge difference between a garage and living on/in the water. But I did ask the chemist about it and he seem to think it would and should work.


    One thing for sure, conventional waxes and sealant will not least near as long as some form of coating.





  8. #8
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    Re: BLACK BOAT - Product advice recommendation

    Ok, working on an order..

    The 5 Inch Maroon Medium Cut Foam Pad you mentioned is sold out. Replacement option?

    The Flex 3401 is sold out on its own, but seems to be available in a kit. If I order a kit, the backing plate on it is 5.5". Can you recommend the correct backing plate to purchase to fit the 5" pads? I think I see it online, but want to be sure.

    Thank you!
    Ted

  9. #9
    Super Member dwaleke's Avatar
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    BLACK BOAT - Product advice recommendation

    The 3401 looks to be in stock here:

    FLEX XC 3401 VRG HD Orbital Polisher, FLEX buffer, car polisher

    Have you looked at the Flex XCE? It is the replacement for the soon to be discontinued 3401.

    FLEX XCE 10-8 125 Corded Polisher


    It also comes with a 5" plate that works perfectly with the pads you want to buy.

    Edit: actually it looks like the xce is out of stock and the 3401 is in stock.

  10. #10
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    Re: BLACK BOAT - Product advice recommendation

    Just used Jescar correction compound and micro finishing on mine. Toped it with Ultralock + . Crazy gloss and easy to work with. Flex rotary and wool made it a breeze.

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