View Full Version : How-to remote scratches from gelcoat *pic*

04-13-2011, 01:04 PM

I ordered everything I need to remove the scratches in my gelcoat. I have not detailed my boat once since I bought it new in 2008. The back of my boat is the worst because it gets hit by the wakeboards. I will take some before/after pics of my progress.

Step 1) Wash the boat
Step 2) Claybar the surface
Step 3) Wetsand the deep scratches with 1500 grit
Step 4) 3M Marine Rubbing Compound (yellow 6.5" pad)
Step 5) 3M Marine Finess-It II (white 6.5" pad)
Step 6) Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze (black 6.5" pad)

This is the first time I have attempted to use a orbit polisher. I am looking for tips of what speed to use for each step. :D

04-13-2011, 03:34 PM
Sorry I can't help you, but I'd really like to see before and after pictures.

04-13-2011, 03:37 PM
With that foam pad, you can use a low speed setting. The foam is supposed to reduce temps so that you won't "burn".

04-13-2011, 03:58 PM
With that foam pad, you can use a low speed setting. The foam is supposed to reduce temps so that you won't "burn".

Ok, so is a lower speed better than a higher speed?

Should I use different speeds for compound, polish and sealant?

04-13-2011, 04:37 PM

watching this one with great anticipation, as I have several scratches that are not deep and a couple of spots where the fenders sit that have dulled the surface over the years..

04-13-2011, 05:22 PM
Sorry I can't help you, but I'd really like to see before and after pictures.

Subscribing as well. :cool:

04-13-2011, 08:54 PM
Have Deep Scratches In Front On Both Sides On Lake And Dock Poles To Close Worst Scratches That Ever Seen Let Us Know How It Works

04-13-2011, 09:53 PM
With a random orbit you don't have to worry about burning. I hate to say foolproof and jinx you but you should have no worries.

I have the same machine but a previous version. I use one speed down from the highest for nearly everything. The highest speed makes quick work but flings the polish everywhere. :)

04-13-2011, 10:52 PM
Yeah, as long as you keep it moving you can go as fast as you want but you will get the stuff slinging everywhere. I usually start out on low-med speed until I'm close to final buff and then I'll turn it up and really keep it moving.

04-14-2011, 10:11 AM
What did you pay for that buffer? I really need to get one.

From everything I've heard and seen you always want to keep your speed as slow as possible, but as Kane says if you keep it moving at higher speeds you'll be fine.

04-14-2011, 05:10 PM
My input is based on using a high speed buffer on car paint, not gel coat. I think gel coat is a harder material. Speed should be based on what material you are using, glaze, ozidation remover, or heavy grit. Start off at a slow setting, if you are not getting results, speed it up. As long as you keep the buffer moving, you shouldn't burn. Until you get the hang of how you are doing, stay away from corners, edges, and high points. Those areas tend to build heat rapidly and that is where people mostly get burn through. Gel coat is thicker than any painted car, so even if you burn a little, sand it, and buff again.

04-20-2011, 09:19 PM
Deafgoos, where did you get your supplies?


^^ Found this website. I too need to purchase an orbital buffer and pads. I have
49 - Mequires Oxidation remover
45 - Mequires High Gloss polisher
56 - Pure Wax

I'm planning on hitting most of it with just the polisher and wax but there are a few spots I'll need to wetsand before to get some scratches out.

Any recommendations on what pads to buy and/or any of the packages listed on the link for my needs? I've read the Porter Cable 7424 is the buffer of choice.

Thanks in advance!

07-01-2011, 11:08 AM
I finally finished my first polish, buffing, waxing of the boat and appreciate Deafgooses input on supplies. I bought a Porter Cable orbital buffer and the pads he described. I started with Meguires polish and waxing kit and it made the boat shine, but the polish did not remove many scratches. It only took off the very very small scratches. I went and bought the 3M polish compound and that stuff really works. I can not believe the difference it made on some scratches I did not think would come out. This is just my 2 cents, but I would go with the 3M rubbing compound if you need to remove scratches, then follow up with the Finesse IT and the high gloss sealant. My boat looks like new. Thanks for all the input.

07-01-2011, 12:12 PM
Any before and after pics?

07-01-2011, 12:42 PM
Any before and after pics?

No before pics but I do have after an pic.

It was a really rushed job and I was using somebody else's driveway because I live in a Condo.

Everything turned out perfectly though. I ended up wetsanding (1500grit) all the scratches and then followed up with compound, polish and sealant.



07-01-2011, 03:41 PM
Looks good. I did mine a month or so ago and turned out great. Only complaint was the Mequires rubbing compound didn't work all that well. I might have to try 3m's to get the scratches out completely next year!