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Old 04-23-2017, 11:25 AM   #1
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Frequency required for Buff and Wax

Any advice or opinion on how often your fiberglass hull needs to be compounded? buffed? waxed? It's a chore so the least number of times the better!
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Old 04-23-2017, 11:29 AM   #2
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I do my boat at least once a yr but it depends on lots of stuff
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:19 PM   #3
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Any advice or opinion on how often your fiberglass hull needs to be compounded? buffed? waxed? It's a chore so the least number of times the better!


I don't like doing it. My back doesn't do well with it. So I really don't like doing it myself. I also have limited funds so don't like spending the money to have someone else do it. Fortunately, I live in an area where the UV exposure isn't as bad a southern locations.

The bottom line for me is that I have limited time, money, and physical capacity. I would much rather spend my time and money using a non-shiny boat than to spend the time and money having a shiny boat sitting at the dock.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:29 PM   #4
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We are also in the NE...similar seasons.
I try todo mine 1/yr but hiw extensive will depend on condition to start.
I am getting older and tired of tough jobs...hired my hardtop done last yr and plan to repeat...maybe more.
Hull gets done prior to launch and isnt too bad as sun & UV less
I pick away at top side sections as the mood & Wx allow.
I have switched to using a swirl remover w a good qualtity dual action polisher to clean & shine...then apply polymer sealant for protection.
No nore wax for me...lots of favorites out there but I've been happy w polymers.
NuFinish is inexpensive and works reasonably well.
I have been experimenting w some poly thats SUPPOSED to be better fir fiberglass but will see
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:31 PM   #5
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Any advice or opinion on how often your fiberglass hull needs to be compounded? buffed? waxed? It's a chore so the least number of times the better!
Do you have a dark painted hull or white galcoat?
If paint you will want to follow paint mfg recommendations
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:49 PM   #6
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Here in fla, I would buff the hull every three to four months. The eye brow every month. We had an older boat, where the gel coat was not like new. But I wanted the boat to look like new. I had the ability and knowledge from the car business, to know how to do it. People in the car business are usually anal, with detail, with me , no exception. The boat sold after 16 years, pretty much, what we paid for it.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:46 PM   #7
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Twice per year in Vallejo, California (warmer inland part of San Francisco Bay Area). I'll wax a VW Beetle, not a 42-foot boat!
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:49 PM   #8
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Any advice or opinion on how often your fiberglass hull needs to be compounded? buffed? waxed? It's a chore so the least number of times the better!
If you're going to keep it up north where you are, once it's compounded, polished and sealed properly, you should only have to polish it maybe once a year. While applying sealant say once or twice a year depending on whether you keep it under cover or not and what type of sealant you use.

True compounding should only be necessary when the gel coat gets very chalky. And that shouldn't happen if you keep up with the polishing and sealing.
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Old 04-23-2017, 02:04 PM   #9
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I compound mine once a year, then do maintenance wax throughout the year.


This year I bought a Shurflow pro buffer and used their pads and compounding paste Buff Magic. Awesome stuff. I then used Starbright polish with a red pad to apply it.


For the maintenance wax I use Maguire quick wax. I am really pleased with the results.
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Old 04-23-2017, 02:29 PM   #10
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I compound mine once a year, then do maintenance wax throughout the year.


This year I bought a Shurflow pro buffer and used their pads and compounding paste Buff Magic. Awesome stuff. I then used Starbright polish with a red pad to apply it.


For the maintenance wax I use Maguire quick wax. I am really pleased with the results.
I could not agree more, buff magic, is the best I ever used. It has jewelr Rouge, the pink one, is the best in my opinion. I use to cut the paint on cars also. I also love pro Polish, their sister follow up product. It does an amazing job on old gelcoat.The product was so good shurflow , bought the co, from the inventor. I have used them all, nothing in my opinion beats them.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:06 PM   #11
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My boat gets buffed every 5 years whether it needs it or not. I settle for the flat white look.
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:24 PM   #12
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Our climate has very high UV, probably similar to Florida. My gel coat is 35 years old. About 2 years ago I had a pro compound and wax it. He was from a car detailing background, and these days only does boats. The majority of the boat is now fine with a wax and polish every 6 months, but some areas with high sun exposure (brow etc) need a fine compound.

It costs, but I don't have the patience or physical capacity (back discs...) to do it. Cal gets it looking pretty nice....
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Old 04-23-2017, 08:05 PM   #13
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As necessary buffing that saves resorting to painting makes economic sense. Frequency may depend on gelcoat condition, but paying someone to do the hull topsides with the regular lift and antifoul works. The rest, the house etc, you can do on a needs basis, in sections. I`m still a novice with a buffer, but you learn fast.
My neighbour recently buffed his hull in the water. That amazed me, I`d be afraid of the buffer taking a swim and any number of other problems, but he coped fine.
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:15 PM   #14
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Cal originally buffed my hull in the water. But it is at least 50% faster to do it on the hard, and with most of the cost being hourly rates it makes sense to do one of the yearly wax/polish when hauled.
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:30 PM   #15
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Frequency required for Buff and Wax

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Any advice or opinion on how often your fiberglass hull needs to be compounded? buffed? waxed? It's a chore so the least number of times the better!


Would be helpful if you would put your boat's picture up so we know what your wax buff project looks like?
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:33 PM   #16
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Frequency required for Buff and Wax

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Cal originally buffed my hull in the water. But it is at least 50% faster to do it on the hard, and with most of the cost being hourly rates it makes sense to do one of the yearly wax/polish when hauled.


What should one expect to pay these days for a Buff and Wax on a 50 foot boat like yours?
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:51 PM   #17
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What should one expect to pay these days for a Buff and Wax on a 50 foot boat like yours?
Doing the exterior of the hull on the hard was 45 hours at $40/hr. Then the house/inside of the hull was done in the water. Another 40 hours, but that included cleaning and brightening the teak decks also. A few areas had 'gone' and needed compounding. A wax/polish in 6 months will be a lot less as very little compounding will be needed.

It does add up, but I'm really happy with the way the boat looks. For me, money is well spent!

Background: I had several months of excruciating nerve pain (sciatic nerve) a year ago that was only resolved after a guided steroid injection at S1/L5 in the lumbar spine. I am now very careful about doing anything to aggravate a dodgy back. It was sanding the teak around the flybridge windscreen base that did me in! Lots of awkward positions and twisting. Fortunately I now only have a small area of external teak left to prep that is quite easy to do. A quick rub of the rest with scotchbrite pad & Deks Olje #1, followed by a couple of coats of #2 finish a couple of times a year is easy, and I do it in stages as well.
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:25 PM   #18
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Back up. Are we assuming the OP is asking about gelcoat and only gelcoat, as with paints the answers would be very different and vary buy paint used?
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:43 AM   #19
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Doing the exterior of the hull on the hard was 45 hours at $40/hr. Then the house/inside of the hull was done in the water. Another 40 hours, but that included cleaning and brightening the teak decks also. A few areas had 'gone' and needed compounding. A wax/polish in 6 months will be a lot less as very little compounding will be needed.

It does add up, but I'm really happy with the way the boat looks. For me, money is well spent!

Background: I had several months of excruciating nerve pain (sciatic nerve) a year ago that was only resolved after a guided steroid injection at S1/L5 in the lumbar spine. I am now very careful about doing anything to aggravate a dodgy back. It was sanding the teak around the flybridge windscreen base that did me in! Lots of awkward positions and twisting. Fortunately I now only have a small area of external teak left to prep that is quite easy to do. A quick rub of the rest with scotchbrite pad & Deks Olje #1, followed by a couple of coats of #2 finish a couple of times a year is easy, and I do it in stages as well.
Brian, Glad to hear:
1. Your back settled and
2. Deks Olje 1 & 2 is working for you. Not varnish quality, but you almost never need to take it right back. I got aggressive with sanding last year when I sensed build up, and that was enough. My swimstep looks great just with no.1.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:55 AM   #20
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Any advice or opinion on how often your fiberglass hull needs to be compounded? buffed? waxed? It's a chore so the least number of times the better!


I hear ya... I am currently in the middle of a massive wet-sanding job that may take all summer or longer. The previous owner took a massive shortcut and used Nu-Glass (the less popular brother to PolyGlow) and not only did the installers do a shitty job of applying it, it has flaked up so bad we are almost embarrassed to show our face in marinas. :-) I will NEVER recommend these polymers ever.

The process is: floor stripper, 800... 1200... 2000 grit sanding, rubbing compound, polishing compound, colonite wax. It is a huge undertaking, but the results are amazing and, hopefully, I will never have to do it again.

I am watching this thread so I will have an idea on what the follow-up will be. Thanks for asking.
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