View Full Version : Detailing a boat with the Professional Line

Jun 20th, 2008, 01:16 PM
Well, as luck would have it, I had a friend's parents ask me to detail their boat. Fourth straight weekend in a row that I've had a detail. Woohoo!!!

I would have taken pics, but I didn't have my camera with me. Anyways, it's around fifteen feet in length. The paint is a two tone gelcoat - the hull is white with some red stripes and a red strip that goes around the top of the hull. The red has faded a bit (little bit lighter) and the white has some staining streaks (light gray in color). Overall, it's moderately oxidized. The canvas top is in bad shape and has plenty of crud baked on.

So, here's the problem...
I was asked today to detail the boat TOMORROW! That means I have no time to order up some of the Marine compounds. Nobody around here carries the Marine line.

For the most part, the owners want the exterior and canvas top detailed.

All I have is the Professional Line - M105, M86, M85, M84, M83, M80, M40, and M39 plus a selection of Solo wool pads and other foam pads.

I tried a test spot with some M83 and a polishing pad on the rotary. It looked better, but a compound is necessary.

Which compound would you use for the gelcoat? I was thinking of using M105 to start. Any other gelcoat polishing tips?

The canvas top will be a challenge. M57 would make it a lot easier, but again, it's out of reach. Has anyone tried Quik Out on canvas? M39 may work, but I don't have enough to do the whole thing. Maybe a degreaser of sorts?

Thanks for the help!

Mike Phillips
Jun 20th, 2008, 02:13 PM
You can give the M105 a try on the oxidized and stained gel-coat,

"You don't know what you can do until you try"

And see if that work at all, probably use a wool pad on a rotary....

The M80 should actually work pretty good too with a wool pad but if you go this route you'll want to check to make sure there's no swirls in the gel-coat when your finished and if there are remove using a DA Polisher.

After that apply whatever you have for a wax or paint sealant... you now the drill...

As for the top? Sounds bad from your description, you might want to just offer to do the boat hull and let them know that the Canvas top should probably be taken to someone that specializes in that type of work.

If you still decide to clean the top then you need to find something that's strong enough to do the job but safe enough to not cause any harm.

Hmmm..... without Meguiar's that might be a tough one.... hmmm..... ;)

Take a look at Target in the household and laundry isles... maybe you can find something that will work... just be sure to test in an inconspicuous area first...

Be mindful of the order in which you clean, if you polish out the boat first and then tackle the canvas top and in the process chemicals in your cleaners run down on the finished work it could stain or dull your previous hard work, so unless you're taking the canvas off the boat might want to start at the top and work down.

Makes sense?


Jun 20th, 2008, 02:23 PM
You could use a protectant designed for a convertible top.( i.e. 303 Canvas cleaner/protectant, available at West marine stores nationwide) in a pinch.

Jun 20th, 2008, 05:11 PM
Thanks for the help Mike!

I'm just trying to get an idea of how these gelcoats work compared to the normal clearcoat or single stage.

We'll see how it goes and I'll post pictures when it's done.