View Full Version : Difference between gel coat and clear coat DA technique?

Jul 18th, 2013, 04:14 PM
I am fairly comfortable using a DA on my truck and car, despite their being black LOL Not that I haven't caused some holograms, but I have also gotten rid of them, for a while.... but that is another thread and forum.

However, I have yet to get the courage to tackle polishing and waxing my boat using the DA due to the relatively "soft" nature of gel coat relative to auto clear coat.

Can anyone here please give me the run down on the differences in how one goes about polishing and waxing gel coat as compared to clear coat? Are the hazards actually less as there is more "workable material" in gel coat? Are holograms a clear coat phenomenon? ( I DON'T want to find out the wrong way!)

The boat is garage kept, 5 years old, and maybe only 50-60 full days of sun exposure, has been washed by hand a few dozen times, but has been hand waxed only twice. The gel is in good condition still- no oxidation yet, but I'm beginning to think that I need to get more proactive about protection.
Any advice will be surely appreciated. I do have a Meguairs DA, several 2.0 finishing pads and a couple 2.0 polishing pads, Meguairs #45 polish and half a bottle of #56 wax.

Thanks in advance!

Jul 19th, 2013, 03:57 AM
Gel-coat is actually pretty hard. If you are comfortable working on your car, a boat is no problem.

I can not address which Meguiar Pads to use (some one else will have to answer that). As to product, may I suggest that you look at M-44 (Color Restorer) for a starting point. Despite its' name it is an EXCELLENT maintenance product. If you are thinking along the lines of an All-in One (AIO) type of thing, possibly, Flagship Cleaner Wax (M-61). Topping wax>Flagship Wax (M-63).

Oh...Welcome to MOL!

Hope this helps...


Jul 19th, 2013, 05:42 AM
Would tend to want the polishing, and even cutting pads for the DA on gel coat.

Detailing by M
Jul 19th, 2013, 09:27 AM
Hello and WELCOME TO MOL!!!

I've done a lot of gel coats, RV, Boat, Custom.
If it's in good shape as in it's not "dry" and chalky then use a wax, literally any wax and you'll be fine.
I tend to use a Soft Buff Yellow pad, my goto on just about anything.
The biggest part about a boat is doing it. Like you said you don't want to "tackle" this job.
I hear ya, but get something on it, asap.
Something is better then nothing.

If you really want to get into it then anything from Meg's Marine line works great. The cleaner wax rocks, I think it's M50?

Gel coats are easy and forgiving my only bit of advice on what not to do it put a lot of a compound on "dry" gel coat. It tends to stick really well
and you might end up with a mess on your hands.
So do test spots, check your work often and don't use a lot of product.

and by all means DO IT! You be surprised at what you know. lol.

Jul 19th, 2013, 01:22 PM
Thanks all! Interesting that the yellow (or even red) pad are the ones of choice on gel. I guess I was under the impression that I needed to tippy toe around this. So applying polish with the yellow pad should be fine and then wax with finishing pad?

Please wash me- what do you mean about not putting a lot of compound on dry gel because it sticks well? I do have some fine scratches where the boats fenders rubbed it and I was hoping that they would polish out ( with yellow pad), but would 205 be overkill? I'd used that to take out some clear coat rotary marks on my trucks repainted areas, but didn't know about it on gel...

Detailing by M
Jul 19th, 2013, 01:35 PM
I'm just saying if you're going to use compound watch how much you're going to use.
Test, test, test!
let the gel coat tell you what to do.

groundskeeper willie
Jul 19th, 2013, 02:04 PM
rotary and wool for gel.

it withstands alot...and it is probably in worse shape than you think.

always look for your compound/polish to be white (assuming your gel is white) because it is a real pain sometimes to get out of the porosity.

i know its not a megs products, but aquabuff 1000 and 2000 is about the best on the market for Gel.

Jul 19th, 2013, 02:37 PM
Please-Yes yes yes test test test. I thought I'd start my working on the bottom of the hull (were no one but fishes and road kill could see it :chuckle1 ) while laying on my back to see how it goes before doing the sides.

Willie-Actually it is a royal blue with a black bootstripe for the hull gel colors, but white from the rub rail up. I'll look into the aquabuff stuff- thanks.