My first post here, though I have been lurking and reading and doing research for quite a while. My husband recently bought me (because I liked it!) a 1966 Arrow Glass 17' outboard. I like projects, and this is my first boat restoration (and probably my only boat restoration). I've begun the gelcoat restoration following the directions given here:
I bought the Makita polisher referenced, and all the products, and just today I began phase 1 with the 3M compound. And, amazing results, right away! Yay! It's a start. I'm wondering about the very oxidized areas that are initially showing orange-ish (the boat is red). Will I be able to get the gelcoat down enough to get back to red in those areas?
YES, you may be pleasantly surprised what a lot of elbow grease, polishing media & some wax may do to the gelcoat.
Addenda: Brenda, Don't bet that this is your first/last restoration. = One of our female members of the "tin boat crowd" planned to restore the 1956 Lone Star runabout that her husband gave her for their 30th wedding anniversary & then "go crappie fishing". - That was about 5-6 years ago & as of last week, "Julie" said in a "mass email" that she was starting on her 6th rebuild.
(Restoring boats is "addictive".)
You may have to resort to wet sanding some areas Brenda, as discussed in the same article you mentioned. I would start with 1000 grit, drop down to 800 if the 1000 isn't getting it done. then work your way up to 1000, some folks even go to 2000 grit before going to the buffer and polish. Post some pics when you get a chance so we can see what you're dealing with please.
Hi, and thanks for the replies. I was trying from the compound stage without sanding because I thought the article said that the most aggressive steps (i.e. sanding) may not have to be done, and that I should start with the less aggressive steps first. Did I read that right? I can wet sand if need be.
So, here is a picture of the boat as I got it, and one of the beginning of the compounding. It seems to be coming up pretty nicely, but I've just gotten to the place that I mentioned in the original post... where it is coming up somewhat orange in color. I don't have a photo of that yet, I'll work on it some more today and see how it goes.
I really appreciate any expertise and advice! I will have multiple questions, I'm sure!
You read it right, try the least aggressive methods first! I've even done several sessions of rubbing compound with a buffer to avoid the wet-sanding, sometimes it works out. Looks like a nice project, please do keep us posted on your progress.
So here is a picture of the 'orange' spot that has come up. Has this boat been patched maybe? I haven't wet sanded yet, I'm going over it all with the compound first to see what I've got. I'm a little afraid of this spot, to be honest. Everything else is coming up nicely (albeit with tiny cracks in some areas, it is only 6 years younger than me...).
Brenda, sorry late to this one. Welcome aboard and your making great progress. From what I can see it doesn't look like it was patched but hard to tell without being there. Take a good look down the side and see if it bows out any in that spot. If it does it may have been patched because it's almost impossible to make a patch blend in without affecting the shape of the hull in that section. It's like plastering drywall so to speak. You may actually have to break down and wet sand that area. If so, I'd start as with the 1000 like Mark said and go from there.