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Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:34pm

Post Subject: Cleaning and polishing paintwork

Can anyone advise me as to the best method(s)and product(s) for cleaning and polishing the external paintwork of my boat in order to give the best longevity of the paintwork.

Tony-B...
Tony-B...

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:25pm

Post Subject: Cleaning and polishing paintwork

It depends upon what type of paint has been used and also how long the paint has been on for. I will assume it is a synthetic "coach" type paint as sold by several suppliers. First of all it will take several weeks to fully harden, so if it has recently been painted just wash off clean water, possibly with a little boat or car shampoo in it (the boat type should be less harmful to water life, rinse & leather dry. When on your home mooring turn the boat every few weeks so the sun damages both sides equally. Do nothing more for about two or three months to allow the paint to harden. Then use a good quality wax polish that does NOT contain silicons because they can make touching up and repainting very difficult indeed. Keep rotating the boat on its moorings. The better quality the polish the longer it will last between polishing but I suspect you will have to polish at least twice a year. Eventually the paint will develop a powdery, dull look to it. This is caused by the paint film oxidising and it can easily be removed by using something like Tcut after the wash & leather but before polishing. The amount of colour that comes off always looks worrying, but its OK. Some say you need Tcut without ammonia for coach paint otherwise it might cause a bloom on the paint, but I have never had the problem with ordinary Tcut from my local Motor Factors. Some paint pigments lose their colour easily so reds tend to turn pink etc. You could use cutting compound (again from car places) to cut away the top layer of paint but I would not advise this because you will soon be through to the undercoat. Probably the best you can do is to accept that susceptible colours will need more frequent repainting. The good quality polishes are not cheap and going for a cheaper car product can easily get you into those silicon problems. I expect any non-silicon Carnauba wax will be fine but the widely acknowledged leader in boat paints are Craftmaster Paints who sell a suitable polish and also a shampoo that contains the wax. You will probably find that Motor Factors will be one of the cheaper sources for rolls of "mutton" polishing cloth. If you have a branch of Chas Ohlson near you I notice they sell 125mm foam polishing pads that fit a random orbital sander. I intend to try one on my pink (was red) coach lines with Tcut this year. I am more than happy if a boat painter wants to add to this. Tony Brooks

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Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 9:45pm

Post Subject: Cleaning and polishing paintwork

Tony, Apologies, forgot to say thanks. Duncan

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