Chandlery June 2008 Issue

Power Tools for Restoring Gelcoat

Inexpensive polisher waxes the Waxmaster.

In our test of acrylic-type gelcoat restorers, we polished one panel on a 1972 Oíday Javelin with 3M Finesse-It II and waxed it.

Practical Sailor has long prescribed Finesse-It II ($20)for polishing, and the final gloss matched the panel with the best acrylic "miracle cure."

Waxmaster Power Tool
The 10-inch-diameter Waxmaster didnít muster the muscle needed to polish our OíDay Javelin with Finesse-IT II.

We also tried various polishing tools fitted with wool buffing pads: the Waxmaster ($30), the drill-mounted 3M Superbuff wheel ($17); and a 7-inch variable-speed polisher from Chicago Electric ($30).

The anemic Waxmaster was a waste of money for this job. The 3M Superbuff worked, but the drill didnít like continuous-duty use. Although itís no match for a pro-grade dual-action polisher, the Chicago Electric polisher (made in China) is a bargain for this work. Just be careful not to remove too much gelcoat. For more gelcoat maintenance tips, see "Offshore Log: Gelcoat Maintenance," at Practical Sailor.

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