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Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Learn how to wetsand your boat with Shurhold

by Shurhold Industries 8 Aug 2020 13:40 PDT
Learn how to wetsand your boat © Shurhold

If you have heavy oxidation and want to remove it quickly, there are few more efficient ways of doing so than wetsanding.

Many people try to steer away from this process due to the fear of accidentally stripping your gelcoat, and those fears aren't unfounded. However, with the right tools and a little understanding of gelcoat, anybody can tackle this job themselves.

The first question you should ask yourself is this; "Do I actually need to wetsand?" A general rule of thumb is that if you can wipe the oxidation off of your hull with your hand, then wetsanding would be a good first step. The goal is to remove all of the dead gelcoat to reveal the fresh, smooth, and repairable gelcoat underneath. You'll always want to remove the least amount of gelcoat to achieve this goal, so start with fine sandpaper and only go coarser if you have to. Let's get started.

What you need:

  • Dual Action Polisher
  • Plenty of Sanding Disks of the appropriate grit
  • Backing Plate Adapter for the Sanding Disks
  • Spray bottle filled with water and a little soap
  • Rags for removing the slurry
  • Personal Safety Gear

Start by spraying the hull liberally with the water/soap mixture. Before turning the polisher on, press the pad to the surface you'll be working on. After turning it on, expect some splatter. This is a dirty process. Using steady pressure, work the machine in an overlapping back and forth / up and down motion like the graphic in the video. This will evenly work the entire area and keep one section from becoming too warm. Spray with more water if the area becomes dry.

The goal is to reach a uniform, smooth dullness that's ready to be buffed with a compound like Buff Magic. If you're having a hard time seeing the color through the slurry, take a second to wipe the area with a cloth. Finally, change your sandpaper frequently so your finish remains uniform. Once you're done, remove all the excess slurry with a quick wash. You're now ready to compound!

There you have it, another Clean-N-Simple Tip from Shurhold!

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