wetsanding the deck?

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Raddman, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Raddman

    Raddman New Member

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    I have an older sunfish, which I bought not long ago and I am now sailing it thanks in part to the great people here that gave some very useful info. I was looking closely at the deck of my boat and in the finish it looks like someone used a finish sander on it. If I look at the deck from an angle I can clearly see swirl marks and fine scratches. I tried buffing with a rubbing compound but it really did not have any effect. I've heard of wetsanding but have never done it. My fear is I don't want to make it worse. Thanks for any ideas.
    Gene
     
  2. supercub

    supercub Member

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    Gene,
    Go to "Tips and Tricks", Gell-coat Repair (steps 12 to the end) on the National Sunfish Class page. It explains how to wet sand. Since you can see the scratches only at an angle, I think you would want to start with a fine sand paper of about 1000/1200/1500 even 2000 grit instead of a coarser paper. Your deck seems to be close to a polished finish in its present state. Try a small area first. In the directions they use a bucket and a sponge to keep the area wet, I use a hose set to a very low trickle. The water lubricates the sandpaper and washes the "dust" away, keeping the sandpaper sharper longer. Wal-Mart has carries the 3M rubber sanding block and 3M Wet or Dry sandpaper (the black paper) in the automotive section. You can buy the paper in 5 packs that are just a little wider than the block or full sheet you can cut to fit, your choice. Make sure you clean off any wax and/or dirt before you start and read thru the whole article first. Good luck
     
  3. imported_Greg

    imported_Greg New Member

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    Yes, follow the wetsanding instructions. I have a '63 Sunfish that I am fixing up. After doing wetsanding, the gel-coat looks fabulous. I expected it to look OK, but it probably didn't look much better in the showroom 41 years ago!
     
  4. supercub

    supercub Member

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    Gene,
    After you have sanded as much as you can stand, and compounded and polished the boat, you can wax the deck (I use a good automotive wax) and either the Gel Gloss (as recommended) or McLube (see article in "Tips and Tricks"). I have used McLube (found it at the local marine store and have seen it at West Marine in large and small spray cans). While I can not say it makes my boat any faster, less sludge/crap sticks to the hull. Many of the racers don not recommend waxing the bottom as it slows the boat down. Let us know how you make out.
     
  5. imported_Greg

    imported_Greg New Member

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    You could also try 3M's marine wax. I've had good luck with it. I found it at Wal-Mart.
     
  6. Raddman

    Raddman New Member

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    Thanks I read the tips and tricks section and did wetsand the deck going up to 2000 grit paper. Then I used polishing compound and it looks great! Thanks so much for all the info.
    Gene
     

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