Scratches and wear and tear

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by Outsider, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. Outsider

    Outsider Paddler

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    I bought a new Solstice GTS last year and took it on it's maiden voyage last August. A beautiful vessel and the best I have ever paddled.

    It has 'regatta' blue decks that shimmer and shine on the water.
    Or at least they did.

    I floated a 2 litre water bottle tethered to the rear of the kayak with basic nylon cord as the contents consisted of pancake syrup that I had made from the salal and huckleberries that I gathered and I wanted to keep it cold in the water.

    I also attached the folded frame of my wheels to the front most cords. The frame is made of aluminum. (Detached wheels went inside)

    Other things were attached to the front deck such as my fishing pole.

    All in all, after two weeks of paddling, removing things and putting them back, the decks have become scratched. Not deeply but enough to cause the blue to go white like a film in specific places.
    These disappear, more or less, when the deck is wet, but are very obvious when the deck is dry. Imagine sanding your deck with fine sandpaper a few times and you will get the idea.

    Is there a simple solution to fixing this?

    Everyone mentions 'buffing' but I don't really know what that is or how to do it.

    Is there a wax or some such thing that could be applied to restore the colour and the shine?

    Next go round I will use padding under anything that gets direct contact with the decks to prevent future scratching.

    Live and learn

    Outsider
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I have used this with good effect: http://www.westmarine.com/3m--finesse-i ... 30_001_511 Put some on a clean dry cloth, rub over surface with firm, circular motion until dry, using a clean section of the cloth for cleanup. A pint will last a lifetime, but costs about USD 30. Will take out all the minor scratches, not ones which penetrate the gel coat. Also removes oxidation.

    Other manufacturers make similar products. Find the fiberglass polishes section at the local marine supply store and clear anything with a knowledgeable clerk. Best used with hardware removed if the scratched area is nearby. Avoid any with silicone in them, as it remains in the surface, preventing adhesion, making any subsequent repair tougher.
     
  3. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    +1 on what Dave said..
    Marine stores (WestMarine) will have the 3M Finesse products and similar
    Other brands that you can find at autobody supply shops, auto parts stores, KMS Tools, CdnTire(sometimes):
    AutoGlym 'Body Shop' products (no silicones) like 03B Fine Abrasive
    Novus #2 Fine Scratch Remover

    From this:


    To this:


    I don't worry much about scratches, but I know some people have had good luck putting clear protective film on the deck in wear areas - they sell it in autobody places for protecting the front edge of the hood on your Mercedes!
     

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  4. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Wow. That's impressive.
     
  5. Outsider

    Outsider Paddler

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    Thanks John,

    Silly me.

    I use that product on both of my Mercedes.

    I should have known :D

    Outsider
     
  6. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Yup, there are lots of great products out there for polishing and buffing. I tend to use the Mother's series of polishes, increasing in grit, and finish up with the Finesse-it product mentioned above.

    Once you're all happy with a shiny boat, you can pick up some 3m Scotchgard Paint Protection Film from a good automotive detailing shop. It's not cheap - I think I paid about $40 a number of years ago for a 6" x 7' (6 inch x 7 feet) strip. I applied it to the section of my deck that normally has spare paddles (and spare paddle holders) strapped in, and it is barely noticeable even a few years later. Really tough stuff - it doesn't show any scratches, and mine show no signs of peeling up at the edges. Saves you from having to wet-sand and polish every season. I am careful to only strap things to the deck where I've placed the 3M film though, so I don't scratch up the rest of the deck (the hull gets all the scratches these days - and that's how it should be, IMO!).
     
  7. RoyN

    RoyN Paddler

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    Once you get the shine back on your kayak, you may want to take a look at getting some Deck Armor from http://www.bluewaterkayakworks.com/ This is a clear self adhesive film you can put on your kayak to reduce the surface scuffing of the gelcoat.
     
  8. Tsunami

    Tsunami Paddler

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    What if my Mercedes is Plastic, know of anything out there to make that shine? ;)
    What I know of plastic is paint wont stick for long, window tint will bubble. Has something to do with the fact plastic releases some kind of chemical and that will never cease to leach out of it.
    I could try car polish I suppose, with a buffing wheel would prob be my best guess.

    I got some decal material to make a WW II plane tiger shark mouth on my Yak, hoping it wont peel.
    The thought I had was making human teeth instead of shark teeth, Ha ha. Would make a friendlier presentation to the little critters floating around.
    Tiger Tsunami.
     
  9. RoyN

    RoyN Paddler

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    If you use a little dish soap mixed with water and sprayed onto the kayak before applying the deck armor seems to keep the bubbles away. Spray the surface with the mixed soap and water, peel the backing off of the deck armor and place on the surface. Using a plastic squeegie like a credit card you apply the deck armor by squeeging the water/soap from the center to the edge. You will have to give this a day or two for full adheision. This method is used by the people who professionally install vinyl graphics.
     
  10. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    RoyN,

    I used that technique once, and it did eliminate all the bubbles. Thanks for mentioning it.
     
  11. newfie in Alberta

    newfie in Alberta Paddler

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  12. GeroV

    GeroV Paddler

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    would this deck armor also work on an S&G boat? If so, I might have to look into it.
     
  13. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Gero-
    The plastic film products like 3M PPF (and, I'm assuming, DeckArmour) work best on very smooth surfaces.
    I don't know how smooth the varnish is on your S&G; on my varnished boats it certainly wasn't 'piano and guitar' grade.
    It's so easy to re-coat a varnished boat every few years that I wouldn't bother, but OTOH I don't get very upset with scratches on my boats.
     
  14. GeroV

    GeroV Paddler

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    John,
    I'm not upset about the scratches, was just hoping to make it a bit longer than my third paddle...

    The finish is smooth enough that the suction mount for my gopro works without any problems.
     
  15. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Gero-
    Varnish is tougher than you might think.
    The PPF will definitely stick to your boat. Masking off the area and giving it a light sand with a small block and 400-600 paper to get rid of any dust marks/'blebs' will keep the air bubbles under the film to a minimum.
    I've noticed small air bubbles under logos on a couple of my boats. The only place I've used PPF is on a commercial boat with a very smooth finish - it's practically invisible there (protecting the edge of a (lightweight) surfski cockpit).

    Does this mean you won't be marking compass headings and tide times on the deck with a grease pencil? :D
     
  16. GeroV

    GeroV Paddler

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    John,
    for the compass markings I have a Gerber River Shorty permanently clipped to the vest :shock: :cool

    I'll just go with it and then smooth it out when I do my annual maintenance. After all, it's a kayak, not a museum piece...