Monday, November 4, 2013

In the Buff

Shortly after Frank got the barrier coat off the bottom, we hired out our top sides to be buffed and waxed.  The gel coat on Moitessier was looking a bit dull and we were concerned that if we let it go any further that it would not be savable.  We had been going back and forth about whether or not we should do this on our own, but after getting a reasonable quote, we had decided to just hire it out and save Frank from sore shoulders (He suffers from an injury in his rotator cuffs from his skateboarding days as a teenager). We figured it would be cheaper to hire it out than to have Frank injure himself further and have to endure surgery. The guys we hired out from Billitz Boat Detailing did an incredible job.  Emil, the owner of the company, has been in the business for over 25 years.

Before Buff Job.  Moitessier is sad :(

He started by cleaning the hull sides with On & Off to get off any stains and contaminants. 3 test spots were done to show us the different products and methods and see which ones would give us optimal results.  He then compounded it with a rubbing compound that takes off the oxidized gel goat and makes a smooth shiny surface.  Next, he waxed the boat with Garry's Royal Satin One-Step Cleaner Wax to help protect it from UV rays as well adding a little extra shine.  I must say, he did a better job than Frank would've, in a shorter amount of time too, as Frank had done a small portion at the bow of the boat a while back just to see what he was potentially in store for.  It really has transformed the look of the boat and it has been 1 of only 5 jobs that we have hired out. I think this time it was well worth the money because not only is the boat super shiny, but we didn't have the scaffolding, only a ladder that Frank would've had to balance on and move every half a foot.  I think that if we did have the necessary means to do it, Frank would've for sure tackled the job on his own, injured shoulder or not, as he is truly a stubborn bastard.   I didn't think Moitessier could be any more beautiful than she already was. We are so pleased that we are going to get a quote for our cabin tops as well. Hopefully we will get that done once we splash.  

Test Panels on Port side (SB side is done).  See the difference?
Emil buffing away
Look how shiny!
We tackled the boot stripe during this period of time as well. We used Interlux Brightside Polyurethane paint which was a single part paint that was relatively easy to work with.  It's a bit thicker than Awlgrip, but all in all, a relatively straightforward paint job that required the usual sanding, cleaning, and taping cycle.  We changed the color from the original green to a bad-ass black, which I think goes better with our natural wood colors and soon-to-be Toast colored Sunbrella.

Frank painting our boot stripe
Boot-stripe and buffing done


  1. That buff job is very nice. I don't think my boat has been compounded, waxed or anything in several years. It's a bit chalky so I want to getting it looking nice again. I have bad shoulders and back and everything else so I would definitely invest in a good buffer to do that work.

    Was the boot stripe brushed on (not rolled)? Turn out pretty smooth? I have a blue stripe by the toe rail (and the waterline stripe) that I am thinking of painting red. I was looking at using the Brightside paint too but the red for that paint looks a bit brighter than I would like. I like slightly darker reds but still looking at using Brightside anyway.

    Moitessier is looking quite nice.

  2. Dan,

    The boot stripe was actually rolled on. We used a smaller roller for the job, and it did turn out pretty smooth. Brightside was pretty easy to use. Perhaps you could mix a little bit of black into the red to darken it to your liking?

    Thanks for the compliment,

    1. Possible. I have seen half pint size cans. Enough to darken and won't be too wasteful.


  3. Hello and Congratulations on your anniversary!

    We chose to do the buff job ourselves and have the sore shoulders to prove it. We did the cabin tops which were fairly easy, but the inside of the bulwarks was tough as most of it had to be done by hand due to the rigging and other obstacles.

    We were on the hard for a week last month and after hours were able to use a large set of metal stairs instead of a ladder to do the hull. It was still a lot of work to move the stairs every 5 feet, but much easier and safer than using a ladder.

    Its so nice when its shiny isn't it!