Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Preparing for Sailing Season '08
Applying a Poli Glow Finish

Click thumbnails below for a larger picture


Yesterday I began a good cleaning of the boat, both the hull and topside.  Last season I never got to it, after breaking my shoulder in mid-May and being sidelined until late July.  Chip Ahoy needed a good scrubbing to get rid of two year's accumulation of dirt, grime, and nearly embedded mildew, which I completed this afternoon.  Tomorrow I'll begin experimenting with the Poli Glow polishing process instead of using a sponge and just soap, water, and wax.  Bob Keim ("Pursuit") of Tennessee, a member of the C22 discussion group and a Poli Glow distributor, generously provided me with a full kit at no charge to try out.  He gave me some pointers on the phone this afternoon and I'm ready to go in the morning.  (May 6, 2008)

I suspect it's going to be difficult to appreciate before-and-after photos like these taken before the coming Poli Glow treatment.  Chip Ahoy's finish is in reasonably good condition from a stand-off distance, still quite a shiny red.  Up close, the white topsides are chalky, the gelcoat heavily oxidized (see photo below).  The red finish on the hull has its scratches, small chips and dings, and blemishes, especially where it's rubbed against its fenders at docks.  That's where it'll be a challenge for Poli Glow to shine.

This morning I was ready to begin the Poli Glow treatment, but first took a "before" photo (at left) of yesterday's washing results on the cabin trunk, a typically dirty area.  It looked pretty good at the time, a big improvement, clean but chalky.  If I wasn't experimenting with Poli Glow, I'd have called it done and applied wax.  By late afternoon when I was finished scrubbing the entire boat with Poli Prep and a Scotchbrite-backed kitchen sponge, I had to admit the Poli Prep did a much better job -- even on an already cleaned surface!  The Poli Prep easily eliminated remaining light stains, minor discoloration, and stubborn scuff marks that yesterday's sponge-and-soap scrubbing failed to completely remove.  (May 7, 2008)

It rained most of this morning, finally cleared around noon, but the wind has been gusting at 30 all afternoon, blowing green buds off the surrounding trees into Chip Ahoy's cockpit.  It wasn't a good day to continue applying Poly Glow in the cockpit without peppering the finish with tree buds, so I moved on to the hull.  I got the first section -- rub rail to bootline from the port bow aft to the state registration decal (the area in which the ladder's steps are reflected)  -- covered with six applications of Poly Glow and halted.  (May 8, 2008)

I am not satisfied at all with the result.  The clean, unwaxed old paint has a better, shinier finish than the fully Poly Glow treated section.  Poly Glow's finish is obviously duller than the paint and left some subtle streaking.  It worked well on the chalky white cabin trunk, but on Chip Ahoy's red paint there seems to be a problem.  If it doesn't somehow look better by tomorrow, I plan to remove it then wax the hull as usual.  I'm disappointed, to say the least.

[Large JPG File]

There was no change on this gray and cloudy morning, after giving the Poly Glow overnight to fully dry, settle, cure, whatever it does or might; it still looked duller than the washed but unwaxed paint.  I made a strong mixture of Poly Prep and did half a dozen applications to hopefully remove the Poly Glow.  I used the Scotchbrite side of the kitchen sponge for the first two removal attempts and lots of rinsing with a hose.  After four more using the sponge side, I toweled the area dry.  The result was even worse, flatter and duller, uh oh.  (May 9, 2008)

Though it was going to rain heavily very soon through sometime tomorrow, concern and curiosity got the best of me.  I brought out the coarse rubbing compound, boat polish, and went to work.  First I hand-rubbed with compound.  Still I wasn't satisfied with the outcome but was picking up red on the cloth, so I went to the polish next.  The result was a big improvement, back to about where it was before yesterday's Poly Glow treatment.

I expect that with waxing, the area will blend in perfectly with the rest of the hull.  Oh well, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."  This venture just didn't work out.  "Learn something new every day"!  Poly Glow worked well on the cabin trunk white gelcoat in the cockpit, so I'll probably continue on with that after the hull is waxed.  (May 9, 2008)

-- Continued --

-- NEXT --
Moving on with Season 2008 improvements
It's never-ending ... but Sailing Season '08 has arrived!

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