Marine Gel Coat polishing and re-juvenation is something that in my twenty plus automotive prep experience has not really come across. Yes it is true I have machine polished a fair few motor homes and caravans which are similar, but they are not identical.
My experience of using Presta cutting cremes on automotive finishes is one of extreme ease of use and outstanding results. However testing Presta cutting crème and compounds (which are all gel coat friendly) was going to proof a problem. I would never have confidence in recommending or supplying a product which I didn’t know was a market leader.
So I paid a visit to Bedford Glass Fibre LLP, who build boats and work on new and used gel coats every day. Matthew Hood and Jay Bevento Of Bedford Glass Fibre Mouldings have jointly over 22 years experience in this field, so they were more than qualified to put Presta’s cutting agents through their process.
The system they were at the time using was farecla marine compounds with a woollen buffing head coupled with a Milwakee AP12E rotary polisher. This at the time was best process they were aware of and were satisfied with the results.
So they then used the same polishing process they always used, but just replaced the farecla with Presta products.
So what were the results??
Well, in Matts words ‘Brilliant!, we’ll be buying some of that!!!!!!!!!!’
On newly produced gel coats they used Presta Supercut Compound to polish out any flatting /imperfections and produced a perfect mirror finish. Which the Supercut excelled in. However……Matt and Jay joyously exclaimed it did the job in half the time and produced a better shine than the farecla compound ever did. Not only did the Supercut bring the Gel Coat up quicker, but the inevitable throw off wiped straight off. Far less lubrication is required so the throw off is also drastically reduced.
To increase the depth of the shine Matt and Jay used Ultra cutting crème light for a finish that out stripped the finishers produced from the their previous used products.
To ultimately underline Prestas gel coat cremes superiority, a newly employed member of staff not experienced in gel coat or indeed any polishing was completing jobs in half the time Matt and Jamie were when using Farcela products.
The Farecla agent also gave the boys a tub of compound as a gesture of good will from a previous purchase which contained an ingredient which turned the texture of the compound too yellow in colour.
That tub still remains unopened, eBay bound!
When I initially returned to Bedford Glass Fibre Mouldings unit after testing Matt showed me a new boat and said ‘look at that’. Initially I thought yes it’s a good finish but not that good for a new boat. He then informed the boat was twenty years old and had never been polished. So not bad them!
Bedford Glass Fibre Mouldings favour the Supercut and if required Ultra Light Crème to further enhance, choosing not to use the self titled ‘Gel coat Compound’ product although they do stock it – using it at times.
However I personally have used it on gel coats in the form of motor homes and caravans. I have tried several different compounds from 3m’s, farecla, Nielsens Autosmart and a few others as well. Presta still reproduce the same results on the gel coats as they do on the automotive paintwork. Quicker, faster and most importantly on big motor homes – cleaner. A valid argument is that other compounds produce as good a shine in similar time, but none of them are as clean and easy to wipe off the inevitable over throw as Presta products.
So for me and Bedford Glass fibre the first choice and best choice for Gel Coat polishing is Presta Cutting Cremes and compounds.
To be supplying a company who shares the passion for detail and ultimately pride in the production of work to be proud off, gives us great satisfaction. Well done and good luck for the futurehttp://www.bedfordglassfibre.com/