Peter Wrede, expert for hull renovation and painting (Wrede Yachtrefit in Wedel): "Everyone should have a proper polishing machine"
The hull should be put into winter storage as clean as possible, so that dirt does not dry out in the first place and is easier to remove. First clean with warm water and soap, stubborn dirt can be removed with stronger cleaning agents such as antigilb. In addition, polishing and sealing can be applied in autumn; this gives the sealant time to dry properly over the winter. In the spring, if you are really committed, the sealing can be applied again to increase its protective layer, so that it will last and protect for a season.
Working over a large area: Distribute the polishing agent evenly and thinly with the machine and polish until the look is right
We recommend our product Polish & Protect for polishing. Similar to sandpaper, there are different levels that define the polishing removal through the abrasive particles. In addition, every owner should have a decent polishing machine in which he has invested once in his sailing career. Not something from the discounter that fails at the slightest pressure. Because polishing by hand is practically occupational therapy. You neither use it to properly distribute the polishing agent nor the sealant, nor do you work in both properly.
When polishing, you should only remove as much gelcoat or varnish as is absolutely necessary and sufficient for the appearance. In addition, unsuitable, very aggressive polishing agents can quickly remove too much layer thickness. Polishing is ultimately very fine grinding that prepares the substrate for sealing.
Seal the gelcoat
The sealing protects the hull from new soiling and chalking and restores the shine on the surface. There is a whole range of different means, with wax at the lower end, through polymers, i.e. artificial waxes, to ceramic seals.
For the layman, polymer seals are the right thing. Ceramic is more for the professional, among other things because of the precise processing times. You need at least two men and a lot of experience. Polymers are applied nicely evenly with the buffing machine and a waffle pad, so you need much less material than if you apply thickly by hand. It is also important that the polish and sealant are coordinated, i.e. contain the same active ingredients. It is best if both come from the same manufacturer.
The underwater area and also the deck should be covered or taped off during this work. Otherwise, you may splash on the teak deck and leave stains. In the underwater area, new antifouling does not adhere to polish or wax. If you polish after the antifouling has been applied and wax gets onto the antifouling, it cannot work optimally.
Clean the anti-slip surface: under no circumstances use a high-pressure cleaner! Special fleeces for oscillation grinders can help, otherwise scrubbing
On the deck, non-slip surfaces in particular are problematic because dirt cannot be easily removed from the molded structure. There are special products for non-slip surfaces such as "Non-Skid Deck Cleaner" from Starbrite. Under no circumstances should a high-pressure cleaner be used for this, as this can damage the surface. You should not seal anti-slip areas, otherwise it can become extremely slippery.
All smooth deck surfaces are polished like the hull. But it can be more complex here because there are many corners and small areas. Often the large polishing machine cannot be used, but manual work is required or a sensible investment in a smaller polishing plate. The panes can also be treated with the same polymeric agents.
Teak decks should be cleaned and checked to ensure that the grouting is still intact. Whether you leave it natural, i.e. silver-plated or treat it, is a matter of taste.
We recommend our Teakseal system, which consists of an oxalic acid-based cleaner. After cleaning and neutralization with water, the teak looks like new. You need a lot of water for this and should therefore do it outside, preferably at the boat washing area. Then the deck is coated three times with a seal using a microfiber cloth. This colors the deck in a very natural shade and provides it with UV protection. This way the surface is impregnated and less dirty.
So smear the underwater hull with milking grease or own creations. Always use specially developed products. We even had a customer once who smeared his paintwork with sunscreen for his skin because we said our sealant was like sunscreen for the boat. After the season he called us and complained that the smear marks of the suntan oil were showing and that he could not remove this pattern. Unfortunately, we had to tell him that, of all things, sunscreen is the biggest enemy of paintwork and has a very aggressive effect on surfaces - irreparable damage.