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Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips
Old 04-21-2014, 03:01 PM   #1
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Default Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips

Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips


The boat detailing industry is so far behind the car detailing industry as far as quality of finish being produced. The issue is one of the same issues we deal with in the automotive detailing world and that is....


Holograms


Oxidized gel-coats require wool pads, rotary buffers and aggressive compounds to remove the oxidation in a time-efficient manner due to the size of marine craft and the difficulty in doing this type of work.

Here's an example
The owner sent me this picture and in the picture with the boat on the lift the condition of the boat doesn't look too bad, that is to say, the boat looks pretty good.





Let there be light!
Now with the boat in our studio and some light placed on her, a new story emerges...




Here's a shot showing three lights, the first light is the flash from my camera, the second two lights are flood lights.





Holograms in gel-coat
The below picture is a full size section cropped out of the above resized picture. The lines you see running back and forth across where the flash from my camera is lighting up the side of the hull are holograms from a rotary buffer.






Light from the flood lights...
In the below shot I have my camera flash turned off but you can still easily see the holograms in the black gel-coat finish.





Cropped out section from the above picture
The below picture is a full size section cropped out of the above resized picture. The lines you see running back and forth across where the flash from my camera is lighting up the side of the hull are holograms from a rotary buffer.







My comment....

The issue or big picture with the holograms in the boat world and boat detailing industry is that so many boats are large, at least larger than your car and when they become oxidized the fastest way to remove the oxidation is with a rotary buffer, wool pad and an aggressive compound. The results from this combo is you can restore a shiny, clear gel-coat but leave behind holograms.


Removing the holograms requires at least one to two more steps.
  • If you're the boat owner buffing out your own boat then your time is your money and you can choose to remove the holograms or live with them.
  • If you're paying someone to detail your boat, you can choose to pay them for the extra steps required or live with the holograms.
No boat detailing person or company is going to work around your boat with a second or even third machine polishing step for free. Time is money and there's also the issue of,
Pad wear - Pads wear out and a savvy boat detailer will build this into his cost.

Product use - Doing more steps, besides taking more time also requires more products and if the goal is a swirl-free finish then better products and better products that don't leave swirls costs more money.
The big picture and solution all comes down to education. Educating both the boat owner and boat detailers.

My guess is the majority of the market will always be willing to live with the holograms because most boats are white so they don't really show up and because historically, most boat owners won't pay for quality work due to the time and thus cost involved.

But for all you boat owners that own boats with medium to dark colored gel-coat finishes, or if you own a boat with a painted finish, including some boats with custom finishes using the same types of basecoat/clearcoat paint technology used for automotive application, if you want a hologram free finish you're going to have to step up to the table and either educate yourself on how to do the job the right way or hire boat detailers that have the right education to do the job correctly.


This post is just a start down the road of educating these two industries....



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Old 03-02-2015, 09:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips

***Bump***


Jim...

I sent you the link to this article. After reading it if you have any questions about how to proceed with buffing out your boat feel free to give me a call or shoot me an e-mail.



Contact me via e-mail or call.

1-800-869-3011 x206


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Old 06-08-2015, 12:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips

***Bump***


Over 22,000 views and counting... reads to me like I've hit a nerve in the boat world.


I'll post some really sad pictures today showing more of this problem. It's hard to change the industry, both the owner side and the detailing side but one thing for sure... it all starts with education.


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Old 06-22-2015, 09:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips

I have several customers that are more than willing to pay the extra money for me to make a 2nd or even 3rd pass on there boat to help reduce swirl marks. There are a lot of people especially with the bigger boats that maintain them with a open checkbook, plus if you have a 100k+ boat spending $600-800 to have it looking really good isn't that big of a deal.

But I also have some customers that don't want to spend any more than they have to, like you said on white boats it's hard to see the swirl marks anyways.

To a majority of people and there friends that they are showing the boat off to they just look at it and see that's it's really shiny compared to being dull and oxidized before the detail.

Like you said it's a matter of time and money, but as long as the customer is happy I'm happy

Figured it was about time someone replied to your thread lol

Thanks
Jordan
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdbillin View Post

I have several customers that are more than willing to pay the extra money for me to make a 2nd or even 3rd pass on there boat to help reduce swirl marks. There are a lot of people especially with the bigger boats that maintain them with a open checkbook, plus if you have a 100k+ boat spending $600-800 to have it looking really good isn't that big of a deal.
And these are your best customers not just as customers but because they will recommend you to their circle of friends.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdbillin View Post

But I also have some customers that don't want to spend any more than they have to, like you said on white boats it's hard to see the swirl marks anyways.

To a majority of people and there friends that they are showing the boat off to they just look at it and see that's it's really shiny compared to being dull and oxidized before the detail.

Like you said it's a matter of time and money, but as long as the customer is happy I'm happy
There's a market for everyone, that's for sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdbillin View Post

Figured it was about time someone replied to your thread lol

Thanks
Jordan
LOL

As I type this this thread now has over 23,000 views so I know I have someone's attention.

Thanks for the reply Jordan...


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Old 10-06-2015, 11:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips

To everyone reading this article into the future....


Learn how to do it right the first time....


Marine 31 Boat Detailing Class - Saturday February 6th, 2016


Whether you're a do-it-yourselfer just taking care of you own boats or you detail boats for money.


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Old 03-05-2016, 04:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips

Just to note....

This article points out the topic of holograms scratches in a gel-coat finish and the problems they cause.

This how-to book shows how to,

A: Avoid them in the first place.

B: How to remove them if your boat already has them.









On Marine31.com

How To Detail Boats With Marine 31 by Mike Phillips




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Old 05-02-2016, 09:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips

One of our forum members shares his story and some pictures about holograms in gel-coat boats in this thread,

A couple of end results




See post #8



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Old 05-24-2016, 03:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Holograms in gel-coat boats by Mike Phillips

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