Well, we did it, POLISHED TOONS! Whatcha think?

FIRE UP

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Hey Gang,
Well, it's been a while since I been here, with the colder season on us and all that. Anyway, some of you might have seen my pics of my toons after I used a product called Starbrite Aluminum Cleaner. They looked really good after I did that. A tad bit of history here. First, the boat is a 2014 RCL25 and, we purchased it used, about 5 months ago with ONLY 24 hours on it. Yep, 24. The boat has been garaged for its entire life. It was only in the water 5 times before we purchased it. Needless to say, the toons were in great shape to begin with. They were barely water spotted but, did have a water line. The boat never, ever sat in the water unless it was being used.

So, after I did the Starbrite treatment, I enquired about using/applying *Sharkhide". Well, after some debating back and forth, I finally purchased some and applied it. Well, after ONE TIME in the water, and retrieving it to the boat, a bit of that Sharkhide was SLUFFED off!! CRAP!!! Needless to say, after all the work I'd done, and it didn't look as nice as it did before we took it out just one time, I was not a happy camper.

So, while sitting at home one evening, the wife was cruising facebook and found an ad for Metal Polishing here in our town. It showed the tip of one pontoon. I WAS IMPRESSED by what was in that picture. I'd seen polished toons before but, nothing quite like this picture showed. So, I gave the gent who placed the ad a call. He came over the next day to give me an estimate. What he quoted seemed fairly reasonable but, the wife and I wanted to talk it over before we made a final decision. It didn't take too long and, we called him back. He was to start on it the next day.

I'd been polishing aluminum for decades and know a bit about it. I told him that my thoughts were that since our toons were in such great shape, it should not take as long as he may have thought it should. Well, this boy's been doing this for quite some time and assured me that it WOULD take as long as he estimated, based on the way the metal was surfaced from the factory. He started the process with sanding first. He started with 400 on a disc-abrasive, random orbital sander. The entire areas of all the parts that were to be polished, were done with the 400.

Then, he moved onto 600 grit and again, every inch of what was to be seen and polished, was done. When that was done, it was time for the 800 grit. The whole sanding process took well over THREE DAYS! And each day was pretty close to full 8 hour days. You should have seen how much sand paper discs he went through! Then, it was time to start the polishing process. Just like the sanding process, it was a gradual step process. He'd use a strong rouge to start with then, move on to a finer grade. And in the final polish, he actually made his own final chemical/wax/paste. As you can see in the pics, he did one SERIOUSLY FLAWLESS JOB! Those toons are now a MIRROR!! When he was done, we took the boat to various places near the water to do photo shoots of it. Nothing we could find did the boat justice. Once we did that, we took it to our local Bennington dealer/service center and had them give me their opinion.

Needless to say, they were AMAZED! They said they'd never, ever seen toons THAT CLEAR in a finish! Every one who's seen it has really, really praised his work. According to our polisher, he's warrantying his work for a year, no matter how much it's in the water. We haven't had it in the water yet 'cause we've been doing Christmas stuff for a couple of weeks now. We'll put it in the water after the first of Jan. So, what do you folks think?
Scott

P.S. The first picture shows MY work. All the rest, show HIS work!
 

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Vikingstaff

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Wow! Amazing job! Although I have shark hide and like it, I’d be curious about ceramic coating your toons before putting it in the water. It would be worth it.

I need someone that can do that, and then reapply either sharkhide or ceramic coat mine. I’d be in heaven with that quality of a job.
 

PRaudio

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Beautiful! I'm afraid to ask, but roughly what did 24hrs of buffing go for?
 

FIRE UP

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Well guys,
In all reality, it wasn't just 24 hours. It was between 5 and 6 days of work! As stated, the first three was just pure sanding. Then, the multi-stage polishing began. He quoted us $1,800 for the job. While I was reluctant to jump on what we thought might be a bit high, I was also in remembrance of earlier searches for like jobs. And if I recall, some have paid in excess of $2,000 - $2,200 or more. When he was done and was leaving for the last time, he asked that we not tell the price to folks around town. He busted his butt for 5-6 days and while $1,800 was a good price for him, IT WAS A TON OF WORK and, then there was all the materials and tools too!

He didn't elaborate as to the cost of his supplies etc. while on this job, here's just a tad bit of the what I think was involved with the cost. For the first couple of days of sanding, he used 6" discs of 400, 600 and 800 grit. Each box holds 50 discs. He used THREE BOXES of those. And each box was around $20 or so. Several different types of rouges at whatever cost those are. Then, also as stated, for the final stage of polish and wax burnishing, he made his own chemical/wax goulash. It consisted of Lacquer thinner, mineral spirits and the rouge wax that was broken up into small pieces and, inserted in bottle, added to the lacquer thinner and mineral spirits and then, shaken for quite a while, 'till it was the consistency of about runny tooth paste.

It was then machine applied which, turned the almost nice looking surface into a pure black finish. Then, he'd add to the surface of the disc, an already cut up piece of incredibly soft microfiber towel, about 6" x 6". He'd fire up that random orbital and using that piece of microfiber, that finish INSTANTLY turned into what you see in the pictures, A MIRROR! In fact, I've seen mirrors that were not this clear and precise.

AS for installing ANY surface sealer, nope, ain't happening. he claims that his finish will last a year at least and, if there's ANY need, AT ALL for any touch-up in that year, call him and he'd zoom back over and take care of things pronto, with no additional cost. He claims water's not even gonna stick to it. That remains to be seen.
Scott
 

Mike31406

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Definitely has the “Wow” factor. Amazing.
 

BigKahuna

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Hey Gang,
Well, it's been a while since I been here, with the colder season on us and all that. Anyway, some of you might have seen my pics of my toons after I used a product called Starbrite Aluminum Cleaner. They looked really good after I did that. A tad bit of history here. First, the boat is a 2014 RCL25 and, we purchased it used, about 5 months ago with ONLY 24 hours on it. Yep, 24. The boat has been garaged for its entire life. It was only in the water 5 times before we purchased it. Needless to say, the toons were in great shape to begin with. They were barely water spotted but, did have a water line. The boat never, ever sat in the water unless it was being used.

So, after I did the Starbrite treatment, I enquired about using/applying *Sharkhide". Well, after some debating back and forth, I finally purchased some and applied it. Well, after ONE TIME in the water, and retrieving it to the boat, a bit of that Sharkhide was SLUFFED off!! CRAP!!! Needless to say, after all the work I'd done, and it didn't look as nice as it did before we took it out just one time, I was not a happy camper.

So, while sitting at home one evening, the wife was cruising facebook and found an ad for Metal Polishing here in our town. It showed the tip of one pontoon. I WAS IMPRESSED by what was in that picture. I'd seen polished toons before but, nothing quite like this picture showed. So, I gave the gent who placed the ad a call. He came over the next day to give me an estimate. What he quoted seemed fairly reasonable but, the wife and I wanted to talk it over before we made a final decision. It didn't take too long and, we called him back. He was to start on it the next day.

I'd been polishing aluminum for decades and know a bit about it. I told him that my thoughts were that since our toons were in such great shape, it should not take as long as he may have thought it should. Well, this boy's been doing this for quite some time and assured me that it WOULD take as long as he estimated, based on the way the metal was surfaced from the factory. He started the process with sanding first. He started with 400 on a disc-abrasive, random orbital sander. The entire areas of all the parts that were to be polished, were done with the 400.

Then, he moved onto 600 grit and again, every inch of what was to be seen and polished, was done. When that was done, it was time for the 800 grit. The whole sanding process took well over THREE DAYS! And each day was pretty close to full 8 hour days. You should have seen how much sand paper discs he went through! Then, it was time to start the polishing process. Just like the sanding process, it was a gradual step process. He'd use a strong rouge to start with then, move on to a finer grade. And in the final polish, he actually made his own final chemical/wax/paste. As you can see in the pics, he did one SERIOUSLY FLAWLESS JOB! Those toons are now a MIRROR!! When he was done, we took the boat to various places near the water to do photo shoots of it. Nothing we could find did the boat justice. Once we did that, we took it to our local Bennington dealer/service center and had them give me their opinion.

Needless to say, they were AMAZED! They said they'd never, ever seen toons THAT CLEAR in a finish! Every one who's seen it has really, really praised his work. According to our polisher, he's warrantying his work for a year, no matter how much it's in the water. We haven't had it in the water yet 'cause we've been doing Christmas stuff for a couple of weeks now. We'll put it in the water after the first of Jan. So, what do you folks think?
Scott

P.S. The first picture shows MY work. All the rest, show HIS work!
Looks fantastic and well worth the money! That guy worked his butt off! Couple questions ....... If no protectant is applied is it going to become dull or back to its original state eventually? Are you keeping it in the water or do you trailer? I know he warrants it for a year but what happens after 2, 3, 5 years? Does he have to come back and rebuff it? Just curious. Kind of makes you NOT want to put it in the water. Ha!
 

FIRE UP

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Looks fantastic and well worth the money! That guy worked his butt off! Couple questions ....... If no protectant is applied is it going to become dull or back to its original state eventually? Are you keeping it in the water or do you trailer? I know he warrants it for a year but what happens after 2, 3, 5 years? Does he have to come back and rebuff it? Just curious. Kind of makes you NOT want to put it in the water. Ha!
Well Sir,
Like any polished metal, yes, it will oxidize over a given amount of time. Aluminum, when polished down, will eventually return to its natural state we all know it as. But, when taken dow to that level, with no sealants of any type, and, kept out of the sun {for normal day-to-day storage}, the oxidation rate will be deferred phenomenally.
No, the boat never sees water unless we’re in it. It is stored under a drive-under cover. If and or when, it needs any form of touch-up, or possibly a “refreshing “, he’s agreed to do it for between $100 and $150 and would take less than a day, due the the prep of the metal in the first place.
As for 3-5 years down the road, well, we’ll see what happens then or take care of it then. I have years and years of metal(aluminum- stainless etc) polishing under my belt too. My wheels on our motor home look just like the toons you see. They also do not see the sun unless we’re in it traveling some place. And I only touch them up up about once a year if, I think they need it,
Yeah, ever since those toons were done, I’ve joked with many people about NOT putting it in the water ANY MORE!! It’s now just a display! Yeah sure! Can’t wait to get it out.
scott
 

SEMPERFI8387

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Wow ..... just wow! Amazing finish!
 

BigKahuna

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Well Sir,
Like any polished metal, yes, it will oxidize over a given amount of time. Aluminum, when polished down, will eventually return to its natural state we all know it as. But, when taken dow to that level, with no sealants of any type, and, kept out of the sun {for normal day-to-day storage}, the oxidation rate will be deferred phenomenally.
No, the boat never sees water unless we’re in it. It is stored under a drive-under cover. If and or when, it needs any form of touch-up, or possibly a “refreshing “, he’s agreed to do it for between $100 and $150 and would take less than a day, due the the prep of the metal in the first place.
As for 3-5 years down the road, well, we’ll see what happens then or take care of it then. I have years and years of metal(aluminum- stainless etc) polishing under my belt too. My wheels on our motor home look just like the toons you see. They also do not see the sun unless we’re in it traveling some place. And I only touch them up up about once a year if, I think they need it,
Yeah, ever since those toons were done, I’ve joked with many people about NOT putting it in the water ANY MORE!! It’s now just a display! Yeah sure! Can’t wait to get it out.
scott
Looks great Scott enjoy!
 

AZHEAT

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VERY nice!! I actually just saw an ad for metal polishing on Facebook marketplace and it sure looked like your boat that was used as an example. I was thinking about calling the guy based on the photos in the ad. I’ve been a little frustrated with Sharkhide as well. During transport, something splashed up on the toons on our boat and will not come off without harsh cleaners. Ultimately it will probably require stripping off the Sharkhide applied by the factory. A hassle I would prefer to have avoided. Like yours, mine will only be in the water when being used and stored indoors when not being used. I‘m very curious to hear how the polished finish does over time (without any protective coating) with the use you describe being similar to mine. What is the recommended product to be used after pulling it out of the water to minimize water spotting? I wonder if a 50:50 mix of vinegar/softened water would work well for a quick wipe down. You will have the best looking toons on the lake!
 

Spoiledrotten

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Absolutely beautiful!
 

Pbakk

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Looks great. I wonder if painted toons would be cheaper and easier to maintain in the long run. Many painted fishing boats look great after years of use. Why is it different for pontoons. I had my painted sport fish Alum boat for 20 years and it looked great with minimal maint.
 

PRaudio

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Wish he lived near me:)
 

Nautical

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I doubt any coating would stick to that!!! Looks great. I bet you'll get a noticeable increase in your top speed too!
 

DogTag34

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I think its AWESOME - I almost like it more for the performance aspect then the looks - lol.But I prefer black wheels to chrome wheels:) ..Did he do the insides and center toon or just the outsides and tips? ...I can respect quality work and the hours that took. A guy that masters his craft is almost lost these days - IMPRESSIVE work. Ill be interested in what upkeep is like so keep us posted as usage increases.
 

Michiman

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Whoa, that's some serious shine you have going on there! Where can I sign up to be next??
 

Toddk9

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I wonder if there is a place in Wisconsin that does that? They look great and would love to have mine looking like that
 

FIRE UP

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Hey gang,
I most certainly appreciate all the nice comments. As far as just what was done, well, primarily what a person can see, either while on the trailer or in the water, without making an effort to see MORE. In other words, what you see, while it's on the trailer, without bending down or TRYING to see in between the toons, was done. And that includes the tips of all three toons, back to the first weld. As for the rear, well, I like the *spun aluminum* look for the ends of the outer toons so, I left them like that. The inner one, where the engine is mounted, was already done a bit by me. He just did it BETTER, again, to the first weld. As for comments on *performance* increases, well, I wish. But, the polish was only done down to the bunks, and not below. So, as nice and as smooth as is, even if the toons were polished for 360 degrees around them, I doubt very seriously that I'd see any increase in performance. With both biminis deployed for maximum sun protection, and just the wife and I on board, with 3/4 of tank of fuel, the boat tops out at 49.9 mph. And that's with the trim set at the best possible position.

And, at that kind of speed and throttle, I'm watching the fuel gauge drop by THE SECOND!! So, needless to say, we don't go that fast very often.
Scott
 

prd2hnt

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Stunning. Nothing else to say.
 
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