Upgrading from Sharkhide to Alumetron
Roy Railsback asked:
I’d like to try your product, however, I have shark hide on the hull now. What do I need to do to prepare the hull to use your product? Also, I have a DA electric polisher, can I use it with your product? Thx, Roy
It all depends on the present condition of your pontoon or hull. First of all the Sharkhide will have to be stripped off. I believe that can be done with a solvent. In most cases, Sharkhide is only applied above the waterline although some boat owners coat the entire pontoon or hull if they haul or lift the boat when not in use. Alumetron and VS721 is recommended for below as well as above the waterline.
After your get the Sharkhide off, you need to clean the aluminum and restore it to the original finish because Alumetron will only bond to the raw aluminum and if there are stains and streaks, they will always be there and show through the clear finish. If you have algae below the waterline, it can easily be removed with Algex. If the hull or pontoons are stained and streaked or have a heavy waterline stain, they will have to be buffed back to the original mill finish with Alumabuff and a Linear Buffer with the special Buffing Pads.
You cannot use a rotary or DA buffer as it will cut across the grain and the final finish will be full of swirl marks, resembling Oreo cookies. You need to buff back and forth, horizontally with the grain. Buffing can be done by hand with a Marine Power Mitt and Alumabuff but it’s a lot of hard rubbing and takes forever. The few that have tried it gave up with sore shoulders and ordered the special buffer to finish the job. The Linear Buffer has a 16′ pad and moves back and forth, with the grain, up to 3,000 strokes per minute. Imagine doing that by hand. That’s why you can usually buff out a pontoon in less than 60 minutes. Alumabuff is water based and the residue can be rinsed clean with water.
Here’s a link to our Pontoon Calculator. It will help you determine the products you need and there are links to some how to videos that can help. If yours is an aluminum boat, calculate the square footage by multiplying the length times the beam for the bottom, add the length times the freeboard height, times 2 for the sides and add the width times the height of the transom. Adjust the input number of the calculator until you get the approximate square footage number and that will tell you how much of each product you require and the total cost.
Thanks for your question,
Watch Free How-To Video
How to Clean & Polish Aluminum Pontoons in Less than 60 minutes