Your Cart is Empty

  • Add description, images, menus and links to your mega menu

  • A column with no settings can be used as a spacer

  • Link to your collections, sales and even external links

  • Add up to five columns

  • October 26, 2023 4 min read

    Whether you're on a sportfish or center console boat, when it comes to detailing there are two ways to go. Do it yourself or hire someone. If you do it yourself there is a lot to learn and keep up on as trends of products and techniques as well as technology in products is always changing. Whether you are detailer, owner, or crew we are here to help with the process and hopefully can answer some questions for you and steer you in the right direction to get the job done. 

    One of the biggest questions we get asked is "Which buffer pad do I use on my sportfish or center console boat?" With a little research online (or a lot) you can get some info and a hell of a lot of opinions. And everyone wants a shortcut but sometimes there just isn't one if you want a perfect finish. Here at Sportfish Outfitters we are dealer for Starke Yacht Care products so I figured we would start with their suggestion of which pads work best with their product line based on their advice. It can be applied across many different product lines that we sell but let's stick with Starke to keep this explanation simple. It's an excellent choice!

    Also a simple explanation of what types of buffers there are might help. This is a whole different topic and you can spend a lot or a little bit of money. We won't get into all the details of which machines are out there in this article but there are several professional grade machines that we don't sell like Rupez and Flex. 

    Dual action (DA) polisher: A dual action polisher has a spinning head that oscillates in a circular motion, meaning it spins and moves in a circular pattern at the same time. It's safer to use than a rotary polisher, as it is less likely to burn through paint although less effective for compounding surfaces that are in bad shape. There are both short throw and long throw machines. Long throw machines are considered to be faster and more effective generally. If you have other battery tools and like the mobility the Milwaukee 15mm long throw is a good choice. We sell the Shurhold Pro Polisher at the shop which is a corded long throw machine. For a cheaper option and tighter spaces you can choose a short throw machine Like the standard Shurhold polisher 


    Rotary polishers most people are familiar with and may already have. They are the most effective for removing heavy oxidation with compound. If you are not experienced though, you can do some damage or leave swirl marks and imperfections that must be polished out. We sell the Shurhold Pro Rotary at the shop and is a good choice.

     Now, Let's get into the pad and product options. We will keep this as simple as possible in format as to not make the process more complicated than it already is.

    *Alt means alternate option or choice

    Compounding Surfaces 

    Level R Heavy Cut > Rotary 1200-2000 > White Wool Pad
    Elevate Medium Cut > Rotary 1800-2200 > Yellow Wool Pad
    Alt Elevate Medium Cut > Rotary 1800-2200 > Purple Lake Country (good for edge work)
    Alt Elevate Medium Cut > Rotary > Rupez White Wool Pad


    Alt Elevate Medium Cut > Random Orbital > Blue Foam Lake Country (More Cut if you still need it) Good on white or light color gelcoat
    Alt Elevate Medium Cut > Random Orbital > Orange Foam SDO Lake Country (Less Cut More Polish)

    If you are using ceramic coating like Thor move on to Triple P. If instead you are sticking with polymer sealant, skip next step or go straight to Hyper Hold Pro sealant application or use "Ignition" instead of Triple P for final polish if you want to add in an extra step for that super shine.

    Refining & Fine Finishing Polish

    Triple P > Random Orbital > Rupez thin yellow wool hybrid pad
    Triple P > Random Orbital > Lake Country All Black CCS Pad or other black foam pad - Shurhold, Buff N Shine

    Ignition (Dark Colors) > Random Orbital > Rupez yellow wool hybrid pad
    Ignition (Dark Colors) > Random Orbital > Lake Country All Black CCS Pad or other black foam pad such as Shurhold, Buff N Shine

    Applying Sealant

    Hyper Hold Pro > Lake Country Red Foam (very soft)

    Hyper Hold Pro > Buff n Shine All Black microfiber pad

    Basic takeaways, tips and tricks:

    1. Double sided wool pads are good because both sides can be uses and the edges tend to work better in tight spaces. If you have a velcro interface pad and don't have a quick change adapter a single sided will work also and is easy to switch from white to yellow wool on a rotary. 

    2. If you are unsure about which foam pad to use... Generally you can squeeze it a decide. Stiffer foam better for compounding and softer foam better for final polishing and light correction. 

    3. Use microfiber thin pad for final sealant application. Soaks up less material for quicker application and less waste. second choice soft red pad. 

    4. Quick recap start to finish if you are getting the basics,

    • Compound: White wool > Yellow wool
    • Polish: Blue or Orange Pad depending on surface condition
    • Refining: Black or thin yellow wool
    • Application: Red or thin microfiber hybrid pad

     Shurhold also offers several pad options with their buffers.  

    *Shurhold suggestions for dual action polisher speed

    1 : 2500 OPM Waxing & Buffing
    2 : 3200 OPM Waxing & Buffing
    3 : 3900 OPM Polishing & Cleaning
    4 : 4600 OPM Polishing & Cleaning
    5 : 5500 OPM Removing paint defects and Swirls
    6 : 6500 OPM Removing paint defects and Swirls




    Marine Detail Supply Top 10 Pads

    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.