I picked up a new polishing kit since my previous buffer pads were starting to come apart and throw lots of string. The Enkay kit comes with three pads and four different buffing compounds, and three of them — black emery, white diamond, and red rouge — are recommended for stainless. I have to say, using all three results in a noticeably better finish than the one-step compound I was using when I polished some of the rub rails before. I don’t know that anybody would notice standing on the dock 20′ away, but I suppose that’s the nature of labors of love like this.
There are two bilge vents at the transom and three along each side of the toe rail. The boat came with both stainless scoops for the aft end of the boat and four of the larger scoops on either side. I haven’t had any luck finding the other two side scoops I need, but the stained and paint-spattered originals that I do have polished up quite well.
In addition to paint that a sloppy painter spooged along the lower edge when they did the enamel roll & tip job in the 1980s, there’s also white stains all around the lower edge that are extremely resistant to buffing. I think it’ll go faster and look better if I first sand the vents with 1200 and 1500 grit wet or dry, like I did with the safety rail stanchions, before buffing.
If I can’t find used replacements for the vents I need, I guess I can always order some stainless and use my AlphaTIG to make new ones. It’s not like I’ve got too many other things to do!