Best Heavy Cut Compounds for Boat Detailing Jobs

Boats are put through a lot; damage from the hot sun, salt from the ocean, scratches from debris, and more, can create stained and oxidized gel coats that need a refresher! When it’s time to work through scratches, scuff, or other boat damage, you'll need the right protective products, and a quality heavy-cut compound is the best place to start. Medium cut compounds might do the job for less damaged boats, but if you have a vessel in desperate need of some TLC, it’s best to have a heavy cut compound on hand. Below are some of our favorites:

Level R

Starke Level R is a favorite amongst professional detailers. Not only can it cut through deep scratches and surface damage, but it finishes really nicely due to its diminishing abrasive. When Level R heats up as you use a rotary polisher on it, it turns into a finer compound that will leave a shiny surface and remove any damage. You can even get away with foregoing the polishing step after using Level R if you’re in a pinch; it’s like magic!


Another great heavy cut compound, Menzerna has a line of multiple heavy cut compounds, depending on your needs. Known for being easy to work with, Menzerna can feel a bit oily as you work, but that extra oil helps keep the product workable for longer. Since a little goes a long way, it ends up being a very cost-effective solution if you’re on the market for a heavy cut compound.


With an excellent working time and low-dust qualities, Koch-Chemie’s heavy cut compound is very popular for boat and car detailing jobs. It wipes off easily and won’t require additional washing in between detailing steps. Though it leaves a nice shine, we still recommend finishing with a polish if you’re using this product.


Restructure doesn’t have the same cutting power as some of the other heavy cut compounds listed above, but it’s great for removing moderate scratches and marks. It is fairly wet, so this is one of the best products if you’re working outside in the hot sun and need a lot of time to get the job done. Since you have a bit more working time, Restructure’s effectiveness might surprise you.

Presta Super Cut


Presta won’t remove the same levels of oxidation as any of the others in this list, but it’s still a very popular heavy cut compound for light scratches and oxidation. It also does not finish with the same level of shine that you will find among other brands, so you’ll definitely need to finish with a polish for a flawless finish.

Finding the Right Compound for a Flawless Finish

At the end of the day, the best compound for you will come down to personal preference. You may love Starke Level R and another professional detailer may prefer Menzerna. All of these brands come with pros and cons, but the most important thing is that you’re detailing your boat regularly to give it the longest, shiniest life possible.

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