The operator must hold the GelPlane by the handles provided. The machine is started off the hull, and held away from the body, by pressing the "deadman's" switch with the right thumb.
The cut should start at the waterline and is achieved by firmly holding the cutting head against the boat and slowly moving down the work surface, taking care not to over reach. It is better to take a series of short cuts rather than a single long one, approximately 500 mm at each stroke.
Whenever cutting, both shoulders of the machine should be in contact with the hull surface. Care must be taken when this is not possible, for instance the first cut on the stem when the operator must "float" the level shoulder whilst cutting with the other.
The offset shoulder must always rest on the unpeeled surface, otherwise another cut is made into the laminate. It is essential that the width of the cut is limited to half the drum width as indicated on the drum guard.
When encountering skin fittings, the machine can be rotated, keeping the offset shoulder adjacent to the fitting.
Consecutive adjacent cuts should be made at staggered lengths to facilitate starting the next cuts further down the hull in a stepped manner.