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Old 03-22-2003
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Bottom Job / Barrier Coat

Be careful with that paint stripper! I damn near watched my little 15-footer shrivel up and melt away from the regular stuff! I tried the stuff meant for use on fiberglass but that patent crap was about as effective as spring water!

I tried all sorts of paint removing systems on her but the best thing proved to be going at it with a good quality random-orbital sander with mass quantities of 40 grit paper! The corners were tapped out with a ball-peen hammer, sometime assisted with a dull chisel to loosen the paintís grip.

I watched a guy mess up his boat with a big orbital disk sander. He gouged the heck out of the gel-coat right down to the fiberglass in places. Another guy had great success cleaning off the bottom of his Tanzer 23 by getting a few mates together for a day with a bunch of razor blade scrapers and a package of a hundred industrial razor blades!

Aboard the big boat I burned the paint off with a SureFire propane torch head attached to a 5-gallon propane tank with 8 feet of hose. Heat a small area, about 2Ē X 2Ē for a couple of seconds, until it starts to bubble and scrape it off with no difficulties! You can almost walk right along with the torch in one hand and the scraper in the other.

But before you head off to the hardware store, I should point out that my boat is a fat wooden beasty with 1-Ĺ inch thick planking that can handle the heat created by this job. Iím not sure that fiberglass could withstand the same punishment!

I paint my bottom first with a blue leaching compound, hard bottom paint. Then I apply 2 coats of an ablative co-polymer in red. Itís time to do something about it when I start to see the blue.

Pi
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