I'd strip to the gelcoat for a few reasons. First, it'll let you see what kind of shape the gelcoat and hull is in. Second, it'll let you barrier coat the boat. Third, it'll get rid of a lot of excess weight. Fourth, you won't have to worry if the paint you stuck your new bottom paint on is going to stick to the boat.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.