First, getting the paint off... If you have the budget for sodablasting the boat, I'd highly recommend going that route. Not only can it remove all the old paint, it will leave the gelcoat fairly well prepared for barrier coating, with only the need for a good washing. There is no need to sand down to the fiberglass. You can use Interprotect 2000E, which is an excellent product and easier to apply and use than some of the regular epoxies are. I wrote a post about applying it, and am posting again here.
Alternating the colors helps a lot with determining where you've painted, but it is also very useful for helping you coat the areas around the boat stands. For instance:
The first layer is gray, since the gelcoat is white, and you can paint right up to the boat stand pads. Then you paint a layer of white, and leave about a two-inch margin of gray paint around the pads... then paint a layer a gray and leave a four-inch margin around the pads or about two-inches of white and two inches of gray showing...and then finish with a layer of white—with a six-inch margin around the pads—with two inches of gray, two inches of white and two inches of gray.
Then when you move the boat stands, you can fill in the pads and layer the paint accordingly... adding gray to cover the white square left by the pad.. then white to cover the gray square, and so on.
Also, by alternating colors, you can see if someone has sanded through the barrier coat when you're prepping the boat for re-painting. If there's an area that is gray or grayish, they've sanded through at least the outermost layer of barrier coat. If you had all white, you wouldn't be able to tell if they had sanded down through the barrier coat as easily—if you had all gray, you could tell they sanded through the barrier coat...but not if they've sanded into it...
I hope this helps clear things up a bit.
This isn't a very difficult job and any competent sailor should be able to do it. Having a helper is very useful, especially if you're working in warmer temperatures, as the working life of the IP2000E is temperature dependent.
I am thinking about doing an epoxy barrier coat on an 1986 Tashiba 40 as a preventative measure before taking her to warm tropical waters. Can anyone point me to informative websites about the process (something like a "how to")? What is the best way to remove years of old bottom paint: soda blast, scraper, sanding, chemicals? Once the bottom paint is removed, is the gelcoat removed to the laminate? Or will a sanding of the gelcoat provide enough adhesion for the epoxy to bond? What type of epoxy is used: will thickened West epoxy work, or are their special epoxy barrier coat products? How is it applied? Will the epoxy self-level or will fairing be required? I'm a fairly handy DIY-er, but is this a job thats better left to a professional?
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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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