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Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Is this a Good Sander for Bottom stripping

I just sanded my C&C 30 a week ago. I've done it with an orbital, a belt, a disc, you name it, and I'll never do that again-- too much work and too much mess. This time I wet sanded with a swiveling drywall sander (as shown above) on a pole with 100 grit screen. I hosed the bottom down then sanded. Every couple square feet I stopped, hosed off the "mush" and the sander and restarted. It was the easiest sanding job I've ever done. The boat is painted with Micron Extra, a soft ablative and I've always disliked the fact that even with a sponge roller or roll + tip, you can't get a smooth finish. I sanded it to smooth off the "wrinkles" in the old paint and to remove some of the buildup. The result was great- as smooth a finish as VC17. There was no dust and I did the whole boat in about 5-6 hours.
I did have to replace the sander- my first one was plastic and the piece that swivels broke. The next one I bought was all metal and worked well. I used about 8-10 screens for the whole project.
Contrary to one of the posts above, I found it easier for the most part to sand lengthwise- just physically easier. In a few areas sanding vertically was better but mostly for-and-aft. You can tell when it's time to stop and rinse everything-- a layer of mush builds up.
I don't know how it would work on a hard paint, but on an ablative, it's great.
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Mark Smith
1977 C&C 30 Mk 1 hailing from Port Clinton, Ohio
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