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Dan Dickison 02-23-2001 07:00 PM

Removing Bottom Paint
<HTML><!-- eWebEditPro --><FONT face=Arial><P>What is the best or easiest way to remove old bottom paint?</P><P><STRONG>Dan Dickison responds:</STRONG></P><P><BR>What you're facing here is a series of decisions. There are often environmental restrictions regarding the removal of bottom paint, in fact, these are in place in most states in the US, and Canada I believe. You’ll need to be aware of these before starting the job. Also, some boatyards won't let you do this yourself, while others require that you tent your boat and put down a collection drop cloth before you start the job to protect surrounding boats and areas from resulting dust and detritus. </P><P>Once you've attended to those details, you need to consider the surface from which you are taking&nbsp;off the paint. If it's&nbsp;wood, aluminum, or steel,&nbsp;you can probably grind off the paint with a grinder and a fine-grit pad.&nbsp;You can also have it sand-blasted off or wet-blasted off with a combination&nbsp;of sand and water. Some firms are even offering a new method that uses a jetted spray of baking soda and water with good results. If the surface is&nbsp;gelcoat over fiberglass, you should probably keep the grinder away and use a solvents or light sanding action.</P><P>If you've got an older boat, it's likely that you'll encounter a buildup resulting from several layers of bottom paint, so you'll need lots of rags if you're using a solvent. Be sure you have a safe, legal place to dispose of those rags after you've finished with them. </P><P>And don't short yourself on protective gear. Remember, bottom paints are intended to ward off marine growth, meaning they're not really healthy for anything that lives. So get a good set (or several sets) of rubber gloves, a respirator (or at least some quality dust masks) and some shop goggles so that you cover yourself completely. It's also a good idea to have this gear on hand when you're applying the new pain. </P><P>I hope this information helps you. If you're still daunted or uncertain, you might try getting some advice in person from the folks at a local boatyard. </P></FONT></HTML>

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