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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-13-2007
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Bottom Paint 1, Me 0

Hello,

If you recall, my boat has what appears to be 20 years of hard, caked, cracked, bottom paint. It is in poor condition, and my plan is to remove it all (down to gelcoat), fair, barrier coat, and paint.

I would like to get the paint off now, so I can do the rest of the work in the spring.

I have bought two different paint strippers, one from Interlux, the other from Franmar. I have three different kinds of scrapers.

I spent about 3 hours working on the boat today. The boat won This bottom paint is really hard to remove. The Interlux stripper didn't seem to do anything. The Franmar seems to make it a little softer, but not significantly. What works best so far is good old fashioned elbow grease, and lots of it. I have a long handled scraper, and by scrape, scrape, scraping, the paint is coming off. Right now I have a 2' X 2' section that could be sanded and then would be ready for fairing, etc.

It looks like this will be a slow, tedious job
Whose idea was it to buy a 35' boat!

Wish me luck!

Barry
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Old 11-13-2007
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Have you tried a power washer?
Just be careful when using them because they do have a lot of power.
They will take the old loose stuff right off.
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Old 11-13-2007
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I've never done that before, and I don't even own a boat yet...dammit, but would an angle grinder work or is that just way too aggressive and potentially dangerous for the gelcoat.

Also, I know that there are power scrapers available that use air pressure. Not sure if that's a possibility.
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Old 11-13-2007
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Check out this bad boy:

http://www.autotoolexpress.com/ast1750k.html
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Old 11-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hello,

If you recall, my boat has what appears to be 20 years of hard, caked, cracked, bottom paint. It is in poor condition, and my plan is to remove it all (down to gelcoat), fair, barrier coat, and paint.

I would like to get the paint off now, so I can do the rest of the work in the spring.

I have bought two different paint strippers, one from Interlux, the other from Franmar. I have three different kinds of scrapers.

I spent about 3 hours working on the boat today. The boat won This bottom paint is really hard to remove. The Interlux stripper didn't seem to do anything. The Franmar seems to make it a little softer, but not significantly. What works best so far is good old fashioned elbow grease, and lots of it. I have a long handled scraper, and by scrape, scrape, scraping, the paint is coming off. Right now I have a 2' X 2' section that could be sanded and then would be ready for fairing, etc.

It looks like this will be a slow, tedious job
Whose idea was it to buy a 35' boat!

Wish me luck!

Barry
I'd second the power washer. Having just done the Womboat I can vouch for their effectiveness in removing old loose paint.

Definitely would not recommend an angle grinder but an orbital sander could be worth a shot. Orbital are much less agressive than an AG.
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Ok, being in the painting business for the last 15 years, I've removed way to much paint. Not all strippers are equal as you have found out. I have not used the brands you mentioned in your post. I do know that your looking at a expensive ordeal. Pressure washer is not the answer, a grinder? Why not go to your local big box hardware store and get a quart of JASCO paint and epoxy remover. This poison has a skull and crossbone on the label. In 15 years it has only failed me once. Remember you can only remove one coat at a time. Put it on thick and be patient. I have not tried this on a boat. It will remove automotive to house paint, oil to latex. Nasty
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Old 11-13-2007
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I think stripper is the fastest way to get this done, but as mentioned before not all strippers are equal. I bought the stripper for my boat at the local auto parts store. You have to get stripper that is compatible with fiberglass. Most parts stores around here don't carry it, but can get it the next day and will be much cheaper than interlux. Make sure you don't use regular stripper as it will remove the gel coat with the paint. Even with the stripper for fiberglass, don't let it sit too long before scraping or the gel coat will start to soften. Scrape the paint and stripper off with hard plastic scrapers so that you don't gouge into the gel coat. Power washing it off is not as effective. You'll have to strip the bottom at least twice to get all the paint off, then sand with an orbital and 80 grit, then scrub with interlux 202.

Sanding bottom paint off before stripping is a waste of time IMO.

I almost forgot. WEAR A RESPIRATOR (not a dust mask) WHEN SANDING BOTTOM PAINT. Bottom paint is designed to kill things, and it doesn't care which thing it kills.
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Old 11-13-2007
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LOL... some strippers are better on certain types of paints than others are. Heat guns also help a lot. Be careful that you use strippers that are made for use on fiberglass.... ones that aren't can seriously damage the gelcoat.

You should be wearing a particulate filter (N95) at the minimum, if not an organic vapors cartridge as well, depending on the stripper in use.
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Dear Barry,

I have had good fortune with many strippers, paint strippers that is....

While I will concure that all strippers are not equal, nothing beats good technique. The stripper must be put on thickly and with as close to one stroke as you can manage. Minimize overlap on succeding strokes. Do not dab it or spread it around.

If you look at stripper closely after application, you will see that a thin waxie film floats to the surface. This minimizes evaporation of the active components. If you brush the surface after laying it on, you will just break up the film, substantially reducing the effectivenes of the stripper.

On some jobs where I need the stripper to be working for some time, I will cover the area with cellephane to reduce evaporation even further.

I also like to cover the ground around the project with saw dust. It will soak up the dropped paint and stripper without staining the driveway or whatever you are working over. You can just sweep it up and properly dispose of it.

All the best with your boat.

Rod Sorenson
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Old 11-13-2007
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bead blasting

I had the bottom of my previous boat bead blasted. The beads are a plastic that is deigned to be harder than paint but not as hard as gelcoat. This worked extremely well and only left about 1% of the bottom paint to be sanded with an orbital sander. The gel coat was undamaged.

This job cost me about $700 for a 25 ft boat about 8 years ago. I guess that translates to about $1500 today for a 35 ft boat.

This is one alternative to stripping with chemicals...
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