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Old 09-09-2009
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Sanding anti-fouling

Hi all,

with southern hemisphere summer coming up it's nearly time to do every sailors second least favorite job, sanding back old anti fouling.(I think fixing the head rates slightly worse)

I saw an interesting article in an English sailing mag a while back and thought I would see if anybody had any thoughts as to how it would work.

The author had an electric sander set up mounted on a pole(using the holes that you would normally screw a handle into). He then had the pole and sander suspended on a rope so that it almost balanced. Apparently all he did was lock sander switch "on", stood at the outer end of the pole and used gravity to help him rather than having to hold a sander over your head on flater sections, eg; aft of keel.

I have never seen this being used so I thought I would put it out there and see if anybody had any ideas or experience doing this. I don't want to end up tangled in a mass of extension cords, poles and angry sanders(still running). Of course all this would be in full view of many "experts" who would tell me how silly I looked!

I hope I have explained this system well enough. Any feedback would be welcome.
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Old 09-09-2009
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Up this way your required to ONLY sand with a machine that has a vacume port to collect the dust.

To be honest even when i just go over my paint in the spring with a green scotch brite pad by HAND to skuff it before a fresh coat of paint it makes a pretty BIG mess.

I find a a random orbit sander with 80 grit is so fast you need to watch carefully to keep from going to FAR

Then there are also chemical strippers that are fiberglass safe OR soda-blasting that will not dammage the boat
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Old 09-09-2009
Don Radcliffe
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Since I went to ablative paint, I can sand the entire bottom with the RO sander in less than 3 hours. If you have a lot of hard paint to remove/fair you might look into using air-powered tools, as they are lighter.
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Old 09-09-2009
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Here in the Pacific NW one has to completely tarp when doing any major sanding or grinding on a boat UNLESS they are using a tool designed for use with a vacuum to capture the dust (used with vacuum of course).

One of my better purchases in boat tools was a Dewalt DW443 variable speed (electronic) orbital sander. It has a 6 inch disc and is powerful enough to do some heavy work. They aren't cheap and neither are the discs (hook and loop about 45 to 50 cents US a disc).

Although it is a bit of a pain to drag around the exhaust hose (one usually tapes the pwr cord to the hose) and one still wears a dust mask all in all the unit does a very good job fairly quickly. And neighbors in the yard are happier than being near someone trying to contain the dust etc with tarps.

Hope this helps,
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