I would recommend you have the bottom sodablasted... it shouldn't be much more than $1200 or so... and then you can barrier coat and bottom paint the boat yourself, which is pretty simple to do.
As for whether it is doable over a couple of weekends... Yes, it probably is, if you have a couple helpers. If you're by yourself, it would probably bit a bit longer.
From another post I wrote on barrier coating:
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.
I'd point out that you will probably want to "hot-coat" the first layer of bottom paint to the barrier coating. That is done by applying the first layer of bottom paint to the Interprotect 2000E when it gets to the "thumbprint" stage of curing... where the coating takes a thumbprint impression but isn't sticky or tacky to the touch.
The cooler weather will work in your favor in some ways, since applying IP2KE during hot weather makes for a very short working time window, but it will take a little longer to cure.
The equipment you'll want to have include:
- Rollers, roller covers, roller trays for applying barrier coat and bottom paint
- 3M 1.5" blue painters tape.
- Plastic containers for mixing barrier coating
- Random orbital sander for touching up sodablasted bottom. No sodablasting job is every perfect. 80, 120, 220, 320 grit discs are the most commonly used for this type of work. Rigid makes a pretty good one with variable speed that is quite affordable.
- Epoxy with cabosil/fumed colloidal silica for thickening for fairing any blisters/gouges in the hull's surface. I prefer using Progressive Epoxy Products of NH for my epoxy and supplies. epoxyproducts.com.
- Full face respirator dust/vapor mask like a 3M series 6000 unit—these are far more protective and comfortable than a half mask/disposable mask and goggles.
For paint, you can go with a hard epoxy paint or an ablative. If you're planning on hauling out each winter, go with the ablative. Put the first coat or two on in a different color, so you can tell when you've worn through the other layers of ablative paint. Put an extra coat or two of ablative paint on the high-wear areas, like the waterline, leading edge of the keel, rudder, etc.