Belt Sander for Hull stripping??? - SailNet Community

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Old 11-11-2010
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Belt Sander for Hull stripping???

I did a search,but couldn't come up with anything definitive.....

I am going to be stripping off the ablative bottom paint on my boat and was wondering if a belt sander would be faster than an orbital sander? WHen I first rebuilt this boat 3 years ago, I spent countless hours stripping off the ablative paint with an orbital. I should have put on VC-17 back then, but had some ablative in the garage from a previous project. Anyway, waht are the drawbacks of using a belt sander for this?
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Old 11-11-2010
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dust collection is a big problem with belt sanders. The design and weight would make holding it up against the hull for hours on end and act of pure torture.
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Dust collection is not an issue. I will be doing this indoors in a barn with a concrete floor. Will be wearing full ventilation equipment.

Weight of the sander might be an issue,but I will be doing this over numerous sessions; I will not be sitting therefor hours at a time.

Would a belt sander be faster than an orbital?
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A belt sander will be much faster than an orbital.

Of course, a jackhammer might be pretty quick, too. Or explosives

Personally, I wouldn't go near it with a belt sander. Too agressive, which is likely to lead to uneven results / damage.

Shy of having it professionally blasted, I'd go at it with a chemical stripper, followed by the orbital.
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Old 11-11-2010
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I'd stay away from a belt sander for the reasons posted. A good Porter Cable orbital with the right paper should be fast and not damaging.
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Old 11-11-2010
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I would try a section with the Charlie Cobra acetone and rags method and work from there

I favor Razorblade scraping myself with a bit of sanding

It really depends on what kind of paint as well as the condition BUT heavy sanding has that whole boat looks like a golf ball issue
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Old 11-11-2010
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belt sander will take off the bottom paint and
much of the bottom with it. very hard to control when using upside down. Try one of these, its they only way I would do a bottom strip.
Boat Bottom Paint Removal
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Old 11-11-2010
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If you really need to take ablative to the gelcoat, use peel away and let it sit a minimum of 24 hours before ya peel and scrape. It will take the ablative to the glass and even loosen hard racing bottom paint enough to scrape. Follow with the orbital and 40-60 grit.
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I'm witH cc- let the chemicals do the work, and do a final scuff with an orbital.
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unless you are really good with the belt sander...it will be tough to get a good even finish...the belt will remove a lot of material, and with fiberglass and paint you will hardly feel the damage happening...

Good pressure wash, then Orbital after scraping with a sharp scraper would be my choice..minimal damage and minimal wear and tear on your arms and hands
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