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Old 03-20-2012
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Removing Bottom Paint -- Need Input

I would appreciate input to help understand my options. I own a 36 foot 1982 fin keel sailboat. She is currently on the hard on the Chesapeake Bay. She was hauled in the Autumn. She will go into the water this Spring. I plan to keep her in the water this winter. She does not have blisters.

I have used a high-end ablative bottom paint in the seven years I've owned my 36 foot S2. However, the decades of paint build up now require stripping. This year, when she was hauled, the power washing caused large sections of paint to chip off to the gel coat. I'd never seen the bottom come out like this.

My marina does not recommend the usual orbital and feather sanding and "rough" sanding of the hull or using epoxy for patches or painting the entire bottom -- as I would usually do -- this Spring because the first layer of paint is losing its adhesion and the paint will flake off onto the roller. The marina said I could just use bottom paint on the sections where the gel coat is showing, put her back in the water, haul out in the summer or Autumn, power wash, repeat the spot painting, put her back in the water for the winter -- and that it would not impact the integrity of the hull. Is that true? That recommendation makes me uncomfortable, and would only delay the inevitable stripping.

The second option the marina suggested is for them to do the soda blasting and the necessary hand-held sander work, and then for me to put on one coat of epoxy with a roller, and one or two coats of anti-fouling paint. The marina said one coat of epoxy is sufficient and I would only need to proceed after two seasons with my regular routine of anti-fouling paint. My question is this: Is only one coat of epoxy really sufficient? I know the usual is four to eight for the barrier coat.

The marina does not recommend the high cost of soda blasting and them doing the multiple applications for a barrier coat due to the age of the boat.

I do not want to strip and scrape, and would be comfortable if one coat of epoxy is not throwing bad money after bad.

Please let me know your thoughts.
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Old 03-20-2012
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Re: Removing Bottom Paint -- Need Input

this may help...

Bottom Repairs
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Old 03-20-2012
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Re: Removing Bottom Paint -- Need Input

I feel you need to strip it first, just to make a decision ! Otherwise who knows what you will find?...Dale
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Re: Removing Bottom Paint -- Need Input

Dale -- forgive my ignorance, but isn't the soda blasting in lieu of me manually stripping?
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Old 03-20-2012
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Re: Removing Bottom Paint -- Need Input

Soda blasting or some other equal is them doing the stripping vs you manually stripping in some shape or form.

If the marina will let you, assuming the paint is peeling as you describe.....I would think you could continue to manually scrap or peel the rest of the paint off, then do as Chef did, ie new epoxy, bottom paint etc. Just a matter of when, not if from what you describe.

yeah, I am not too far behind you!

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Re: Removing Bottom Paint -- Need Input

Thank you, all.
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Old 03-21-2012
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Removing Bottom Paint -- Need Input

Bottom paint will flake off when it gets to thick on the hull. For the best solution over time, you will need to get it all off. You can do it a couple of ways:

1) Remove all by sanding, stripping, or blasting. The method you choose should be determined by how much work you are willing to invest or whether you want to pay for someone else to do it. If you decide to remove it by sanding, don't use an orbital sander as it is too gentle, in my opinion. I've had good results using the electric paint remover from Harbor Freight. Once removed, evaluate bottom for blisters. If you've blasted the bottom, it WOULD be worth it to apply 5 coats of barrier coat before bottom painting as you will likely never get the opportunity again. when last barrier coat is tacky, apply bottom paint for better adhesion. I recommend using an ablative bottom paint. Use 2 colors; 1 coat of the first then 2 coats of the second so you can touch up in the future when you see the first color showing. If you don't blast the bottom and you don't have blisters, then simply apply bottom paint as above.

2) Touch up the areas of missing bottom paint. If you have a multisession ablative paint on now then the paint is effective if you see it's color. Eventually, the paint will flake off, wear away until you are down to the gel coat. Evaluate for blisters and if none, paint as indicated above.

If you don't have blisters, there really isn't any compelling reason to apply a barrier coat. If you are applying one, why only 1 layer? That's goofy and a waste, in my opinion. Put on the recommended number of layers.

The marina's comment about age of boat and its not worth redoing the bottom strikes me as they don't want to do the work. That doesn't make sense. Fiberglas and hulls last forever. If you are planning on keeping and using the boat for many many years and are restoring or maintaining her then it's worthy of a good bottom. If the systems are failing and you only see a couple of years left in the old girl then don't invest time and money into her bottom.

In the future, be mindful of the amount of paint applied so it doesn't get too thick. Use a multi season ablative paint that sluffs off. Touch up when needed. good luck!
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Re: Removing Bottom Paint -- Need Input

What Gladrags states makes a lot of sense and I would definatley second that!!!!!
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Re: Removing Bottom Paint -- Need Input

My understanding of applying a single coat of epoxy, like Interlux 2000 after stripping a hull, is it's nothing more than a primer. It prevents the anti-foul paint from flaking off.

Check out the interlux paint site, lots of good info there.
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Gladtags basically summerized what's in the link I provided...

My opinion...either do it right or just scrap some and touch up until you decide to do it right

If the boat is in otherwise good condition ...its worth it if you DIY
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