Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Rock Creek, Maryland
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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!
Sailing out of Rock Creek, Chesapeake Bay
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