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post #11 of 20 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Best sander for bottom sanding?

ditto on norton 3x paper.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere:


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post #12 of 20 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Best sander for bottom sanding?

I'm a little surprised that all the respondents to the thread speak only of dry sanding. I have anti-fouled my own boats for nigh on 30 years and have never dry sanding one square inch.

To be more specific, in the marinas, both in South Africa and here in New Zealand, dry sanding is pretty much banned because of the dust it generates and only wet sanding is permitted. Is there some rule in your areas that prevents wet sanding?

So my boats get wet sanded with a 100 grit water paper on an oscillating pad attached to the end of a broom stick that has a constant water feed to the paper via a tiny (mini irrigation type) hose pipe. If it sounds complicated, it is not, actually very simple.

I can reach almost all surfaces without stooping under the boat - very easy on the body. And I flat down the whole of my 44 ft boat for an anti-foul repaint in about 3 hours without any assistance and the finished job is always excellent.

Cost to rub down? Well the initial cost of the sophisticated equipment described above is about $30. From then, each rub down costs about $18 for the water paper. And water paper doesn't clog - it just wears down after a while.


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post #13 of 20 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Best sander for bottom sanding?

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
I'm a little surprised that all the respondents to the thread speak only of dry sanding......

So my boats get wet sanded with a 100 grit water paper on an oscillating pad attached to the end of a broom stick that has a constant water feed to the paper via a tiny (mini irrigation type) hose pipe. If it sounds complicated, it is not, actually very simple..... .

Links or pictures, Andre? Around here you are required to tarp up and vacuum sand.. I've never seen anyone power-wetsand but it does sound like a great solution...... we'd probably have to catch the effluent somehow....

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post #14 of 20 Old 02-17-2013
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Re: Best sander for bottom sanding?

I have done a lot of bottom sanding with a Dewalt R O and it is still working well. However in my opinion if you are putting on VC-17, it goes on so thin, I see no reason to sand it off.
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post #15 of 20 Old 02-18-2013
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Re: Best sander for bottom sanding?

We had to strip off the layers of VC17 to put a salt water compatible paint on last year. The epoxy base of the VC makes it extremely difficult to sand with the Port Cable, but it helps if you can get down to a 36 grit paper. Like others have said, VC17 is so thin that you really don't need to strip it off unless you are switching paints.

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post #16 of 20 Old 02-18-2013
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Re: Best sander for bottom sanding?

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Links or pictures, Andre? Around here you are required to tarp up and vacuum sand.. I've never seen anyone power-wetsand but it does sound like a great solution...... we'd probably have to catch the effluent somehow....
No, not power wet sanding - wet sanding with a sanding block on the end of a broom stick, not unlike sweeping the floor. Sorry, I am unable to get my kit out to show you because we're between houses and most of my gear is in storage. I'll try and describe the kit.

A plastic pad that is on a swivel that takes a third of a standard sheet of water paper - like this:
The black underside is a layer of neoprene foam.

Then I use the thin plastic tubing commonly found in home mini-irrigation systems taped to the broomstick and two nozzles that are drilled and screwed into the pad. Then when the water paper goes on, two small holes are made in the paper to coincide with the nozzles. The whole contraption is connected to a slow running garden hose.

Most marinas in New Zealand have water traps that separate the bad stuff from the water which is then recycled. But they also have "dams" which comprise a 6" tube made of canvas that you lay around the boat and fill with water. This traps 95% of the cuttings that are washed off the boat and tomorrow when it has reverted to dry powder, one simply sweeps it up and discards it.

So now you simply stand alongside the boat and scrub the bottom. The water flowing through the nozzles/paper washes away the swarf and keeps the paper cutting and the paper thus last a really long time before becoming dull. Yes I know it sounds like manual labour but trust me it goes really fast and does a great job. It is definitely far easier than using a machine, no matter how good the machine is. I know because I tried a machine once and will never go back there.

Tell you what, my boat is coming out for an anti-foul in the next wee while - I'll get my wife to make a short video to show here. In the mean time I hope the above description makes a little sense at least


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Re: Best sander for bottom sanding?

That's an interesting concept, but like other have said VC 17 doesn't really need any sanding.

I have it on my boat as well. All you need to do is rudder, keel, leading edge, and water line between coats. You are simply painting the sections of the bottom that get the most wear. Then the following year repaint the whole bottom. That way you wear down the paint and no sanding is needed. The face lift keeps you from possible build up, and saves you money in the long run.
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Re: Best sander for bottom sanding?

Like some of the more recent posts, a buddy that has sailed all his life has told me that wet sanding is the way to go. Not wishing to mix electricity and water, I'm considering a straight line, air sander, as used in body shops. Add a convenient pipette hooked to a hose to dribble water onto the pad and it's all good!

I *do* like the idea of the drywall sanding pad, too; as I have a couple to hand.

My bottom paint is pretty good. I just hafta get rid of he barnacle "glue" and rough the surface for the next coat.
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Re: Best sander for bottom sanding?

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Originally Posted by deltaten View Post
Like some of the more recent posts, a buddy that has sailed all his life has told me that wet sanding is the way to go. Not wishing to mix electricity and water, I'm considering a straight line, air sander, as used in body shops. Add a convenient pipette hooked to a hose to dribble water onto the pad and it's all good!

I *do* like the idea of the drywall sanding pad, too; as I have a couple to hand.

My bottom paint is pretty good. I just hafta get rid of he barnacle "glue" and rough the surface for the next coat.
I'd use a D/A with a foam pad, not a straight line "air file". Those are made for flattening things, not compound surfaces. They're pretty heavy as well. They are the air tool equivalent of a belt sander.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-18-2013
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Re: Best sander for bottom sanding?

OK then... thanx.. a D/A w/pad it is I *might* try it w/the drywall sander and 3M wet'n'dry first. I don't recall that screen d/w 'paper' is waterproof?? I know there's a restaurant grade water/oil proof grill cleaning screen made; but don;t know grits avail.
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