I had my boat sodablasted last year and was very happy with the results. Several others have had it done as well, and almost all of them have been happy with the results AFAIK
. You would also need a hazmat disposal permit IIRC, since the baking soda/bottom paint mixture qualifies as a hazardous material IIRC.
The prices you're quoting are a bit high from what I've seen...but it depends on where you're located.
A lot of the quality of results with sodablasting is OPERATOR DEPENDENT. A good operator can take the bottom paint off without doing more than lightly scuffing the gelcoat. A bad one will do an uneven job and burn through the gelcoat in some places and leave bottom paint behind in others.
If you're serious about doing this, I'd also recommend getting good hearing protectors, as the equipment is rather noisy.
Also, you don't generally use tarps, but disposable plastic sheeting, which you can use to tent the boat and then use to help cart away the rather nasty mixture of bottom paint and baking soda left behind by the process. Properly done, there is very little cleanup for the boatyard to deal with... improperly done, as was the case by one idiot I saw last season, you'll have baking soda/bottom paint coating a dozen boats and contaminating a couple hundred square feet of land.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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