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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-11-2010 08:26 PM
Stuff4Toys The chemical method sounds like a good idea. I just did our Cat 25 and used a DA air powered sander with 80 grit. Worked great!

Spent two 5 hour days and another 3 hours the last day.

After two days scraping then the 3 days of sanding it went from this

To this

Now the blisters are all repaired and ready for 8 coats of epoxy barrier coat and 2 coats of hard bottom paint.
11-11-2010 06:42 PM
FishSticks I have a Festool Rotex RO 125 5" dual mode sander. It combines random orbital with rotary orbital motion and removes paint much more aggressively than a common orbital sander. It is far more practical than a belt sander - and nearly as effective. Festool has a wide range of papers suitable for paint removal -as coarse as 24 grit.

I use it in conjunction with a Festool CT-26 vac for dust extraction. Over 95% of the dust goes into the bag, and the paper never clogs up with melted paint. It's a hefty investment for this combination but it gets plenty of use at home as well. Such as stripping lead paint from cedar shingles. So in my case the investment was justified by saving time. Factored into this - cleanup time, responsible disposal of the paint dust and compliance with the EPA Lead Paint Law that became effective in April 2010.

I have used it on my topsides, which were overdue for repainting, but not on the bottom, which I would not care to strip with any sander or by any other means on my old wooden boat. I'll stick with my ablative paint.

Woodcraft Supply retailers have the Festool line set up in their stores for demonstration. You can bring a painted board to a store and try out the system yourself.

RO 125 FEQ Rotex Sander - SANDERS - Festool

Heavy Duty Use for Sanders - Festool

CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor - DUST EXTRACTORS - Festool
11-11-2010 05:46 PM
DelmarRey Unless you are Moses, keeping your arms above your head for hours, especially weighted, would be very difficult to get a good finish. Belt sanders are heavy and the belts start moving around after a while causing other problems.

The belt sander I've had for 30 years I don't even use it anymore except up-side-down to flatten small pieces of wood or plastic.

I second the peel-away! Peel Away® Products
11-11-2010 10:19 AM
ffiill Random Orbital every time -slow but sure-but watch out for sharp edges-I just destroyed a pad of an almost new orbital sander by catching its edge against tracks and various other bits of metal.
11-11-2010 10:09 AM
kd3pc unless you are really good with the belt 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
11-11-2010 10:05 AM
bljones I'm witH cc- let the chemicals do the work, and do a final scuff with an orbital.
11-11-2010 10:03 AM
CharlieCobra 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.
11-11-2010 09:59 AM
overbored 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
11-11-2010 09:00 AM
tommays 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
11-11-2010 08:44 AM
mitiempo 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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