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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint
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Thread: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-08-2012 11:38 AM
cousineddy
Re: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint

Finally got all the paint off the bottom. Ended up using a combination of suggestions. In the thick areas, I used stripper, followed by wet sanding with a dry wall screen, then finally dry sanding to the gel coat. Took two weekends. One thing to say is that it has affected my health. Skin irritations, and rash, crappy overall blahh feeling. I had eye protection, a respiratior, didnt use gloves except for when stripping. Wore shorts the first weekend, then long sleeves and jeans the second. That stuff is nasty. It seemed to have paint going back to 1979 when the boat was built. Thats before they banned the real toxic antifouling ingrediants. Just saying, cover as much of your skin as possible, especially your face or you could become the toxic avenger. The boats gunna look nice, but at what expense? I read that the TFT in older paints cause girl marine life to grow a penis. Not good, not good at all.
09-30-2012 09:30 PM
cousineddy
Re: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint

I got the aircraft stripper. $30 at West Marine. Applied it, then tried to use a pressure washer to remove it. That did not work. The paint hardens as soon as it gets wet. So I broke down and followed the instructions. Do small areas at a time and use a scraper. It took 4 applications to get most of the paint off, since there is 4 or 5 layers. In the end, you are just smearing the paint around with the scaper. As soon as it dries, its hard paint again. Its a mess and a waste of time. Just got some 60 grit on a 5" orbital 3 amp sander, change the disks alot, got over halfway done in one day. So, I guess there is no easy way. Just sand it.....or scrape it I guess. (I hate anti-fouling paint)
09-28-2012 12:20 PM
daledog
Re: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint

I used a long handle heavy scraper to take my T37 down. The scraper worked great...just a lot of muscle and determination. No easy way. and using paint removers is just adding a toxin into an already toxic procedure....
09-28-2012 11:58 AM
SJ34
Re: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint

I've tried chemical and mechanical methods. I prefer mechanical, ie. 80 grit discs on a variable speed angle grinder/polisher. Whatever you choose to do, cover yourself up and wear really good goggles or dust proof face mask. A full face air purifying respirator works best, especially if you decide to sand. Antifouling dust is murder on the eyes...and lungs.
09-26-2012 06:03 AM
JoeLena
Re: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint

I used the Aqua Strip product. Put it on thick, wait a couple hours depending on temp, place plastic underneath and scrape it of. Took 2 applications and still had to sand, but it works quite well to get a couple layers off. You can get it online at Home Depot by the gallon much cheaper than the marine stores.

One gallon did my Rhodes 19.
09-25-2012 10:17 PM
Sabreman
Re: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint

The drywall sanding technique is intriguing and would like try it sometime. But when we stripped our boat's bottom 4 years ago, I used a 3/4" wood chisel and the paint just peeled off. No dust and not that much elbow pressure needed. Two of us did all 38' in a 10 hour day. I sande the bottom with a a shop-n-vac hooked to a 6" random orbit sander using 80 grit followed by 120 grit disks. That took 6 hours down to the gel coat all around. All together it was 26 man hours; not bad given the scope of the job and 20 layers of paint.

I would not try to sand the whole thing off and would NOT use anything except a random orbit sander in any phase. Strippers are expensive and take a lot of time to work. I saw a guy work for days getting paint off and it probably cost a fortune. But others on SailNet have done it so I'll defer to their opinion.
09-25-2012 09:43 PM
SimonV
Re: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint

I stripped my boat 40' and did it with sheet 80 grit wet and dry keeping the anti foul wet at all times.
09-25-2012 09:35 PM
ReefMagnet
Re: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint

General purpose paint thinners dissolve ablative antifouls remarkably well albeit a bit messily
09-25-2012 08:35 PM
MikeOReilly
Re: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint

We stripped about 25 years of old ablative paint off our Grampian 34 a few years ago. We started with a soy-based stripper, which did soften most of the layers. It worked well, but b/c we were working outside, we had to cover it with plastic wrap for 8-10 hours while it was "cooking." This was a challenge, but fairly easily doable.

After the allotted time we pealed off the plastic to reveal a soft gunky slop which easily scrapped off. This we scrapped onto plastic sheets. What was left was a thin layer (streaks really) of bottom paint which we then sanded down with an orbital sander.

The stripper worked OK, but in the end I reverted to simply using a big paint scrapper, and then finishing with the orbital sander. The stripper probably required less elbow-grease, but in the end I'm not sure if it's any easier than scrapper and sanding.
09-25-2012 08:20 PM
SongBirdSkipper
Re: Paint Remover for anti-fouling paint

If you're thinking of dry sanding antifouling paint, be aware it is a serious irratant to eyes, sinuses and skin. A dust mask won't help, you'll need a respirator, a face shield and cover every inch of skin.

The marinas use a sandblaster, wearing a full paint suit with hood and respirator.

Good luck.
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