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DGriffith 03-02-2011 09:14 PM

A new bottom job
Greetings to all, Spring has arrived in Texas!
My diver informed me that it is time for a new bottom job. After 20 years of paint build-up I am thinking of soda blasting to gelcoat, 5 coats of Interlux epoxy barrier coat and a new bottom. For the hundreds of years of marine experence on our forum am I making the right move? Cost 5700.00. Boat price priceless. Doug Griffith PSC37#249 Kindred Spirit

mondofromredondo 03-03-2011 07:10 AM

Stripping your bottom paint
My 34 is a 1988 and I'm faced with the same dilemna. The only way in my mind where I can justify stripping down to the gelcoat is if I have areas that are already barren of paint or I am going to be putting in a thru hull. The years of paint although partially ineffective in warding off the "Greenies" growing are a nice buffer against floating objects impacting your hull.
I've hit a few things over the years and after examination have found gouges in the paint but not in the gelcoat. So I felt fortunate that the gelcoat was sound and I still had paint covering it to boot. May be a strange way to rationalize saving 4 or 5 grand but that 4-5 could go towards something really cool. Electric Windlass, New Anchor, Monitor windvane, solar, or a cruise on the caribean on a luxury liner ????

S/V Charity Rose
88' PSC 34

SimonV 03-03-2011 08:03 AM

Unless you have hull damage or blister repairs to do I would not soda blast at all, I am not a fan of soda blasting, yes it removes paint but it can be severe. I would rather wet sand the bottom with 80 grit woking more on the high spots and feathering into the low spots.

zz4gta 03-03-2011 08:16 AM

For a 37' boat, that sounds about right. And I agree, and type of pressure washing can be bad if the yard doesn't know what they're doing. Sanding is the safest way, but more labor intensive.

I'd also ask for a breakdown of what each step costs, so if you want to change a step, like materials, or a chemical peel instead of sanding, then it's easy to see the changes in price.

billbalme 03-03-2011 10:51 AM

We did the bottom on our 37 about 3 years ago.

Sanding and fairing in on Toodle-oo! was not an option. The surface was reminiscent of the lunar surface and it was impossible to get to sound footing - no matter what we did to get it smooth, we could always chip a bit and end up with a jagged edge.

We looked at having the yard soda blast and re-do it - at $4 - $5,000, we decided that was too steep so we set to ourselves.

Stripper was applied multiple times and scraped off multiple times. The fumes are intense. I think it was the worse series of weekends I have ever spent in my life. It was also not cheap - taking several gallons to remove everything.

Afterwards, we sanded down to nice pristine while gelcoat - really pretty. There were zero blisters.

Then we started on the barrier coats. I can't remember if we did 5 or 7 coats - alternating grey then white. Not inexpensive.

In all, it was the longest, hardest, strength sapping, sweatiest job we'd ever done on a boat and vow never to do it again! However, having researched what the boat yard would have done for the quote, the job we did was orders of magnitude more thorough. I think when I quizzed them, they were planning on a couple gallons of barrier coat - I think we used a gallon for each layer...

We were able to also tackle fixing up the boot strip that had been painted over by the previous owner - so that was a nice benny.

As a result of doing the bottom and fixing the boot strip, we certainly got great satisfaction from the project - and when it came to sell her, it was a great selling feature - the bottom looks flawless still!

Would I do it again? No way!

Still looking for that elusive boat!

mondofromredondo 03-03-2011 11:07 AM

Bottom paint
I agree with the last response in that you may not get what you expect for the money your gonna lay down. Boat yards are notorious for half arseing the work you are paying for. After all it cuts into their margin. A job of that magnitude when you want a large enough quantity of material to be applied to the hull to satisfy your justification scale is the kind of job that you either have to do it yourself or watch the yard extremely closely. My local yard is famous for putting on a single coat of bottom paint when you ask for 2 or 3 but for some reason they don't forget to charge you for the 2 or 3.

sailingfool 03-03-2011 11:29 AM

54 Attachment(s)
I would proceed with the soda blasting to remove old paint, then paint with a good multi-season ablative paint. If you don't just add more paint every year you should never need to strip paint again.

If you don't have any blisters, and aren't heading for the tropics, I see no reason for the effort and cost of a barrier coat.

CharlieCobra 03-03-2011 11:53 AM

Wow. I wish we could get $5,700 for that job here... We just did two 32' sailboats for an average of half of that including materials. If I could garner $3,700 for stripping to gelcoat, barrier coat (10 mils) and bottom paint, I'd be as happy as a pig in slop.

adamowens 03-03-2011 12:32 PM

My boat had numerous layers of paint when I bought it. Having a bad case of "do it yourself disease" I stripped the bottom myself with Peel Away 2. It took more material than I thought by I eventually got there. Interestingly enough the boat already had barrier coat on it (except for six squares where jackstands were... bet the previous owner didn't know that). I sanded everything down to 80 grit and applied four more coats of barrier coat.
Now my boat has a signal coat of red hard paint and two coats of blue ablative. I swore I was never going to deal with build up again.

PSC 31 Journey

zz4gta 03-03-2011 02:54 PM

I took mine to gelcoat, put 4 coats of barrier on it, then 2 thin coats of vivid. As the season goes on, I gently scrub the bottom to keep it clean and wear the paint down a little. by the end of the season it's time for another gallon of paint with very little of the old stuff left. This cuts down drastically on build up. Just scrub the bottom a little more or don't put the paint on so thick. Thick paint will chip and flake easier too.

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