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johnnyandjebus 11-02-2011 01:02 PM

Boat yard work how close is too close?
Hello all

I was reading another thread here where it was suggested that if the OP was to do their repairs on their sailboat, boat yard etiquette suggests they should be a size-able distance from another boat. This got me thinking. My boat is out of the water for the winter and I have a few minor blister repairs to do. Like most marinas the boats are packed in tight. So what say you? Am I out of line to sand and repair my blisters with another boat sitting 10-15 feet away. I have done so in the past, only sanding on windless days, vacuuming up after myself etc. How about the light sanding of the anti-fouling that takes place in the spring?
If the situation were reversed I would have no problem with a boat owner doing light repairs(including sanding) next to me, Some repairs have to be done regardless of the "on the hard" setup. A small amount of dust on my hull is to be expected in a tight yard.

What are your expectations as fellow boat owners?


tommays 11-02-2011 01:10 PM

I work in my own driveway and i get crazy about using tarps to catch any dropping dust OR blowing dust that gets away even when using my vacuum sander as i do not want to turn my neighbors homes colors or make a super fund sight

xymotic 11-02-2011 01:12 PM

If I put my boat into dry storage @ a boat yard, I expect it to get very dirty. If I am at a nice marina not so much.

Barquito 11-02-2011 04:10 PM

10-15 feet away? I can work on my side deck from my neighbors boat. I would imagine if you tarp or vacuum while you sand (kind of like whistle while you work, but louder) you will be fine. That is what I plan to do.

JimMcGee 11-02-2011 04:48 PM

I'd think a vacuum sander would be the minimum. Without one you may be spreading a lot of fine dust and not realizing it.

I had a 1950's fishing boat next to me last winter and the owner was taking the hull down to re-finish. I got down one saturday afternoon and my deck and cockpit were turned blue with sanding dust.

I got his attention and he was mortified. Said he'd pay the yard's detail guy to clean my boat. I suggested we split a six pack and clean it off with some boat soap and brushes.

No harm done. But if that blue paint dust had baked onto the gel coat over a couple of weekends it might have been a different story. BTW, there was little or no wind, just fine airborne dust. He used a vacuum with his sander after that. No more problems.

Always a good idea to be a good neighbor...

paulk 11-02-2011 09:28 PM

Our yard requires ground tarps and vacuum-equipped sanders for sanding & scraping operations. This is not so much for keeping customers' boats clean as for keeping the DEP from closing the yard down. Waiting for calm days is appreciated by everyone, all the same. I try to rig plastic curtains from the toerail to keep any loose dust right under the boat and on the tarp.

SloopJonB 11-02-2011 11:58 PM


Originally Posted by johnnyandjebus (Post 792945)
So what say you? Am I out of line to sand and repair my blisters with another boat sitting 10-15 feet away. John

In a word - No. It's a boatyard, boats are there to be worked on. Use a little common courtesy and respect for your neighbours and do it. When done, clean up your own mess - leave your spot better than you found it.

T37Chef 11-03-2011 01:07 AM

Please only wet sand/scrap with a tarp and/or use a proper sander with vacuum attachment such as this ETS 150/3 EQ Random Orbital Sander - SANDERS - Festool and this CT 26 E HEPA Dust Extractor - DUST EXTRACTORS - Festool

Without, the dust/paint will settle and the morning dew will take care of the rest ;) I have had my boats deck covered in bottom paint dust by a ignorant owner before, just after cleaning and waxing it ready to launch, needless to say, I was a little irritated.

Maine Sail 11-03-2011 08:00 AM

About four years ago some clown at our yard showed up at 6:00 on a Tuesday night, probably intentional, and sanded under spot lights until many boats in the yard were covered in green! It took me 8 hours to get my boat clean and I was six boats away. It was a pretty windless night.

Needless to say he no longer stores at our yard for the winter, not by his own choice... Use a vacuum and tent off your boat for the courtesy of others around you, please..

Most yards, at least up here, go by EPA rules, even for the DIY, which means recapturing ALL dust so it never even hits the ground.

I don't know any yard up here that still allows a sander to knowingly hit the bottom of a boat without a vacuum connected to it. I work in about 10 different local yards.. This however is not just an EPA issue but an issue of common courtesy & decency to you neighbors.

Common courtesy dictates tenting and vacuums on sanders or what ever it takes to keep dust off the ground and other boats. I have seen brand new tan canvas, just installed a few days before a launch, virtually destroyed by bottom paint dust.. The guy who just paid 5k for the new canvas was NOT a happy camper and neither was the canvas guy or the boat yard....

I think it is fair for boaters who use sanders with no vacuum, and no tenting, to know what other boaters go through, as I & many others have, when they do so. It can make an AWFUL mess for others and is simply a rude practice when there are ways to prevent this dust from affecting others.

Once dew settles on bottom paint dust, cleaning it off the deck requires some caustic chemicals and often some form of light acidic cleaner. I was still finding hints of green months later.:mad:

I spent more time cleaning the mes off my boat than the guy did sanding his... Kind of ironic that he caused me more work that he actually did...

SVAuspicious 11-03-2011 09:41 AM


Originally Posted by Maine Sail (Post 793249)
Once dew settles on bottom paint dust, cleaning it off the deck requires some caustic chemicals and often some form of light acidic cleaner.

I'm not sure what I would do to clean my teak decks from the result of such consideration.

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