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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Anyone who has sodablasted their boat's topsides??

I am looking to soda blast a boat I am rebuilding. I have found someone to do the work but I am unsure if it is the ideal thing to do.

Anyone have it done??? I am thinking of having some nasty topside paint (along with the bottom paint) removed for prep for a nicer topside job. One painter said he would NOT blast the hull but simply sand. Another painter said the old paint must go and blasting is the best way to do it. Another has said that a blasted hull has dings and craters that require extensive repair afterwards. :confused: :confused: :confused:

So for anyone who has had it done...

How good is it at removing hard paint? (i.e. paint that can resist a hard scraping without flaking). Does it scrub it clean or does it mearly peel back the loose stuff?

Did you have any hull rash, damage, or subtle dings that had to be faired afterwards?

Can you proceed directly to paint or does the hull still need considerable sanding prep? (ignore finish sanding...i'm talking heavy scrub sanding)

Anyones experience would be appreciated.
 

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I sodablasted my boat back in 2007. It is quite good at prepping a boat for barriercoating and painting. It will not leave a boat with dings and crater, unless the operator is completely incompetent. It sounds like he's confusing it with sandblasting, which can seriously damage the laminate.

I was left with a bit of sanding, mainly near the waterline, where the sodablasting wasn't able to do as thoroughly to prevent damage to the area above the waterline. Sodablasting may reveal gelcoat voids, but that is probably true of proper sanding or scraping as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know it will do a good job on the bottom paint but what about the topsides and deck?

I have a Stiletto that I am rebuilding. It is a epoxy resin over kevlar/FB prepreg. There is no gel coat only a factory polyurethane paint finish. The problem is that a previous owner had a poorly done paint job placed that is now flaking off in several areas yet well adhered in others. I wonder if sodablasting may be the answer to get the old paint off.
 

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It should work relatively well on the cabintop as well. However, you'll probably be down to the epoxy resin/kevlar when it is done. I highly recommend you put at least a layer of fiberglass over the kevlar. The reason for this is simple, kevlar is a royal PITA to sand... if you put a couple of layers of fiberglass over it, it will make prepping the surface for painting a lot simpler. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
you'll probably be down to the epoxy resin/kevlar when it is done
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Ouch! I don't like the sound of that!!! That was my problem with sanding too.

To get the strongly affixed bad paint off, next to areas with flaking paint, I would end up sanding through the factory finish into the Kevlar where the chip was while still not feathered on the adherent paint. I don't like seeing yellow/beige fibers being snagged and torn! I don't need a kevlar furry boat:rolleyes:

I wonder if the soda blaster guy can fine tune his pressure to strip the old stuff while trying to keep the original largely intact? Maybe I should have him to a test run on the centerboard or something?
 

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I don't think the sodablasting will fuzz kevlar the way the sanding has done... just that you'll be down to the kevlar/epoxy since there is no underlying gelcoat....it will probably take all of the paint off—not leave the polyurethane behind.

Yes, he can adjust the pressure quite a bit, so find one that has a good deal of boat stripping experience, and I think you'll be fine.
 

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The poly paint is very hard compared to bottom paint and i would try some fiberglass SAFE paint stripper
 

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Have you thought about trying it yourself? Harbor Freight has a soda unit in their sale catalog. For under $100 you could see for yourself. If you don't like it, sell the unit on eBay and maybe you have $50 invested. It might also be useful in other projects :)
 
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