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Learning the HARD way...
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Has anyone here had any positive or negative experience with bottom paint strippers that they could share?

I had a new rudder installed on my boat last year while in Florida. While the rudder was being installed, I had the yard paint the bottom of my boat. I specified that they were to apply 2 coats of Petit Protect Barrier Coat to any area that had bare fiberglass exposed, and the entire rudder. The paint that I specified was Petit Hydrocoat ECO (~$300/gal), and I paid the yard $330/gallon for the two gallons of paint that he said they needed. I told him that I have painted the bottom of my boat several times in the past, and it only required a gallon, but he insisted, and I relented. The paint that they used was Petit Hydrocoat (~$80/gal), which I know because I insisted that I be given the left over bottom paint. The yard owner insisted that ALL paints are "ECO," and did not know why I was complaining. Eventually, I convinced him that he had used cheap paint and he refunded me $300.

After I returned to Rhode Island in June 2021, I had the boat short hauled, because there was lot of growth, and I wanted to check the anodes after 6 months. The power wash for the short haul removed both the growth AND the bottom paint from the rudder! I learned that the yard that installed the rudder did not apply ANY barrier coat, nor did they sand the new gelcoat on the rudder. They just slapped paint over it!

I replaced the anodes, and the guys at my home marina gave me some spare oil-based anti fouling paint. Oil based paint would cure in the water, where water-based Hydrocoat would simply wash off. I slapped the oil-based on the bare spots, and they re-splashed the boat.

Here is what the rudder looked like at the September 2021 haul out;
Azure Leaf Shade Wood Plant

The darker blue is the oil based paint that I slapped over all of the bare spots.

This spring I will be repainting the whole bottom, and this time it will be with Hydrocoat ECO. I will be applying two coats of Barrier Coat to the rudder, which should be relatively easy to strip, because there is only 1 coat of oil based and water based paint. Rather than sand or soda-blast, I want to try a chamical stripper. Any recommendations?
 
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Hello,

YEARS ago, probably around 2008, I was redoing the bottom on my 1986 O'day 35. My boat had YEARS And YEARS of hard bottom paint. I tried sanding, scraping, and chemical strippers and none worked well. I gave up and hired a soda blaster, who did a great job.

Anyway, I tried Interlux 299E stripper, as well has a products from Home Depot. One problem was I was working in early spring when the temperature was below 50. I was also working with paint that had been on for years.

My next boat, a 2002 C&C, which I bought in 2013, had the typical few coats of ablative paint. I was able to keep that bottom on good condition by having the yard power wash the bottom and then I would do 10-12 hours of sanding with 60 grit paper on a 5" random orbital sander.

Good luck

Barry
 

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...the guys at my home marina gave me some spare oil-based anti fouling paint. Oil based paint would cure in the water, where water-based Hydrocoat would simply wash off.
I hate to break the news to you but paint (any paint, including anti fouling paint) does not "cure" underwater. Curing simply means that the solvents in the paint (which are what keep it in a liquid state) have "flashed off" into the atmosphere, letting the paint dry into a solid coating. This does not occur underwater. If the staff at whatever boatyard you used told you otherwise, they are either ignorant of how anti fouling paint works or they sold you a line of BS. Probably both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hate to break the news to you but paint (any paint, including anti fouling paint) does not "cure" underwater. Curing simply means that the solvents in the paint (which are what keep it in a liquid state) have "flashed off" into the atmosphere, letting the paint dry into a solid coating. This does not occur underwater. If the staff at whatever boatyard you used told you otherwise, they are either ignorant of how anti fouling paint works or sold you a line of BS. Probably both.
Well, if I had used Hydrocoat it would have washed off for sure. The boat was splashed about 20 min after I slapped whatever the oil-based paint on the rudder. When I put a coat of Hydrocoat on I give it at least a day to dry before having the boat splashed.

I had the boat soda blasted in 2013 to get rid of whatever the PO had applied to the bottom. It was falling off the hull in dinner plate sized patches. I then had the yard apply 2 coats of Petit Protect Barrier Coat, and 3 coats of Petit Hydrocoat (1 red, two blue). It has held up great since then... Well, at least until the rudder had to be replaced.
 

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Well, if I had used Hydrocoat it would have washed off for sure. The boat was splashed about 20 min after I slapped whatever the oil-based paint on the rudder.
Whatever. The yard should've told you what would happen with whatever it is that they applied to your rudder. That they didn't (due to ignorance or simply not caring) is unprofessional in the extreme. But it's your dime.
 

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I've stripped 3 boats using chemical strippers. The last was about 15 years ago and I'm sure a lot has changed. You can get a lot of information to begin with by googling "paint stripper for gelcoat." One thing you need to know about chemical; strippers is that they work well if you apply them correctly, but they don't work well if you just brush them on and scrape them off an hour later. You have to prevent the solvents from evaporating before they have time to work. The second thing you need to know is that many ordinary home paint strippers are much too aggressive to use on gelcoat. They'll actually dissolve it. There are strippers that are perfectly safe to use on gelcoat. Be sure you get the right stripper and follow the directions on the label. Better yet, if the company has a customer service number that you can call for tech information, call it. In the past, I got invaluable information from Interlux in that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Whatever. The yard should've told you what would happen with whatever it is that they applied to your rudder. That they didn't (due to ignorance or simply not caring) is unprofessional in the extreme. But it's your dime.
Unfortunately, getting ripped off by the yard is par for the course... In this instance, however, they were actually trying to help me out. They gave me free bottom paint to fix where the other yard had totally screwed me.

Unfortunately, there was no way to verify the work that the yard in Florida did at the time. I dropped the boat off with them, and the owner made very clear that he wanted me to stay away until the job that I had contracted with him to do was done. If anyone wants to know of a yard in Fort Myers to NOT bring your boat to, PM me,
 

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I hate to break the news to you but paint (any paint, including anti fouling paint) does not "cure" underwater. Curing simply means that the solvents in the paint (which are what keep it in a liquid state) have "flashed off" into the atmosphere, letting the paint dry into a solid coating. This does not occur underwater. If the staff at whatever boatyard you used told you otherwise, they are either ignorant of how anti fouling paint works or they sold you a line of BS. Probably both.
When I paint my bottom with Petit Horizons, I often have to slap a quick coat of paint on the hull where the stand pads were, as well as the bottom of the keel, right before splashing. The paint may not be technically "curing" under water, but it doesn't wash away, and you would be hard pressed to identify exactly where that paint was applied. There is no discernable difference between the finish that had 2 coats of air cured paint and the patches that got one thick coat right before splashing.

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There is no discernable difference between the finish that had 2 coats of air cured paint and the patches that got one thick coat right before splashing.
"Uncured paint is indistinguishable from pain that has properly cured." :LOL: Only somebody who doesn't clean boat bottoms for a living would make a ridiculous statement like that. Uncured paint is very soft, unstable and easily scrubbed off. I see it all the time (especially at the jackstand pad spots) and any other hull diver will tell you the same.
 

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When I paint my bottom with Petit Horizons, I often have to slap a quick coat of paint on the hull where the stand pads were, as well as the bottom of the keel, right before splashing. The paint may not be technically "curing" under water, but it doesn't wash away, and you would be hard pressed to identify exactly where that paint was applied. There is no discernable difference between the finish that had 2 coats of air cured paint and the patches that got one thick coat right before splashing.

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My preference for this is one coat on hull on current stand position, get yard to move stands, in most cases you can move stands by simply adding one extra stand and then using the first removed stand to do the second and so on. Most yards don't let anyone else move them quite understandably but since it's just a bit of labour, no lift time it's often no extra charge. Second coat on hull, move stands again touch up missed spots at least a day before launch. In the worst case I am sure that everything has at least one coat of fully cured new paint, and sometimes I can talk the yard into putting the boat in the slings just before lunch to at least give those patches a bit more air time if there wasn't time to move the stands again. Some paints seem to be better about it with a short window. Interspeed for one.
 

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"Uncured paint is indistinguishable from pain that has properly cured." Only somebody who doesn't clean boat bottoms for a living would make a ridiculous statement like that. Uncured paint is very soft, unstable and easily scrubbed off. I see it all the time (especially at the jackstand pad spots) and any other hull diver will tell you the same.
No, I don't clean bottoms for a living, but I clean my own bottom regularly. I can only speak to my experience, and regardless of how ridiculous you think it is, that is what I have found.

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No, I don't clean bottoms for a living, but I clean my own bottom regularly. I can only speak to my experience, and regardless of how ridiculous you think it is, that is what I have found.[/QUOTE]

Is it your contention then that there is no need to allow anti fouling paint to cure before splashing the boat? That the paint manufacturer’s dry time recommendations can be ignored since they are apparently meaningless? :LOL:
 

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No, what I am saying is that the paint that I use will adhere to the surface, and maintain it's antifouling properties even if it is not fully cured before it is immersed. Even after being in the water for 2 years you cannot see where the uncured patches were.

I don't pretend to know the chemistry behind it, all I know is that eventually the paint must harden underwater, as much as any ablative paint hardens anyway.

Remember, we are talking about 4 12" squares and the bottom of the keel. Obviously I'm not suggesting that the entire bottom should not be allowed to cure properly before splashing, and if I can arrange an hour of hang time in the slings for the patches to dry a bit then I will do that, but when the yard is busy that isn't always an option.

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Well again, that is not how paint (any paint) works.
And yet it seems to work OK. I don't know the chemistry involved, but I get 2+ years out of my paint jobs, and only get a light slime build up. I scrub the bottom with scotchbrite pads, or with a bottom brush from the dock as needed in the summer. Perhaps with more frequent or more aggressive scrubbing the patches would come off before the rest of the paint, but it hasn't happened yet, and I've been doing it that way with that paint for going on 20 years.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chin Publication Font Beard People


Just say'un.
 
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And yet it seems to work OK. I don't know the chemistry involved, but I get 2+ years out of my paint jobs, and only get a light slime build up. I scrub the bottom with scotchbrite pads, or with a bottom brush from the dock as needed in the summer. Perhaps with more frequent or more aggressive scrubbing the patches would come off before the rest of the paint, but it hasn't happened yet, and I've been doing it that way with that paint for going on 20 years.

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If you're happy with it, you're happy with it. Personally I've found occasional issues that way. If the yard will move the stands for free, why not get at least one solid coat? Given how much yards charge for days on the hard I don't feel bad about getting them to throw a labourer at it for half an hour when he's not doing anything else. Local weather plays a roll I think too in whether the paint it in the air method cures sufficiently. On a hot day over pavement, interspeed flashes off before you even get around the boat. Usually on your roller too :-(
 

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If you're happy with it, you're happy with it. Personally I've found occasional issues that way. If the yard will move the stands for free, why not get at least one solid coat? Given how much yards charge for days on the hard I don't feel bad about getting them to throw a labourer at it for half an hour when he's not doing anything else. Local weather plays a roll I think too in whether the paint it in the air method cures sufficiently. On a hot day over pavement, interspeed flashes off before you even get around the boat. Usually on your roller too :-(
Yeah if the yard would move the stands for free, that would be nice. The yards where I live don't do anything for free. They treat it like a whole separate lift and charge accordingly.

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Yeah if the yard would move the stands for free, that would be nice. The yards where I live don't do anything for free. They treat it like a whole separate lift and charge accordingly.

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That's bloody cheeky. You don't even need to use the travel-lift, just one extra stand. I have run into that in a yard where the problem was solved for me. It was funny, I showed up with beer on Friday every time. Mentioned on one of those Fridays that I really wanted my bottom paint perfect but didn't want to pay for an extra lift to just add a stand and shuffle around. ;) It was the damndest thing how the stands moved themselves and didn't show up on my yard bill.
 

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That's bloody cheeky. You don't even need to use the travel-lift, just one extra stand. I have run into that in a yard where the problem was solved for me. It was funny, I showed up with beer on Friday every time. Mentioned on one of those Fridays that I really wanted my bottom paint perfect but didn't want to pay for an extra lift to just add a stand and shuffle around. ;) It was the damndest thing how the stands moved themselves and didn't show up on my yard bill.
It used to be that way here too, but these days all boats are on cradles rather than individual stands. There a few loose stands around but they are seldom available, so the travel lift is usually required.

It definitely pays to maintain good relations with the yard crews but there is only so much they can do without the boss noticing!

I do try to splash around lunch time, and they will leave the boat in the slings while they go for lunch, and they will usually take a long lunch!



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