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:confused: whats the difference btween fiberglass paintstripper and household?? how does household hurt your boat? I applied this to my keel and nothing bad happened... most of the old bottom paint came off and which that is my goal? i dont have the maony to soda blast but i do have alot of time since being laid off..also how should i fair my keel what products are good? i have a lancer 36 with alifetime of bottom paint on her!!! I think its time..
 

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Like lots of areas of boat maintenance, the issue of stripping off paint has its own complexities and strongly held views. If you search on SailNet ("paint strippers" and other combinations) there is a lot of information out there.

In brief summary, standard hardware store paint strippers contain methylene chloride, a strong solvent which can damage the gelcoat. Most marine-based strippers are designed not to damage the gelcoat.

You will also see other paint removal possibilities from a search, including soda blasting, for example.

Stuart
 

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Household paint strippers are too aggressive, and will dissolve your gelcoat. Paint strippers that are designed specifically for fiberglass seem to work as well as other types, without harming the boat. If you used it on your keel without damage, it might be that your keel is lead or iron, and has no gelcoat on it. Klean Strip (kleanstrip dot com) manufactures a chemical paint stripper for fiberglass that I have used, and found it very satisfactory, and it's much less expensive than some marine strippers.

Stripping years of accumulated antifouling paint off the bottom is hard, unpleasant work, and the only easy way to do it is if you hire it done, but chemical strippers will get the job done, if you're patient and determined. It helped me stick with it to think about how fast the boat would be when the bottom was smooth and clean (and I wasn't disappointed).
 
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