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Maine Dub
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Compare and contrast yard doing bottom peel or soda blast. Price, results? 34 foot boat. Talk among yourselves. My boat has way too much thick Paint peeling off and that much sanding can't be good for gel coat and I don't want to deal with the mess myself.:)
 

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We soda blasted a 30'er, fin keel, spade rudder. Removed 34 years of bottom paint. $1400. Well worth it. Still a lot of work ahead, sanding, barrier/bottom paint, boot stripe.
We also picked up a knot.
 

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I stripped ours myself a couple years ago. Took me a week. Messy, gooey, painful job. A friend had her boat blasted at the same time. I would comment that stripping left a nicer finish than soda blasting. That being said if I had to do it over I would pay to have it soda blasted.
Jim
 

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My qualifications to have an opinion: Gel-stripped a Tanzer 22; Sanded bottom (and repaired about 1300 blisters on) a C&C35, and observed a sailing buddy soda-blast a C&C30.

Gel-stripping - messy, sloppy, toxic process. Temperature and weather sensitive, so not always a good option in Canadian spring weather. When I got down to the end, I had to sand anyway, to get the residue off the gel-coat, which either requires a day to let the stripper dry, or a bunch of gummed up sandpaper. This was a time-consuming process, and not as effective as I imagined. Stripper was expensive. (double entendre!! fun!) I think I spent $300 on stripper, and another $20 on sandpaper afterwards. ended up throwing out 5-6 scrapers at the end, as well.

Sanding old paint off - REALLY time-consuming. You shouldn't use high-speed removal devices like belt sanders or grinders, according to all sources. I used a belt sander to take off the thickest stuff, and then went to a RO 1/4 sheet sander. Figure it took me 30+ hours on the CC35. Boat yards may expect you to hook up a filter/vacuum, etc. Toxic dust is next to impossible to keep out of bodily orifices. Respirator recommended. Leaves the boat perfectly prepped for repair/repaint, etc. Cheapest option BY FAR (excluding labor). I think I spent less than $100 on sandpaper, dust masks, etc.

Soda blast - big production. Need to get yard's permission. leaves the boat bottom in devastated condition. Any epoxy/paint work subsequent would need extensive sanding to prepare. There is a theory about not being able to control depth of medium ingress, leaving pin-holes for water/osmosis issues - Epoxy barrier coat negates that, I think. This took an afternoon, and my buddy stood around with a beer in his hand. (I started sanding the bottom of my boat in January, every Saturday for 2 hours. He called a guy, and accomplished the same thing in 4 hours.) cost about $700 for a 30-footer.

Draw your own decisions from that. I'm cheap, and I like being near my boat, even in 3 feet of snow. I will continue to sand, but I'm not sure it's the 'right' answer.

Andy
 

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...Soda blast - big production. Need to get yard's permission. leaves the boat bottom in devastated condition. Any epoxy/paint work subsequent would need extensive sanding to prepare. There is a theory about not being able to control depth of medium ingress, leaving pin-holes for water/osmosis issues - Epoxy barrier coat negates that, I think. This took an afternoon, and my buddy stood around with a beer in his hand. (I started sanding the bottom of my boat in January, every Saturday for 2 hours. He called a guy, and accomplished the same thing in 4 hours.) cost about $700 for a 30-footer.
...

Andy
I believe that this could be due to operator skill. I saw a boat being soda blasted at the yard I am at and the result was very good - needed a power wash, fill and fair a few low spots and barrier coat. The whole thing down to the last bottom paint done in one weekend.
The price you mentioned is about right for our region and that is what I was quoted.
...I was planning to sand the bottom, etc. - I totally changed my mind.
 

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Tim, give us some insight....
Did you rent special equipment? Generator? Special suits? Did you have to tent the boat? How was the cleanup, etc...
This was back in 2007 so details may be a little fuzzy.

I rented an industrial pull-behind type compressor from the local tool rental co. I also rented a sandblasting rig and bought the appropriate ceramic nozzles. We wore tyvek paint suits.

We tented the boat from the toe-rail down and also laid traps on the ground to recover the media. You can run the media through 2-3 times before it becomes ineffective. We would bast through a couple hopper fulls and sweep up the media and put back int eh hopper. We would repeat this and then discard the media after hte 3rd time through. You adjust your technique as the edges of the media get rounded off. But not difficult. You simply start from further away and move towards the surface until it is stripping paint, keep your distance consistent through that run.

A couple of times I messed up when we went back to fresh media and I left some small pin holes in the gelcoat which were later filled with thickened epoxy.

Do a search over at ericsonyachts.org. A few owners including myself have posted more info.
 

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I know that some yards won't give you an option on what method that will permit or provide themselves. Often environmentally related.
 

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Maine Dub
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for the information. I think I'll pay the yard to peel it off. I think they used to use ground walnut shells to clean the water injection scale buildup off the innards of the F105 s engine. I think they just dumped them in with it running. :)
 
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