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I am looking at stripping the hull on my Niagara 31 this spring. I am looking at finding the easiest way. I would like to hear what peoples thoughts are on the diiferent techniques especially Soda Blasting. Thanks in advance.
 

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Properly done, soda blasting can save you a lot of work and remove years of paint down to the gelcoat without harming the fiberglass. It will also leave the gelcoat in pretty good shape for further barrier coating or painting, with minimal prep work needed.

I had it done to my boat two seasons ago and then followed up with a barrier coat and bottom paint.
 

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down to what?

I am looking at stripping the hull on my Niagara 31 this spring. I am looking at finding the easiest way. I would like to hear what peoples thoughts are on the diiferent techniques especially Soda Blasting. Thanks in advance.
Hello,

What are your goals? Are you trying to remove old paint, paint and gelcoat, open blisters, remove old barrier coat, or something else?

My 'new' boat came with about 20 years of old antifouling paint build up. This was layers of old hard cracked bottom paint. I tried paint removers, sanding, and scraping. The scraping worked, but it was back breaking work.

I gave up and hired a local soda blaster. He did a great job and I had to do minimal work before painting. Another guy in my hard had his hull sand blasted. The sand blasting removed all the paint, but seriously damaged the gelcoat in many places. He had to spend hours filling and fairing his hull.

i definitely can recommend soda blasting to remove old bottom paint.

If you want to see what my boat looked like before and after, go here:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/42402-bottom-paint-1-me-2-all-done-test.html

Barry
 

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per sailingdog's recommendation, i had my hull soda blasted last year rather than sanded. the price to soda blast was about 1/2 the cost of having the yard sand it. it was blasted in one day and i washed and started painting the next. i would recommend it.
 

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I have 20+ blast and epoxy jobs under my belt. Every time I used corn cob.
You can use what you prefer. Maybe soda is easier to get I don't know. I'd be interested in the results.
The reason I'm posting is because some one sounded like they were complaining about having to fill the voids left by the gel coat being blasted off.
You actually want to expose the poorly bonded gel coat and voids because they hold water.
Almost all production boats will have voids. Some worse than others. I did a Bertram 31 once that had less than half of the gel coat left when I was done. The boat was built in Florida, gel coat probably shot on a very humid Friday, left to sit all weekend and then not laid up until Monday.. don't know.
But any way DO expose the voids and then fill them with epoxy and then fair.
(I don't know what I did to change the type. Guess I hit a key or something)
 

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Windship's point about small voids being opened by sodablasting or corncob blasting is a good one, I found some small voids in the gelcoat on my boat. However, the amount of time I spent sanding and prepping the hull was negligible compared to what I would have had to do if I had gone and either manually sanded or chemically stripped the hull. Considering what I consider my time to be worth, getting the soda blasting done was very economical. Another, smaller boat, at my marina went the manual route about the same time I started the sodablasting process on my boat. They were still sanding when I was finishing up my barrier coating.
 

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I guess you could do it yourself...but there are some problems...

First, do you own a soda blasting rig? If not, can you rent one??

Second, do you know where to buy the industrial grade baking soda used in soda blasting?

Third, do you know how to tent the boat to contain the soda and bottom paint? The bottom paint is a heavy metal toxic waste and needs to be disposed of properly, or you can get hit with huge fines.

Fourth, how much is your time worth to you??? Running around and getting all the materials, equipment and supplies, and then tenting the boat and soda blasting it is probably going to take you several days... Is it worth it to you to do that? Or does paying someone to do it make more sense?
can this be a do it yourself job??
 

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If you'd like to do this job for very little money I'd be happy to lend you my patented paint scraper. I used it to strip 25 years worth of paint off a Catalina 22 in about 4 hours by myself. Your boat will take longer, but is still very doable. My scraper has a long handle and a telescopic leg. You lean DOWN on the handle to press UP against the hull. The 30" handle keeps the paint from falling on you, and the chips are large, not fine dust. Bottom paint is friable, it shatters under pressure, and comes cleanly off the hull in one pass, no matter how many layers. I've got $5,000 invested in this thing, and lost my patent rights when the 'maintenance fee' came due while I was out of a job! Email me.
 

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About how much does it cost?

After 4 hours today and half a can of Interlux 299E, I managed to get virtually none of the paint off the port side of my keel. Some of the paint did strip nicely but most, well, its very stubborn paint.

I emailed off for a few soda blasting quotes, but I'm wondering, what should I expect to pay for this? My boat is 30 feet LOL, I saw some of you said you had it done...

Thanks...
 

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My 28' trimaran cost about $900, but the guy who did it later admitted he should have charged more... having to tent three hulls separately... :) That was two years ago.
 

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Just got a quote for $1,150, and its the first one. Maybe this won't be so bad ...
Sounds pretty reasonable, in particular if you have a choice. Around these parts (Annapolis area) there seems to be only one boat soda blasting company (everyone else I asked sent me to them) so their price is what you'd have to pay.
 

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It is my experance that HAZ-MAT fees and were it goes vary pretty widely which can have a pretty big inpact on price

Around here you cant even put some old sheetrock out with the trash
 
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