At the start I think there may have been 35 years worth of paint on the bottom of this boat minus what had chipped off. I knew this was going to be a big job at the beginning but thought maybe I'd get lucky and most of it would just power wash off and a lot did. It ended up being a 3 stage process. Power wash, Chemical Strip then ultimately grind/sand off the remaining paint.
Stage 1. Power washing let's see what we have here.
|That can't be good.|
|Well there is still some fiber glass holding the rudder on.|
|Inspector is up from his nap... Dad things are not looking good here.|
Stage 2 Paint Stripper.
For this I used Back to Nature Ready Strip. Found at your friendly West Marine. The reviews on West's web site are pretty accurate. The stripper is not a cure all but given time it takes off quite a bit. I stripped the entire bottom twice and along the water line once more. The product worked well but there was still quite a bit of work to be done. The water line was the toughest. It was also where the paint build up was the heaviest.
Stage 3. Sanding.
There is no easy way to do this. I tried using all the sanders I had at my disposal and eventually just ended up using a sanding disk on my high speed drill. I burned through 2 of the plastic disks and countless pieces of sand paper. The sand paper gums up pretty quickly when you are sanding this paint. I did find that hitting the paper on a rough brick would chip off some of the paint build up and bring the sand paper back to life for a bit longer but not much. I'd also stay away from any sand paper made by Gator. That stuff was the worst of as the glue on the back of their sand paper is all but useless. I shot several pieces of Gator paper across my yard. Something none of the other brands did. After several evenings of grinding away in 98 + degree weather... Yeah I picked one of the hottest summers ever to do this in the middle of a drought. I finally got to the end a smooth clean bottom.
|After some sanding.|