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Bottom Paint Removal

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2 months 4 weeks ago #7216 by David
David created the topic: Bottom Paint Removal
There are several ways to remove bottom paint:

I. Sanding, either wet or dry.
The benefit of wet sanding is that you can reduce the dust and by using finer and finer grades, get a fairly smooth finish. If you have a heavy build up of paint dry sanding or other methods may be required to get the bulk of it off. If dry sanding, a vacuumed attachment is highly advisable. When you get close to the gelcoat, switch to wet sanding to finish. To get it shiny again, you may also require rubbing compound. If you are lucky, your bottom will not have been rough sanded prior to the application of bottom paint.

It used to be common practice to scuff the gelcoat, prior to painting, to better hold the bottom paint. If this is the case, you will have to sand it smooth and then evaluate the remaining gelcoat to see if you have to refinish the bottom or if the gelcoat is intact. Remember that gelcoat is porous and sanding opens the pores even more. Open pores can lead to water migration into the fiberglass which can result in blistering. The good news is that VS721 Bottom Coat will seal the pores to prevent osmosis blistering.

II. Have the bottom soda blasted.
Soda blasting is similar to sand blasting, except baking soda is used because it is much finer and causes less damage to the gelcoat. This process will still leave a texture on your gelcoat which you will have to wet sand and or compound to get smooth and shiny again. This process will also open up the pores.

III. Using a chemical stripper
There are numerous ones on the market made especially for fiberglass boats. DO NOT USE HOUSEHOLD PAINT STRIPPERS. They will attack the gelcoat as well as the paint and ruin your boat. They are a less popular method because they are slow to work and are messy. It can take 2 to 12 hours of waiting and multiple coats, depending on how many coats and what types of paint are on the bottom. If your anti-fouling paint is mostly worn through, this may be the preferred method for you.


Due to the complexity, health risks and unpleasantness of removing old bottom paint, most boat owners just apply new paint over old until the problem becomes intolerable. Sometimes as many as 8 or 10 coats. This practice adds weight and drag to the bottom, which reduces speed and performance and increases the amount of fuel required to push the boat through the water. As soon as you remove the bottom paint, you will notice that your boat will run faster and easier and go a lot further on a gallon of fuel.

David
1990 Sunray Infinity
Twin 5.7 Cobra's

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2 months 4 weeks ago #7217 by David
David replied the topic: Bottom Paint Removal

David
1990 Sunray Infinity
Twin 5.7 Cobra's

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