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Author Topic:   Bottom paint
MikeC posted 12-04-2000 08:40 PM ET (US)   Profile for MikeC   Send Email to MikeC  
How difficult is it to remove bottom paint?I am buying a used Whaler this weekend and it has bottom paint.Is it a big job to remove and will the bottom ever be the same as it was before paint?

Mike C

whalerron posted 12-04-2000 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
I just talked to a guy at a marina about doing this to my Whaler. He said that a chemical is applied to the painted area and then the area is covered with plastic for a certain amount of time. After that, the paint washes right off of the hull. Then, he buffs the gelcoat where the paint was and the boat looks great. I would be very curious to hear if you get the same story. My biggest concern is the condition of the gelcoat once the paint is removed.


MikeC posted 12-05-2000 06:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for MikeC  Send Email to MikeC     
Did he give you a price on what that would cost?
Outraged posted 12-05-2000 06:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Outraged  Send Email to Outraged     
Mike,the product he is refering to is called "Peel Away" I have used this on customer boats at the marina where I work and it does work quite well. It is a bit messy,so a plastic drop cloth is a must! Also, I have found scraping is involved in most cases. If you leave the product on long enough it softens the paint up enough so a stiff plastic could be used to remove the paint without harming the gel.The thicker the "Peel Away" is put on the better. It is a good idea to do a test area first to determine how long to leave it on with the paper over it. Good Luck.
mattr posted 12-05-2000 08:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for mattr  Send Email to mattr     
I am not sure if the method for applying bottom paint is the same for whaler hulls as it is for most fiberglass sailboats - but if so, you really should lightly sand the gelcoat before applying the bottom paint the first time to make sure it adheres well. If this has been done, then the bottom will be fairly rough when the paint is removed.

Again, I don't know anything about whaler bottom paint, and I don't want to warn about something that may not be true, but just be careful before removing all the paint - you may find that the bottom paint is a permanent part of the boat (unless you re-gelcoat).

I have used the peel away before, and have a tip - make sure it is warm enough where you are doing this work - if it is 65 degrees or below, it tends not to work as well. Also, definitely put it on thick, and plan on scraping - get a really good dusk mask setup and plenty of rubber gloves. Petit makes a good bottom paint remover, too. Definitely more industrial, but try the peel away first. Depending on how old the paint is, the peel away solution may not get all the parts.


whalerron posted 12-05-2000 10:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     

He wouldn't give me a price until he could actually see the boat which I didn't have with me at the time. He did mention that even though the bottom had been sanded to make the paint stick, he would be able to buff the gelcoat to make it look almost new. I would guess that is possible as long as the gelcoat was only "light-sanded".

jimh posted 12-05-2000 10:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One home remedy for bottom paint removal which I recently read suggested mixing up your own paint remover.

The formulae proposed involved amounts of lye, wall paper paste, and water. The exact ratios I seem too have misplaced.

One could brew up "paint-remover" using this method for quite a bit less than the cost of purchasing a name-brand "MARINE" bottom paint remover compound.

The only problem is that I wasn't sure I had enough faith in the formulator to spread this on the hull of my precious Classic Whaler!

MikeC posted 12-06-2000 04:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for MikeC  Send Email to MikeC     
Thanks for all the info

Mike C

JimU posted 12-06-2000 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for JimU  Send Email to JimU     
Make sure you use a stripper that is mec free. Check out the interlux products. They make one for fiberglass. I used it to strip the fish and wildlife paint job from a 1971 17 footer. It worked fine.

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