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Author Topic:   paint removal and foam
Eric posted 05-17-2000 10:36 PM ET (US)   Profile for Eric   Send Email to Eric  
I bought a 1962 16 footer, probably a Nauset. The inner liner has been painted three times and the last time was with a really heavy brown paint. I have managed to peel/chip 2/3 of the brown off the deck, so that the nonskid is at least visible. The gunnels were painted twice previously, then the profuse cracks were filled and the brown was applied. Since the smooth parts of the gunnels were not sanded or primed, I would like to strip the old paint. Here's the question: since the nonskid can't be sanded, and I don't want to tear into the gel coat with a sander, I was wondering about using one of the fiberglass safe chemical paint strippers. These are meant for bottom paints, but would make this job a lot easier. Hand sanding is out. I don't have the time, nor can my hands take the abuse (I'm a veterinarian). I have been told to have it sand blasted, and also advised that such a move would mean a disaster. Lots of questions, and peak tarpon season only a few weeks away!
kent posted 05-18-2000 01:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
Hi there, Eric

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but I think you have a LOT of work ahead of you! From the sound of it, you are going to have to go pretty hard at it to get that boat into shape for this season.

I can relate to what you are up against, except that your boat is 3 feet bigger than the 13 foot that my brother and I have been working on. Our boat came with 3 coats of paint on it too, including bottom paint. We are pretty sure that one of the coats was polyurethane. We started out with the stripper, and gave up on it pretty quickly. I don't know if we were using the wrong product or what, but we didn't have much luck with it. We ended up going at it with an orbital sander and a sanding block. Although VERY tedious and time consuming, it worked the best for us. I would not recommend sandblasting as it is pretty aggressive.

We sanded the non-slip off of the floor in our boat. It was pretty much full of paint. There were some areas of the floor that needed repair, and required removal of the non-slip anyway. We will use a non-slip additive in the finishing material to provide traction and get back to a uniform look. It won't look like Whaler's non-slip, but it is the best that could be done for this old boat.

We have the hull completely sanded down to the original gelcoat and are in the process of repairing misc. dings. We have decided to finish the boat with gelcoat. This is a personal choice, and some here will disagree. A 2-part polyurethane could also be used.

I wish you well with your project. If you can, get someone to help you, as it would be tough slugging going at it by yourself. If you decide to sand, you are going to have dust EVERYWHERE. Make sure that you use protection for breathing, a respirator preferred. That bottom paint is nasty stuff.

Eric posted 05-18-2000 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Thanks for the reply, Kent. I think I had seen a posting about your 13. There are a couple of types of strippers, one of which comes with a fabric covering that you peel up "with the old paint", after 2 to 24 hours. I am willing to try one of them, but my concern is whether the chemical stripper will damage the foam. The deck plugs on this thing are nowhere near tight. If I do end up sanding, I am sure that we both would appreciate some input as to the best choice of sander. I need to buy one.
Zack posted 05-19-2000 12:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Zack  Send Email to Zack     
Any orbital sander will work but I recomment a Hutchins product as they require less air and do a great job. Good luck on you project. Zack
kent posted 05-19-2000 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for kent    

I would be interested to know more about the stripper with the fabric that you have referred to. I have never heard of such a product. It sounds like it would be a good thing. My brother and I are pretty much done with that part of the refinishing with our 13, but we would eventually like to find an old 17 and repeat the process. It would be good to know about the stripper for future projects.

Eric posted 05-19-2000 11:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Kent: the West Marine catalog has a few different strippers available on page 297. Dumond makes a peel-away type stripper that comes with a special cloth cover. The west marine brand has a plastic sheet to do the same thing. The next page has an interlux product called interstrip. As things go, I won't be trying these, as I have decided to turn the job over to a pro. The entire hull and liner are going to be sandblasted and gelcoated, a new console and steering installed, and then the boat goes to the dealer for a new 90 horse. I'll end up with a whole lot more in the boat than the original plan, but that's nothing unusual!
kent posted 05-20-2000 02:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
Eric, it would be nice to see some before and after pictures of the boat. I would like to see a professional restoration. Send some photos into Jim, maybe he will post them in CETACEA.
Eric posted 05-20-2000 11:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Don't expect anything too soon, I have to figure out how to pay for it!

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