strip or sand

Discussion in 'Materials' started by pasty63, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. pasty63
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Lake Stevens, WA

    pasty63 Junior Member

    I've read the practical sailor reviews, checked a couple of threads online, and am about to conduct my own test - but I'm always interested in the enlightened and balanced opinions available here. The question is, will Franmar soy strip remove my bottom paint better than sanding?

    pros: (or reasons I hope it will work)

    I can't sand upside down, so soy strip would seem a logical alternative given my "disability" (I need a new left shoulder, I'm saving up)

    I can do it 30 square feet at a time - one patch a weekend. I can apply the stripper and cover it in plastic in the afternoon on Sat, work on other stuff on the boat, and scrape the bubbled paint in the wee hours Sunday (the boat's on the hard for the foreseeable future)

    The yard wants an adorable amount of money to sand the paint off

    I don't think there's a gelplane within 2000 miles of the boat to rent or hire

    cons: (or reasons it probably won't work)

    The temperatures are headed to the mid 50's to low 60's for most of the time

    I'll need to be done before Oct 15th - beginning of monsoon in these parts

    The yard will freak out when they realize paint is leaving my hull and they're not collecting money as a result (this would be OK if it happened all at once, but they might be irritated if it took time)


    Thanks for all your points of view regarding the various approaches to removing bottom paint.

    -.bryan
     
  2. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    Sanding is a last resort, most professional finishers will chemical strip or use a heat gun (heat guns work better than you think, and adds no toxic chemicals, I have used them and was surprised how fast and easy it was). Try and find a high output industrial heat gun, it will go much faster.

    I am not familar with Soy strip. You might consider trying Citristrip paint and Varnish stripping Gel. It is less toxic and biodegradable and non-flammable compared to conventional strippers (it uses a citruis distillate as the stripping agent, same stuff used in the Citrus hand cleaning gel). www.citristrip.com. I think it is also available from big box stores like Home Depot.

    This is what professional boat finisher Rebecca Wittman recommends in her book "the Bright Work Companion".

    I think if you completely tent the hull, and cover the ground, with plastic sheet, and you do not create dust as in sanding (use a heat gun or stripper), the yard may be okay with it if you completely clean up the residue and haul it off.

    You are not far from me, where do you keep your boat? What do you own? Perhaps I can help.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'm very surprised the yard will let you do this. Most have liability insurance that will just crap the bed if they knew. Marinas can get into a host of **** if certain organizations find out about your bottom paint efforts. You must remember it's about as toxic as things get, so they want to know where it went, how it came off, will you sue if you have a three headed baby next year, because it didn't mention this on the can, etc.

    You absolutely have to cover the ground and likely the sides as well. A tent I don't think would be necessary. The insurance company (the folks you really have to please) will insist on at least this, possibly a waiver and it's most common for a marina to just say no,as it's the easy way out.

    If you elect to perform this deed after hours, then they could ask you to leave (rules breach), though in this market it's unlikely they'll kiss a paying renter goodbye.
     
  4. pasty63
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Lake Stevens, WA

    pasty63 Junior Member

    sand and scrape

    Yeah - I'd definitely tent the area and double ground cloth under the boat. The yard is pretty good about letting you do the work, provided you follow the same protocol they would. I'm down at end of the yard where elephants go to die, so my neighbors aren't likely to complain if I start slinging soy strip around. I have kind of a running gag with the yard because their prices are very competitive, but no matter how slow it is they won't drop their hourly rate an iota. I don't blame them - but I tease them, and they tease me about how backwards I do everything.....and how long I've been in their yard.

    Anyway - thanks for the words of caution. I wish I would have heeded the ones about polyester and plywood a few years ago....:p

    -.bryan
     
  5. CaptBill
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Savannah,Ga

    CaptBill CaptBill

    Soy strip is the hot ticket.

    I stripped a 17 ft Boston Whaler (topsides) in less than 10 hours. Used up two stainless dish scourers ($1 dollar store) and a quart and a half of soy-strip and a water hose. Just a simple rubbing and it all just fell right off. No gloves and I was wearing sandals the whole time. My hands felt like they were soaking all day in lanoline or something. I am amazed with that stuff. Never use any other paint stripper than this stuff...Really.
     
  6. bulk-head
    Joined: Dec 2007
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    Location: Antigua

    bulk-head Junior Member

    In general...shipyards do not approve of anyone working on the bottom of a boat. Anitfoul is a main profit stream for shipyards. Be wise and purchase your paint from the yard.

    If its a smooth bottom sailing yacht with a hard surface like fiberglass...not wood, Antifoul comes off fast with a sharp scraper..a "push scraper" , man size, three inch wide thick steel cutting surface and a beefy two hand foot long grip ...one gloved hand pushing and steering the scrapper , one gloved hand appliing down force, with its cutting edge ground perfectly flat and re sharpened regularly. Do not use a beveled chisel edge. After the bulk of antifoul is removed, wet sand the remainder off. Wet sanding means a dry wall swivel head sanding block mounted on a stout 5 foot aluminium pole. The wet and dry paper grade of 50 grit is best. Very sharp, you get excllent two hand mechanical advantage and when lubricated with plenty of water, 50 grit eats the paint very fast. I have removed the anti foul from large sailing yachts this way.

    The next option is sand blasting. Very effective and the best way if you have access to this service..

    Chemical stripper is a huge mess.

    Dry sanding is a health nightmare. Never dry sand antifoul....just dont do it
     
  7. CaptBill
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Savannah,Ga

    CaptBill CaptBill

    Yeah I learned that one the hard way. Even with a respirator the copper will penetrate around your eyelids. Stuff made me sick for a week once.

    You owe it to yourself to try the soy-strip. It will blow you away. You can even use it indoors. No odor. You can even eat this stuff.
     
  8. CaptBill
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Savannah,Ga

    CaptBill CaptBill

    I almost forgot...

    I picked up another 1953 evinrude 3hp kicker motor off ebay. These little motors are all cast aluminum. The original paint just fell right off with the Soy-strip. I was able to remove ALL the paint and really get the hard to reach areas no problem. Now it is back to fresh clean aluminum. I decided I will just buff it up and let it go unfinished it looks so cool.

    I really love stuff that actually works. Soy-strip just works amazingly.
     
  9. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Why are you stripping the paint?
     
  10. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Hey, that was my question! :D
     

  11. pasty63
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Lake Stevens, WA

    pasty63 Junior Member

    Well, in the intervening months it turns out that it's unlikely that I'll be stripping the bottom. I wanted to remove the paint because so many coats of "hard" paint had been applied. In the last few years I'd used ablative, but the first 20 years there was a new coat of hard bottom paint applied every couple of years.

    The boat yard I've been in for a long while is just catching up with all the others and putting the kybosh on bottom work if it's not inside one of their buildings, using their staff. This is alright with me - it's their yard and they can do whatever they want. Luckily - I can probably get away with just re-applying a coat of ablative indefinitely after feathering any peeling spots.

    I will try soy strip on some other smaller projects for sure. Thanks for all the replies. -.b
     
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