Soda Blast

Last spring while I was painting the anti-fouling bottom paint just before launch, the old existing paint started coming off in sheets. It was really bad. Seventeen years of paint was failing. The paint buildup was thick and no longer adhered to the barrier coat. As I painted, the paint rollers kept getting covered with paint chips.The bottom paint applied ended up being a bumpy mess. And there was nothing I could do about it. The boat was being launched that week, I had no time to strip the old paint and start over.

My previous post I showed the “after” picture of Galatea with her bottom paint stripped off. Dave, the manager of Mattapoisett Boatyard sent me a couple pictures of the work being done, so I thought I’d post them on my blog for people to see the process.

There are several ways to remove old bottom paint. There’s chemical strippers, where you paint on the chemicals with a brush and simply scrape off the softened paint. There’s sanding. Which nobody does anymore since it’s a hell of a lot of work and put’s a lot of poisonous dust into the environment. Not to mention poisoning yourself. There’s scraping off the old paint with scraping tools. I did this for my previous boat, Karma. I used a large chisel with rounded corners and chipped off all the old paint by hand. Karma was a 22 footer. Which is probably the biggest size boat you want to do by using hand tools.

Then there’s hiring professionals to soda blast the old bottom paint. Which is what I did.¬† And I’m glad I did so. The time and effort to do the work yourself¬† is substantial. Instead, I just showed up the next weekend and there it was, all the old paint removed. Another example of what all boaters say, “Time or money”.

From the pictures posted you can see that the entire hull was enclosed in plastic. All the soda blast materials and old bottom paint is completely contained. Good for the environment. When I drove down to the boat the following weekend, I didn’t see a speck of old bottom paint on the ground. The company the boatyard hired to do the work did a great job removing the old paint. I’d definitely recommend them to anyone.

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