08/11/2008 10:57 AM Pacific Time Just bought a C22 that has a not-so-pretty coat of anti-fouling paint. The previous owner moored it in salt water, but I'm keeping it trailered in my yard. The coat that's on there has a few areas that are chipping away and a few cracks that you can pull the layer of paint away with your fingernail.
I had planned to sand it down and re-paint with another coat of anti-fouling paint.
My questions are - ablative or hard given that I'm not keeping it in the water? - should I get the old coat off and start over?
Bill Braun & Christine Sammel Evanston, Illinois
Boat Name: Da Doo Run Run
Model/Year: 1989 Catalina 22
Hull No. 14840
Hailing Port: Wilmette, Illinois
08/11/2008 2:35 PM Pacific Time Our boat came with ablative paint on it and for two years we just painted more over. We hated the ablative paint. Ours was blue and every time you touched it, it got all over you. Or every time the lines touched it, they got blue all over them. This was especially a problem when we tried to go swimming off the boat. Yuck!
This year we undertook the gargantuan task of removing the ablative down to the gelcoat. What a job. We kept track of the hours necessary to take the old paint off and put new on, and it was over 50 hours. Nonetheless, the nasty stuff is gone now, and we are very happy.
Note that we sail in fresh water (Lake Michigan). The paint of choice around here is VC17, a hard copper-based paint that requires an undercoat called VC Tar. It's all put on now and we plan on power washing and touching it up when we pull the boat this fall, then just dropping her in next spring.
In our research we found that if you're going to take paint off, you have to take it ALL off. It absolutely doesn't work to just sand one type of paint down and put another on top of the old. If you're changing your type of paint, you must take the old all the way down to gelcoat. We did that by using an orange stripper found at the hardware store. Its selling point was it was not toxic. I understand that trying to take old paint off by sanding only is a horrendous job -- not that going the stripper route was a cakewalk...
If you decide to strip the paint, we'd be happy to describe in more detail the system that wound up working the best for us.
Aaron M Benham 33a Loomis Hights
Boat Name: Tidely-Idley: The never ending project
Model/Year: 1978 C22
Hull No. 8070
08/17/2008 12:41 PM Pacific Time The orange stripper that they suggest (citrustrip) works well (almost as well as $30.00 a quart Interstrip they sell at West Marine) ,doesn't burn your skin through the rubber gloves or give you a head ache. It does attract bees though.
Like Bill & Christine say, stripping bottom paint is an awful, tiresome, messy job to be avoided if at all possible. The only reason to do it is to:
1) inspect and make repairs to the bottom
2) change paint types.
Remember that some paint types oxidize and lose there effectivness if the boat is not kept in the water. Also, as long as you don't keep the boat in the water for extended periods of time, you might get away with no bottom paint at all since their main purpose is to discourage the marine growth.