Anti fouling paint plays a critical role in keeping boats in the best possible condition through years of usage in salty or marine waters and while they sit tied to docks. Such coatings ensure that fiberglass hulls don’t become eroded or fouled by marine life, but they don’t last forever.
Eventually, boat owners must re-paint their hulls. Removing old hull paint is a critical step that ensures the new coating has a surface that it can actually adhere to. Here are the basics of how to use paint removers to strip old boats before coating them once again and taking to the water.
Choose an Appropriate Remover
Although it may be tempting to simply pick a remover that is advertised to go through multiple coats of paint in a short timeframe, this strategy doesn’t always work. It’s important to select a product that actually targets the specific kind of paint on your hull for maximum efficacy.
Also remember that certain removers may contain harsh chemicals that can injure skin and soft tissue like the eyes. Always purchase appropriate safety gear prior to opening a bottle of remover.
Test the Remover and Plan the Job
Before starting to strip the entire hull, apply the remover to a small area and test it out. In many cases, people discover that they don’t need as much remover as they thought they would. You may learn more anti fouling system @Cathodic Marine
Planning the work out by dividing the hull into sections can also make it much easier to complete a stripping job in a shorter timeframe or on a limited budget. When working outside, remember that the air may dry the paint remover before it can penetrate all of the layers of paint; work on one part at a time to avoid this problem and save material costs.
Working with Tools
Many removers are designed to be applied to the hull with a roller, brush or sponge and then left to work themselves in for a short time period. Afterwards, the boat owner can scrape the paint off using a putty knife or bladed spatula.
The basic strategy for removing old paint with a bladed tool is to draw the scraper edge over the contours of the hull with one hand. Use the other hand to apply a moderate amount of pressure to the tool so that it moves evenly over the surface. Using both hands is also the easiest way to avoid injuries that could result from the tool slipping as it moves.
For tougher areas, chisels may be employed to knock off stubborn sections of paint. This strategy should be applied with care so as not to mar the fiberglass surfaces beneath the coating.
Some boat owners recommend working with the same kind of straight-bladed paint remover tools that businesses use to take down storefront window decals. Others try using drywall sanders and screens attached to long handles that let them reach all areas easily and still remain at a safe distance. With most high-quality marine paint removers, however, heavy-duty power tools can be forgone in favor of manual devices.
Also See: The Effects of Ballast Water Treatment Systems on Marine Vessels