Tuesday 16 January 2024

Repainting The Hull | Sanding & Stripping

With the boat back inside the workshop it was time to gird up my loins and start the daunting task of removing all the paint.

I kept telling myself that all I had to do was repaint it, and that it would not be too hard.

I had learned how to do it the wrong way, so now I would do it the right way by adhering strictly to the paint manufacturer's instructions. And that would be a lot less work than my original approach which was (let's face it) driven by pursuit of a perfect finish and therefore doomed as a result!

So out came the sanders again. I thought I had seen the last of them for a while, but no.

I've got two Festool sanders.

The big one is 150mm in diameter, and is really too big and aggressive for this sort of thing, as the test soon showed.

The smaller one is 90mm in diameter, and proved to be just what was required when fitted with a semi-flexible sanding head.

Here they are on the bench, ready go.

I used a P80 grit to sand the bottom and side panels with the Rotex 90, carefully avoiding all edges such as the chines, stem, transom and keel.

I planned to use paint stripper on all edges and the keel, because it would be less aggressive and allow more careful removal of paint.

This is the paint stripper which I decided to use.

It is eco friendly and doesn't contain any of the nasty stuff present in traditional paint strippers, so it is easy and safe to use.

I don't know how it works but this is what it says on the tub.

It is water based and cleans up very easily without burning your hands and eyes!

I used my Bahco scrapers to remove the paint from the keel, chines and rub rail joins. Here they are.

The sanding took ages but was effective. Inevitably I sanded through the fibreglass cloth sheathing in a few places, so some patching will be required.

The paint stripper was surprisingly effective, and very easy to use. I was prepared to find it didn't really work as well as the nasty stuff (like Nitromors), but it was excellent.

I didn't quite manage to finish the entire lower hull before Christmas brought activity to a halt. I've still got the bottom of the keel and the varnished transom to go, but it's nearly ready for the next stage.

Here is the sanded and stripped hull.

We set off on our travels in the South Pacific at the beginning of January, and I am writing this post in New Zealand.

It will be March before we get back to the UK and I can start work on PocketShip's second and final coat of paint.

Let's hope she sees the water this year!