I'd already power washed the hull when I took ownership of the boat, scraping all sorts of salt water vegetation and creatures from the hull. I chronicled that episode early-on in this story. Now, I am taking the ablative paint off. Ablative paints resist attachment by growth, algae and barnacles. I don't need an ablative paint since I'm a "dry sailor," using a trailer to store my little yacht. It suits me for the present. Plus, the lake water is not aggressive like the salt water. So, a slicker, harder surface, is the goal.
The ablative removes in a frothy swirl of thick finger paint that is impossible to avoid. I wore some old clothes I knew I would be able to ditch into the wash afterwards. You can see the photos here which reveal the effects of the hose, and then the green scrub pad and a sanding block.
|Beautiful bronze scupper drain|
I noticed in the barrier coat that some previous individual had used a regular paint brush to apply the barrier coat. You can see in the second photo of the thru-hull scupper drain, the criss-cross of lines in the barrier. I'm sure this will make my sanding effort a requirement rather than an easy buff for the hull. It must have been done with the attitude that the Cape Dory is not a fast boat anyway, so what does it matter? But I think attention to detail in finishing should be a standard for this little yacht. I'll try to remedy the criss-cross if I can with 60 and 80 grit sandpaper.
The laborious beginning was the scrubbing and scraping. The ablative is willing to let go but some remains adhered to the barrier coat which will later face my orbital sander. The ablative turns into a thickening mush after scraping and makes constant flushing with water essential. This certainly beats using the sander first which would stir up a cloud of red dust. This way I can remove the bulk of the loose paint and concentrate on the residual paint later, smoothing the criss-cross brush strokes if at all possible.
Once the work is complete, the hull reveals a patchwork of red and grey areas without much powder at all. Having gotten myself thoroughly coated with red ablative paint, I had to hose myself off after the work session.
Next application for the port side will be an orbital sander with a vacuum attached so that the dust doesn't become a respiratory issue.
Here she sits after about 3 hours of work. I'm not sure I'd have had the energy to do this just after purchasing the dory. But it is a good feeling to discover what's underneath the paint. Plus, once I've gone over the entire hull, I'll have a better appreciation of what it takes to do the hull. And I won't want to do it soon thereafter!