The spring time is often very busy so it has been a while since the last update of the blog. The boat was supposed to be put to water already in the beginning of May at the joint lifting organised by the club. However, the tasks for renewing the bottom paint were not finalized so we had to postpone that step. As with most of the activities one has not done before we consulted the internet and our books on how to refresh the bottom paint. We figured out quite soon that there are heaps of advices one different than the other and if you feel you are lacking alternatives you can always ask around in your club. I bet the amount of options will increase. Well, it is not that difficult after all. There are certain repeating patterns in all of the advices so that you will make a well considered decision in the end which you will feel comfortable with. Hesitation and not knowing much about the topic was one reason why we have postponed that project already for two years. The important point is to make a decision and to start. For us it was also helpful that we still had some of the paint cans from the previous owner and in combination with the knowledge of those cans and the information we got from reading and asking around we found our own way.
Now that we had an idea of the possible paint it was time to tackle the bottom and remove the anti fouling layer from it. During the previous summers we have not applied any additional anti fouling layer but wanted to let it wash away during sailing. This was fairly succesfull but some patches were so fixed to the bottom that they had to be removed manually by us. Especially those parts where the wax from the gel coat above the water line spread over the anti fouling on the bottom of the boat was very sticky and tough. In the beginning we wanted to use gel to remove the anti fouling paint to avoid the dust that is created while sanding. We also found a gel (Venezia) which was meant for the removal of anti fouling paint. We were so happy about the finding that we skipped reading the instructions about the waiting time. While reviewing other paint removing gel we read many times about a waiting time of 15 – 30 minutes. So what big difference can there be? Well the anti fouling gel had a waiting time of 4 hours. This is exactly that kind of information you want to read at 20:00 in the evening after a long work day with already the mind set towards going to bed after a short removal of the paint. We did not wait 4 hours that evening but used a scraper to support the process. After the gel and paint was removed we used the pressure washer to clean the surface. The result was not comparable to sanding but as mentioned above we did not wait 4 hours for the gel to be effective.
When applying gel one should probably follow the instructions for the best results. That particular gel recommended to apply 1 liter of gel for an area of 1 square meter. With our can we were able to treat maybe one tenth of our boat so we would have needed 10 cans of gel. The alternative was a sander which we planned to try first before considering more use of the gel.
We spread the paint removal gel fairly over the surface and waited. (The brand of the gel was Venezia and the purpose of the gel was the removal of anti fouling paint)