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Old 15-04-2018, 12:35   #1
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PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

Hey everybody! I have an exciting new project on the horizon. Our 43' Mauritius needs a strip and bottom job. Riveting, I know.

My plan is to get the boat up to Bock Marine in NC and get this over with in May. Sadly, the SW Florida area is pretty crap for do-it-yourself. The closest options are Glades and Port Charlotte. For one, I have to drop the rig and, for the other, I need to cut a foot off the keel. It's getting too hot here anyway.

We're putting supplies together for the project. I'm well equipped in the tool department, but I need to decide on how I'm going to remove the bottom without it taking another lifetime. I've done this before on a 31 footer with gelcoat blistering and 40+ years of paint (original primer) using PeelAway and a 6" RO. It took 2 weeks to strip and fair. I'd like to work faster, this time.

This is a home-built boat that never wore any gelcoat. The original, painstaking fairing job, was done by hand by the builder. She was built with a male temporary mold and c-flex, I think. After a year or so in the Carib the fairing compound was coming off. The owner did a rough and ready strip and fair in Grenada (basically faired only down to the keel) and barrier coated with WEST and their flake additive. There was a fresh coat of ablative put on a year ago, but the barrier coat is coming off underneath and I'm looking at GRP wherever the paint comes off. Fort Myers Beach is notorious for fouling, so I'm over the side weekly to keep a reef off the boat. Serious PITA. The surveyor found no blisters in the laminate (I've found a couple in the fairing) and I'd like to keep things that way. Warm water and bare glass are keeping me up at night.

The attached images show how she looks now. The good news is there isn't that much paint on.

So here are my options, strip wise:

-Festool RAS 115 $360

Basically a grinder with good dust collection. Intended for heavy stripping and paint removal. I'm already a festool user (not a full cultist), have the HEPA Vacuum and a pretty good hand (lots of hours) with a grinder. I'm entertaining this option because it's much cheaper, I can use the tool for other projects and there isn't that much paint on this bottom.



-Paintshaver Pro 12 AMP $850

This is apparently the real deal in paint or bottom shaving. I've never used one, but the marine version can take off layers of laminate. I can use my HEPA vac with it. This tool excites me (no social life), but it's mega money. I don't mind buying good tools, but this one I can only imagine using once. I'm not a "bottom guy" (make your jokes). Maybe it would sell on ebay afterwards.



Other options are chemical stripper (PeelAway), which is so pricey that I may as well buy a new tool. It cost about $300 for a 31 footer. Then there's medium blasting, which I'm not crazy about because I've seen some real hack jobs and I've always done my own work. It'll need a little fairing as she's pretty bumpy around the keel right now, so the faster I get the crap off the more time we've got to fair.

So what do you guy think? Anybody used the PaintShaver? Is it as heavenly as it sounds?
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Old 15-04-2018, 13:31   #2
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

I just realized that the festool doesn't have a trigger, which seriously lowers my opinion of it.

I've used grinders without dust collection when I worked at a yard and we could get away with it, but I'm concerned about a DIY yard being upset even with a decent tent.
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Old 15-04-2018, 15:20   #3
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

I'd have it media blasted and concentrate on the important stuff. If you must do it yourself get the Festool. It has an on/off switch. A trigger requires you to hold it at all times. Gets to be a pain on a long job IMHO.
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Old 15-04-2018, 16:13   #4
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

I've never used one of the shavers. It is speculation on my part, but I would think they would be most useful for removal of a thick, consistent layer such as gelcoat.

I will point out that, with a grinder, you would want to consider media cost, as you may find you go through a considerable $$$$ of discs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atmartin View Post
I just realized that the festool doesn't have a trigger, which seriously lowers my opinion of it.
I've used grinders with a paddle switch, grinders with a trigger, and grinders with a switch on the side (like the festool). I don't think it makes much difference. On long jobs with a paddle or trigger you end up pushing whatever locking button they give you so the ergonomics and safety are pretty much equivalent. The side switch has the advantage of being harder to turn on unintentionally.
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Old 15-04-2018, 16:26   #5
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I've used grinders with a paddle switch, grinders with a trigger, and grinders with a switch on the side (like the festool). I don't think it makes much difference. On long jobs with a paddle or trigger you end up pushing whatever locking button they give you so the ergonomics and safety are pretty much equivalent. The side switch has the advantage of being harder to turn on unintentionally.
I'll get a quote on the media route, but it's not my preference.

My issue on the trigger/switch is that I'm used to 7" grinders without dust collection using a soft pad and 24 or 36 grit. If you can't feather the trigger, it's very easy to put crescents into your work. I've never used that particular festool, but it appears to run at a constant rate (electrically controlled) and I'm not sure how that would work grinding on a curved surface like a hull.

I would just use a heavy duty 15amp grinder like a Milwaukee, but the yard I'm planning to haul in bans all bottom sanding unless it's vac-attached.
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Old 15-04-2018, 17:44   #6
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

Bock's was set up for media blasting last time I was there.

I used the Peel away strip there back in 1994, and they weren't too happy that I turned the pine forest blue--things are probably a bit tighter now.

I'd try a Porter Cable 5" RO sander, duct taped to a shop vac, with the 60 grit diablo pads ($20 for a 50 pack from HD).

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Old 15-04-2018, 18:39   #7
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

The Paint Shaver Pro is in my opinion better suited to removing laminate. We have one of the Marine Shaver Pro versions where I work and the only time its been used since iv'e been there is when guys have taken it home to work on their houses. I also would consider having it media blasted, I was in a yard in Port Charlotte a few years ago and a guy came in and blasted the bottom of a small trawler with a rig that reclaimed the media as he was blasting and it collected near enough everything. It was so effective that the guy did not even tent off or cover the boat next to it and the operator worked in flip flops and a N95 dust mask. If you did not want to go that route and it seems that you are comfortable with a sander polisher with a soft pad you can buy dust shrouds so you can hook up to your vac.

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Old 16-04-2018, 09:31   #8
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

I've stripped the bottom of our 10M sailboat twice, first time i did it myself with paint stripper, second time I had it blasted with baking soda.
First time took weeks, second time took about 4 hours or someone else's labor and he did a great job. He blasted down to the gel coat which he could see because the color was different than the bottom paint being removed.
I suggest blasting the paint off.
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:34   #9
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

I recently sanded the bottom paint off my 28' water line X 12' beam full keel boat with a festool sander rented from the yard. $15/day. 40 grit disks. If took four hours per side. Very hard work. About four disks per side. Sanded ten years of paint to the primer for what I consider a successful outcome. One disappointment is that the vacuum attachment didn't work well on the the curved part of the hull. I wore respirator rather than a dust mask.
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Old 16-04-2018, 10:49   #10
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

Orion and GuyRJ got it right. Soda blast ! Spend your time (and resources) on the new coatings and anti-fouling. I see people spend weeks on end working the bottom of their boat, which only the fish will ever see. You are not painting a Ferrari for a car show, just concentrate on the structural aspects.
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Old 16-04-2018, 11:23   #11
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

I just sent GelPlane a request for USA pricing. The other surface rotary planets are (generally) used for wood lap siding. Not many flat and square surfaces on a hull !!
The Bosch "guts" in the Gelplane seem familiar? Same as the drum, blades and drive as my carpenter's plane!. Hmmmm??
Lose the base plates, cutoff most of the plastic housing and fit some sort of adj. gauge blocks.
Simple!

Once I hear back from the UK/Scotland, I'll update with price.
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Old 16-04-2018, 11:41   #12
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

I used one of these, paint shaver. Sold when I was finished. Hooked up to a vacuum and almost no mess on the ground.
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Old 16-04-2018, 14:24   #13
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

You might go on YouTube and do a search under paint removal devices. Eastwood Company has a drum type sander that looks pretty sweet for around $280. They have various types of drums that you can buy for it. It looks like it works pretty fast. However, I agree the best option would be blasting.
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Old 16-04-2018, 15:53   #14
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

i have used the shaver before...you need a steady hand and then CAREFULLY start shaviing very thin layers. if you mess up you end up with "stripes" the width of the shaver that are uneven in depth and one horrible faring job to do!
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Old 16-04-2018, 17:54   #15
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Re: PaintShaver vs Rotary Sander vs ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaten View Post
I just sent GelPlane a request for USA pricing. The other surface rotary planets are (generally) used for wood lap siding. Not many flat and square surfaces on a hull !!
The Bosch "guts" in the Gelplane seem familiar? Same as the drum, blades and drive as my carpenter's plane!. Hmmmm??
Lose the base plates, cutoff most of the plastic housing and fit some sort of adj. gauge blocks.
Simple!

Once I hear back from the UK/Scotland, I'll update with price.
I own a Gelplane, really impressive tool for serious laminate removal. I think they are about $2700.00 in the US. When I was looking for one I did consider the Marine Shaver Pro but I didn't think it would work well on a round hull and I wasn't prepared to pay full price for a Gelplane but I found mine lightly used on ebay although I have never seen another one for sale used before or since. Still wasn't cheap, about the price of a new paint shaver. However its not intended for paint removal. As I said earlier I think media blasting is the best way for removing years of bottom paint. If there is not a large buildup then sanding is obviously cheaper.

Steve.
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