.I thought about the angle grinder/polishers with larger rotating disk, but as someone mentioned earlier, you can gouge your boat easily. Even if you get good at it, you won't see the gouges as you're taking stuff off. Its hard to take layers off evenly. You will definitely blow right through it, taking the paint off, but I feel like there will be much more fairing work waiting for you in the next round. That is if you want the finish to look professional.[/QUOTE]
The 9" sander/polishers won't gouge if you use a little caution, a foam backing pad and 100 grit or finer sanding
paper. This is the type of backing pad you need to use: FlexPad Medium 8 SM8C [FLEXMED8] : Foam E-Z, The Original One-Stop Surfboard Supply Shop
The foam in the pad molds to the deck
or whatever and you really have to work at it to gouge. Also use finer grit sandpaper. I use 120 grit and it will sand the typical molded embossed non skid smooth in short order. Using a grinder with rpm
adjustable continuously from 0 to 3000 or so makes it easy to use. Start off at low rpm
initially until you get the hang of it and then increase the rpm.
My old Milwaukee is a one speed 3000 rpm beast. It's a heavy bear to handle, torques heavily at start up and almost instantly is spinning at full 3000 rpm. Have used newer sanders with electronic speed controllers and they are way easier to master and use for the uninitiated. I've tried the small random orbit sanders with gnarly grit and they just don't cut it.
If you want to get the deck
level with no undulations, glue a round plywood
sheet to the foam pad and glue sandpaper to the plywood
. Used that on a piece of chainsaw milled 3'x6' piece of koa. It came out looking like I'd run it through a commercial