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Old 26-11-2019, 12:11   #1
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What tool to sand the bottom?

I have to sand off 6 years of Micron 66 (what's left of it) from the bottom of my 33-ft sailboat. We have returned from 6 years in the Caribbean to the fresh water of Lake Ontario. Interlux tells me I must sand off the Micron 66 before I can put on a paint suitable for fresh water ( or cold northerly salt water) like Micron Extra.

What tool to use? One person said rotary sander. Another said angle grinder with sanding disc. The boat is outdoors so I don't need to tent the boat and the boatyard said they don't care (!?) about sanding dust. Underneath the the bottom paint is several coats of epoxy barrier coat, which I think is in fine shape and I do not want to disturb or have to redo.

Looking for advice on what tool to use for the sanding. Thanks.
( I'm planning on doing the sanding now in the cold weather so that the whole bunny suit and respirator outfit is not uncomfortably hot...)
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Old 26-11-2019, 12:23   #2
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

I don't know of any yard that will let toxic dust be strewn around the whole yard. I have hauled out enough to where I have seen the specialized sander that is used to sand off and to collect the dust before it spreads everywhere.

I would check twice with the boat yard and if they really don't care, then use a heavy duty disk sander with a suit with a positive pressure so you are not risking breathing any of the the toxic dust.

I really don't think it is legal to let the dust go everywhere. I know it is not legal to let any of this dust to get onto the water.
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Old 26-11-2019, 12:29   #3
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

Grinder with sanding wheel thing. Like flaps of sand paper overlapped into a wheel shape.
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Old 26-11-2019, 12:34   #4
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

If you can find one for rent (or want to spend the big $ on tools) the Festo RTS 400 Orbital Sander + CT 48 HEPA Dust Extractor do a wonderful job at stripping the paint quickly and catching the dust so you don't breathe it. And on top of that very quiet. Also very expensive. Lots of less expensive, similar items.

Heavy metal dust is no joke even if the yard doesn't care. A really good sander/dust collector system goes a long way to making the job easier and safer.

An angle grinder can make quick work of it, but you have to be very good, and even so you will leave (at least) a few gouges in your gelcoat/barrier coat.
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Old 26-11-2019, 12:43   #5
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

Iíve found a belt sander does a good job at getting the bulk of it off with less risk of gouging compared to an angle grinder. Use the nose of the belt sander to get into tight rounded spots They make/include dust collection attachments for both belt sanders and grinders. I always finish up with a random orbital to remove the remaining and ensure a smooth finish.
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Old 26-11-2019, 12:47   #6
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

What tool to sand the bottom?

That tool is called someone else.
There are some jobs I simply will not do.
Happy to strip a toilet or replace decks but sanding antifouling, no way.
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Old 26-11-2019, 12:57   #7
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

I used a 6" Porter Cable Orbital sander the last two bottom jobs to sand the bottom, and I also sanded off all the painted topside paint down to the original 43 years old gel coat

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Porter-C...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

The yard I was in required you to lay tarps to collect the dust
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Old 26-11-2019, 13:32   #8
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

Doubt the yard cares if they are in the USA.

Use a vacuum sander of any type. I'd also recommend saving yourself the effort and have it soda blasted.
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Old 26-11-2019, 13:53   #9
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
I really don't think it is legal to let the dust go everywhere. I know it is not legal to let any of this dust to get onto the water.


And yet everywhere Iíve even been, they haul the boat and as soon as itís out of the water and still on the ramp, they pressure wash it good and blow all kinds of bottom paint off and of course it goes right into the water.
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Old 26-11-2019, 14:02   #10
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

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Doubt the yard cares if they are in the USA.
My two favorite DIY yards are no more, both closed by the EPA because of soil contamination by heavy metals and hydrocarbons and now the taxpayers are footing the bill for cleanup.

Every yard I've been in cares, and when pressure washing does it only on a hardstand with defined drainage and collects and treats all the water before it leaves the site. More and more are not allowing DIY bottom/antifouling work, even if they allow other DIY, because the regulatory consequences are too high.
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Old 26-11-2019, 16:11   #11
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowdan View Post
Doubt the yard cares if they are in the USA.

Use a vacuum sander of any type. I'd also recommend saving yourself the effort and have it soda blasted.
So if you have someone soda blast it you will miss lots of stuff you would otherwise not know.

Sand it off yourself and you will see Ö...
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Old 26-11-2019, 16:41   #12
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

Use a pole sander..60-80 grit wet and dry sandpaper, plenty of water

Keep the sandpaer fresh..sharp

Antifoul is soft ..comes off fast

You can do you bottom in one day
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Old 26-11-2019, 17:45   #13
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

Sounds like too much work for bottom job. Just ruff up the Micron, wipe down with MEK and slap on the new bottom paint. Check after a year to see how well it held. You are not painting a Ferrari
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Old 26-11-2019, 22:52   #14
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

Interlux won't tell you why micron 66 isn't for fresh water. The fastest tool would be a 8" variable speed sander/polisher with a soft pad and 60 grit. The festool with vacuum probably the best option. I wet sanded a ton of it off my cat. But made a river of blue.
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Old 26-11-2019, 22:53   #15
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Re: What tool to sand the bottom?

I use a Festool 5” eccentric sander and a Festool HEPA dust extractor. I try to sand off everything which was applied for the season so I have no build up of paint. A smooth bottom goes a long way toward a fast passage and sanding is an easy job in the fall after she’s hauled for the winter. In the spring I just need one warm day to apply a coat of antifouling and I’m ready for the water.
The Festool extraction system is pricey but does a fantastic job. The use of sanding net mesh disks is essential to obtain a nearly dust free experience.
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