Features March 2009 Issue

A Smorgasbord of Tools and Patience Are Required For the DIY Epoxy Barrier Coat Removal

Practical Sailor documents the methods and madness of removing antifouling and ancient Interlux InterProtect epoxy bottom coatings with sanding, scraping, and chemical strippers.

Practical Sailor Technical Editor Ralph Naranjo sets out to remove a few layers of bottom paint and the underlying Interlux InterProtect epoxy barrier coat, which was applied to his boat hull in 1982. While non-toxic, eco-friendly paint removers work well on removing antifouling paints, one-part enamels, and varnish, all bets are off with epoxy coatings. With a good selection of chisels, a penchant for keeping them sharp and no aversion to hard work, Naranjo battles the pock-marked, blistered barrier coat. His arsenal included three chemical strippers—Peel Away Marine Safety Strip, Peel Away Smart Strip, and Franmar Soy Strip, an array of sanding disks, and random orbital sanders. His report offers how-to’s, tool tips, and a rundown of the costs associated with the DIY barrier coat removal to answer the question: Is it really worth doing it yourself?

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