May 2014 Issue
Table of Contents
Maintenance Tips Galore
Now that spring has sprung, it's time to get everything ship-shape for the summer sailing season.
• If freshening up the coatings on board is on your to-do list, check out our long-term tests of exterior wood finishes (PS, September 2011 and January 2011) and topside paints (PS, December 2012). For tips on these projects, see "Teak: A Little Effort Goes a Long Way" online and the blog post "Painting Your Boat Like a Pro" (Oct. 22, 2013).
• Perhaps your spring cleaning routine is a simple wash and wax. Check out our roundup of the best boat soaps (PS, January 2013) and our long-term test of waxes (PS, September 2010 and January 2010) and one-step cleaner-waxes (PS, March 2007). For tips on waxing, we recommend the blog post "A Practical Look at Waxing and Polishing Your Boat" (April 9, 2011).
• Or get the whole kit and kaboodle delivered to you in a single ebook. PS's "Marine Cleaners" three-part ebook series includes sections on gelcoat restoration and maintenance, essential marine cleaners, and specialty marine cleaners. You'll find it in our online bookstore.
For the social-media savvy, sign up for our Waypoints online newsletter, and "Like" us on Facebook to get sailing and boat-owning tips. We also feature a different PS reader's boat each month in our Sailboat of the Month contest on Facebook; send a picture of your boat—along with your name, boat type, boat name—to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured.
Where Credit Is Due
Mailport: May 2014
Bottom Paint Stripping
In response to your recent blog on removing bottom paint: We totally stripped our 1984 Camper Nicholson 58 in two days. Without a doubt, the best tool in our kit for stripping many layers of bottom paint was a massive linoleum floor scraper. It has one straight blade and one slightly curved. I used the belt sander with 800-grit sandpaper to keep it razor sharp. Sharpening was needed every 5 square feet.
I find sanders way too messy for this, and many paints instantly plug the grit. Paint came off in small rafts and sheets that were easily collected on tarps with little airborne dust.
Mark and Lynn Hoenke
Roxy, Camper Nicholson 58 Ketch
A short word of caution: Be very careful when using the linoleum scraper’s straight blade to remove bottom paint. Because its edges are not rounded, they are more likely to gouge gelcoat or damage an epoxy barrier layer.