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January 13, 2009


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Great tip Mark!! The quicker the better I say....As a DIY boater I do all my boat winterizing and antifouling in the garage and I love anything that will get this job done faster. Love your Blog.. There's nothing as good like it anywhere and I look forward to your daily posts. Keep em coming....so thanks!!

How toxic is the dust from power sanding antifoul through eyes, skin, inhalation. Thanks

The dust is very toxic and you should do everything to avoid skin contact or breathing it in. Wear a Tyvek suit and a proper respirator at all times.

Works like a charm and no dust. Thank you, great idea!

Hi Mark, just found this article of yours and thought I'd mention I too discovered the joys of using the plaster board sander for antifoul many years ago but I took it one step further. I have attached a small garden watering system tap to the sander, a length of tube and a connector to connect it to a garden hose. By turning on the water at a very low pressure you are able to keep the paddle wet without getting too much over you. First wet the paddle, then turn the tap on the paddle off. Scrub an area till you have a good sludge on the hull. The pressure will build up in your hose and tube, release the pressure to squirt of the sludge and repeat the process. I have been making and selling these simple tools for many years around the place and I'm thinking of extending and broadening the production. Interested?

I just came upon this post and find this method an intriguing alternative to dry sanding. Two aspects of the paint removal process I don't see addressed here, though, are collection and disposal of the sludge. Given the toxicity of bottom paint, they should be part of any removal process - wet or dry. By my calculations, a 32' boat with about 10 seasons of bottom paint build up could produce about a cubic foot of dust if you sand down to the barrier coat, which I plan to do. If I use my sander and vacuum, I know most of it will end up in the bag. But it's noisy and hot process and dust always manages to escapes despite my best efforts at containment. The wet method promises an end to those headaches, but without a means of collecting and disposing of the paint residue, it feels like I'm just trading one set of problems for another. Any guidance those experienced with the wet method can provide regarding collection and disposal would be most appreciated.

The best way to collect the sludge, and the method that I adopt, is to lay a large tarp or sheet of plastic under the boat. To prevent everything running off the edge I use lengths of plastic guttering turned upside down around the perimeter and run the tarp or plastic over the top of that. This forms a sort of mini paddling pool effect and contains the sludge. The sludge can then be sucked up with a wet/dry vac and disposed of in the proper manner.

Good one Mark thanks for the tip.
I am finding it increasingly difficult to get down under my boat so I am going to trial (next Week) using a Uni Pro flexible sanding pole. Also used for finishing plasterboard it should make the lower parts easier to get to as the head that takes the paper swivels around a 180 degree plane. I will try to add a picture if the system allows.


I used the sanding sheets this past week when I had to sand down the bottom of my boat prior to application of another coat of anti-fouling.

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