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Pgutierrez
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Winter Weather Boat Bottom Preparation

Good morning, My Catalina 36 is 20 years old and sailed on the upper Mississippi River where winter temperatures easily go to minus 25 - 30 F. Due to my boat's age and boat bottom condition after haul out, I am considering maybe having the boat bottom soda blasted or have boat bottom cleaned with paint stripper during the cold winter months. By having this done during cold months, then when warm May temperatures arrive I would paint a few layers of epoxy barrier coat followed by VC17 or similar. The boat is stored outside and has an excellent winter cover that goes down to waterline stripe. Should I have any concerns about the boat bottom being exposed to the cold after being soda blasted or paint striped? For example, soda blasting / paint stripper would be applied on a warm winter day any time December to March at 40 F or higher. Boat bottom has had multiple layers of VC 17 and I feel it is time to get the boat soda blasted, bottom re sealed with an epoxy barrier coat followed by VC 17. This work would be done on the hard. Boat would be sitting 3 - 5 months out side exposed to minimal moisture and very cold (minus 30 F is probable).
Alternatively would consider using a stripper. Anyone have experience using paint strippers in cold temperatures ? Should I be concerned about having a soda blasted or paint stripped "raw" boat bottom when boat is stored outside, and most of the winter snow getting deflected by my very excellent winter cover.
(I am sending this request to a few other sources of information such as Catalina Yachts, Pettit Paints, Jamestown Distributors for their input). Please share your experiences on cold temperature boat bottom preparation where the raw boat bottom will be exposed to very cold winter temperatures.

peter g

2000 C36, MK2, Hull. #1897
wonderful, wonderful, wonderful ! ! !.   5 th Catalina

 

 

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Pgutierrez
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Pente boat bottom - look at the zebra mussels at top of  the rudder !

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The paddle wheel for the speed sensor is also jammed / plugged with mussels.  Just like going to the dentist...floss and use pick to dig out the un wanted critters.

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My opinion.
Bottom paint doesn't protect the hull from cold temperatures so it shouldn't matter if the boat sitting there stripped of paint or with a painted bottom 
Removing the bottom paint with chemical stripper on a 20 year old boat.....well my advice is to have somebody soda blast. I  stripped our 20 year old C30 with chemical/paper and gave up on that apprach. It removed only a very limited thickness. I ended grinding most of the bottom paint off and then using a chemical stripper in spots where very thin paint layers remained (hull to keel). The job was messy, back breaking and hours and hours. It would have been better to pay any amount for a soda blast.

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Airbus
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I have had our 30 and our current 36 blasted with ground up walnut shells. Our boat yard owner allows one particular blasting company on the property because they are very good at containing debris and clean up. The entire job can be done in one day and the cost was about $2100. It can be tough to rationalize that money but it really is worth the money when you consider time and your health. The results are amazing as it removes everything down to the gel coat. Just follow up with some light 80 grit sanding and antifouling paint. Will forward a photo attachment. Good luck with your project! Tom

2002 Catalina 36 Mark ll
Old Saybrook, Ct

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After blasting and two coats antifouling

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Airbus
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Another view

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Thanks everyone for your input. I won't make a decision what to do until late winter / early spring.  

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