Bottom Repairs

Thread starter #1
Several months I posted a thread titled 'How to get my Capri upside down?' I also used the forum to ask several other questions about repairing my Capri's bottom. Organization members provided me a ton of help, so in the interest of giving back a little, here you can find pictures of the job I did in case you should need to do the same some day.

I'm also trying to finish a write up of my experience for an article in the newsletter, but for a very short version of what I did....

With the help of 3 friends, we rolled the boat up on to its side on a couple of old mattresses covered with a tarp and then lowered it to rest upside down. This proved to be a great way to be able to work on the boat's bottom.

The Capri I bought had bottom paint on it, so my repair involved removing that paint and refinishing the bottom. Removing the paint was awful, HARD work. And there is no way to do it besides stripping, scraping, and sanding.

I then patched dings and chips in the gelcoat using epoxy, and finally finished with several coats of topside paint.

If anyone out there needs to do similar work and has questions, feel free to respond to this post and I'll be glad to share all I can.
Great job!

I've done a lot of work on my boat, but I was afraid of trying to remove and re-apply the bottom paint. I paid somebody to do it, and he later told me that I got a great deal on our agreed-upon price. He said that removing the old bottom coat took more work than he expected, but he never gave me details. Did you use anything to help remove the paint, or was it all done with scrapers and sandpaper? Finally, did you spray or roll on the new bottom paint?

Thread starter #3
I tried a product called Peel Away. You apply generous amounts of the goop and then put this paper they give you over it. Let it set 4 - 12 hours and then just Peel Away. It is supposed to take off the paper, goop, and bottom paint all at once. The product got some good reviews online and at West Marine. However, for me it was a nightmare. It should have been called Scrape Away. I applied it and let it sit over night. In the morning I found that I now had to remove bottom paint AND the Peel Away, AND the paper. I took the remaining product back with pictures of my boat and got my money back.

Admittedly what may have happened is that the stuff was eating away the bottom paint when I applied it in the afternoon sun, and then overnite it might have cooled and hardened. But the directions indicated the longer it sat, the better, and I belive I used the stuff as directed.

Bottom line is there was no way to make this job easy.

In the end it took a combination of wallpaper scrapers, and lovely chemicals like laquer thinner and acetone. HORRIBLE work. I'm not sure what you paid, but the boat yard quotes I was getting ranged from $980 just to remove the old paint, to over $2000 for the whole job. When I finally got down to the primer (first picture on 2nd page) then I could use a sander and the work started to get easier.

I used gradually finer foam rubber rollers with a friend tipping out the air bubbles behind me. I put on 1 coat of primer and what wound up being 5 coats of the topside paint to get a finish that was smooth enough to satisfy me after all that hard work. It still wasn't as 'perfect' as a sprayer would have been, but they don't rent sprayers for marine paint (at least not as far as I looked) and I just couldn't spend that much more money to go and buy a sprayer.

After the final coat of paint, we wet sanded with 800 grit, then finally polished with a power buffer. If you don't spray, it's almost impossible not to have a few tiny areas where you slopped on a bit too much, or where you missed a spot, but all-in-all, my bottom now seems smoother (and certainly newer looking) than the gelcoat sides of the boat. And now when I lose races I can blame those few imperfections from the roller rather than my sailing skills. :p