Remove paint but save the gelcoat?
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Remove paint but save the gelcoat?

  1. #1
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    Default Remove paint but save the gelcoat?

    Hey all,

    We just picked up a little '73 D&D flatbottom last weekend, with the intention to just throw a motor in it and go water skiing. However, we are waiting on the motor and just can't resist doing a little bit of cosmetic work on the boat in the meantime. So now we have it off the trailer and pulled apart, repolishing stuff and just doing some deferred maintenance.

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    As you can see (maybe) it's all bitchin' old school silver metalflake, with the black accents painted on. Under the black, there is original red metalflake gel. We would like to do 1 of two things:

    1. Remove the paint only, buff out and clear the original gel.
    2. Sand the paint and repaint a different color, then buff and clear the whole thing.

    For 1, we have not been able to find a paint stripper that would not screw up the fiberglass and gel. Anybody know of any stripper that would work in this application?

    Right now we're leaning towards 2. However, even sanding the black risks screwing up the surrounding gel. Anybody have any recommendations on how to prevent that? I'm thinking of just masking around the black and sanding as I normally would, but the masking tape will undoubtedly get in the way of sanding and gum up the works, or just tear off immediately,.

    As you can probably tell, we are not paint and body people by any stretch. We just like the flake and would like to make it pop again without getting too crazy on the project. Really, we shouldn't do anything at all to the boat and just go skiing but like I said we're waiting a bit for the motor and just can't resist making it better while we can.
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  3. #2
    ptc
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    I just got finished sanding all the paint off of an old boat hull that somebody had sprayed over the gel with a primer underneath too! I used 220 grit on an orbital sander and it took all the paint, primer and everything off and left the gel underneath just perfect. As long as you dont start cutting into the fiberglass itself the gel colors will remain just fine.

    Then I did a 400 wet sand, a 600 wet sand and finally a 1000 grit wet sand (by hand) with soapy water and the gel finish popped back to life. We put a clear coat over that when it was finished. But you could just polish it at that point. Mine isnt a boat anymore... its a bar!

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    1975 Sanger True Flat - 496 BBC
    http://v-drivecalifornia.blogspot.com/

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    So you're saying we may be overthinking the sanding situation? That wouldn't be the first time that has happened!

    Just thought of another question- the rub rail is missing all around. I think that whole area is all within the painted part of the boat, so I could mix up some filler, patch the holes and delete it pretty easy. But in the case it's not that simple, (and I think what we were planning on doing anyway), I need to get some new rail. Who has the hot hookup for rub rail? Glenwood, Rex Marine, or maybe a non-marine supplier?
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    ptc
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    This guy has everything and is very helpful.

    RubRails.com - Your online source for rub rails, bilge supplies, boat cleaning supplies, and other boating accessories

    Mine had a rail too and was deleted. but you have to make that patch seaworthy and that patch will destroy your gel... you'll have to re-gel coat it or paint the edge cap.
    1975 Sanger True Flat - 496 BBC
    http://v-drivecalifornia.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptc View Post
    I just got finished sanding all the paint off of an old boat hull that somebody had sprayed over the gel with a primer underneath too! I used 220 grit on an orbital sander and it took all the paint, primer and everything off and left the gel underneath just perfect. As long as you dont start cutting into the fiberglass itself the gel colors will remain just fine.

    Then I did a 400 wet sand, a 600 wet sand and finally a 1000 grit wet sand (by hand) with soapy water and the gel finish popped back to life. We put a clear coat over that when it was finished. But you could just polish it at that point. Mine isnt a boat anymore... its a bar!

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    Wow!


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    Quote Originally Posted by 61 Sanger Ski Hydro View Post
    Hey all,

    We just picked up a little '73 D&D flatbottom last weekend, with the intention to just throw a motor in it and go water skiing. However, we are waiting on the motor and just can't resist doing a little bit of cosmetic work on the boat in the meantime. So now we have it off the trailer and pulled apart, repolishing stuff and just doing some deferred maintenance.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20140419_120437.jpg 
Views:	290 
Size:	26.3 KB 
ID:	518746Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20140419_120428.jpg 
Views:	169 
Size:	25.3 KB 
ID:	518754

    As you can see (maybe) it's all bitchin' old school silver metalflake, with the black accents painted on. Under the black, there is original red metalflake gel. We would like to do 1 of two things:

    1. Remove the paint only, buff out and clear the original gel.
    2. Sand the paint and repaint a different color, then buff and clear the whole thing.

    For 1, we have not been able to find a paint stripper that would not screw up the fiberglass and gel. Anybody know of any stripper that would work in this application?

    Right now we're leaning towards 2. However, even sanding the black risks screwing up the surrounding gel. Anybody have any recommendations on how to prevent that? I'm thinking of just masking around the black and sanding as I normally would, but the masking tape will undoubtedly get in the way of sanding and gum up the works, or just tear off immediately,.

    As you can probably tell, we are not paint and body people by any stretch. We just like the flake and would like to make it pop again without getting too crazy on the project. Really, we shouldn't do anything at all to the boat and just go skiing but like I said we're waiting a bit for the motor and just can't resist making it better while we can.
    I hear you on the "just throw a mortor in and go skiing"...........sadly, that would be damn near impossible. Your going to find a bunch of stuff that needs a little TLC to get her ready. If I was in your shoes, I'd be going over everything getting ready for your motor install. Check your v drive, all your through hull seals, bolts (make sure everything is sealed up), check your strut barrings, prop shaft packing, rudder packing etc...

    If you can live with the pait for this season, get geared up for next winter to do a pain job. Use a buffer for now and buff the hell out of it and make it pretty.

    Also now would be a good time to pull the wheels off the trailer and make sure everything is good in the hubs, Lights and bunks...

    Nice looking rig, hope you have fun with the ol girl!

  9. #7
    Senior Member flatwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptc View Post
    I just got finished sanding all the paint off of an old boat hull that somebody had sprayed over the gel with a primer underneath too! I used 220 grit on an orbital sander and it took all the paint, primer and everything off and left the gel underneath just perfect. As long as you dont start cutting into the fiberglass itself the gel colors will remain just fine.

    Then I did a 400 wet sand, a 600 wet sand and finally a 1000 grit wet sand (by hand) with soapy water and the gel finish popped back to life. We put a clear coat over that when it was finished. But you could just polish it at that point. Mine isnt a boat anymore... its a bar!

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	518802

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Wow x 2. I bet your arms are as soar as mine from all that sanding! good job, looks great man!

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatwater View Post
    I hear you on the "just throw a mortor in and go skiing"...........sadly, that would be damn near impossible. Your going to find a bunch of stuff that needs a little TLC to get her ready. If I was in your shoes, I'd be going over everything getting ready for your motor install. Check your v drive, all your through hull seals, bolts (make sure everything is sealed up), check your strut barrings, prop shaft packing, rudder packing etc...

    If you can live with the pait for this season, get geared up for next winter to do a pain job. Use a buffer for now and buff the hell out of it and make it pretty.

    Also now would be a good time to pull the wheels off the trailer and make sure everything is good in the hubs, Lights and bunks...

    Nice looking rig, hope you have fun with the ol girl!
    That's exactly what we're doing - great minds and all that. We wanted to just put in a motor and go but couldn't resist doing some work to it. Now it's mostly pulled apart, off the trailer. Everything is getting polished and cleaned up, seals and rigging are getting gone through. Trailer is getting painted, lights replaced and new bunks. Fortunately, the boat was actually on the lake last summer and is pretty much mechanically sound- we haven't found anything out of the ordinary for an old boat, and a lot that was better than expected.

    Paint wise, we don't want to paint it- really want to just save that metalflake gel that's on it. The goal is to make it as close to a zero BS boat as possible, and paint introduces a significant amount of BS. I want to walk on the deck with muddy feet or- god forbid- shoes, and not give a rat's a**. We have other boats that look pretty, this one is for using and fun. Plus the flake is cool
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    Quote Originally Posted by 61 Sanger Ski Hydro View Post
    That's exactly what we're doing - great minds and all that. We wanted to just put in a motor and go but couldn't resist doing some work to it. Now it's mostly pulled apart, off the trailer. Everything is getting polished and cleaned up, seals and rigging are getting gone through. Trailer is getting painted, lights replaced and new bunks. Fortunately, the boat was actually on the lake last summer and is pretty much mechanically sound- we haven't found anything out of the ordinary for an old boat, and a lot that was better than expected.

    Paint wise, we don't want to paint it- really want to just save that metalflake gel that's on it. The goal is to make it as close to a zero BS boat as possible, and paint introduces a significant amount of BS. I want to walk on the deck with muddy feet or- god forbid- shoes, and not give a rat's a**. We have other boats that look pretty, this one is for using and fun. Plus the flake is cool
    I agree, flake is always cool

    If your going to beat the sheat out of it (like I do with mine, as I always use the deck for a platform for putting my ski on, fishing, loading and unloading at the ramp etc) I'd just fix up what you have now. Wet sand 600, 800, 1000 then buff the hell out of it.

    What power are you going with?

    PS, at least rinse your feet off before walking on the deck!!!
    Last edited by flatwater; 04-22-2014 at 11:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flatwater View Post
    I agree, flake is always cool

    If your going to beat the sheat out of it (like I do with mine, as I always use the deck for a platform for putting my ski on, fishing, loading and unloading at the ramp etc) I'd just fix up what you have now. Wet sand 600, 800, 1000 then buff the hell out of it.

    What power are you going with?

    PS, at least rinse your feet off before walking on the deck!!!
    It has all the rigging for a BBC, and a buddy of ours is putting one together to go in his own boat eventually but wants to have us run it in this one for a while for whatever reason. Can't complain, free motor, right? Going to have quite a few good parts in it so the boat will probably boogie pretty good. When he wants his motor back, we're actually thinking small block, something to be as cheap to run gas wise as possible, and we have the parts to build a few of those just laying around. Maybe an SE legal motor just for kicks....
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    Looks like you are well on your way to having it all done.... the old school metal flake is just beautiful, thats why I wanted to resurrect it on mine too. I just couldnt believe someone painted all over the top of it, for no reason... I was waiting to find a big damaged spot someplace on the deck... but there was none... a couple wear marks on the dash edges but it adds "character"... to the boat!

    A good rubbing and yours will look great, and take all the wear and tear you want. enjoy!
    1975 Sanger True Flat - 496 BBC
    http://v-drivecalifornia.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by 61 Sanger Ski Hydro View Post
    It has all the rigging for a BBC, and a buddy of ours is putting one together to go in his own boat eventually but wants to have us run it in this one for a while for whatever reason. Can't complain, free motor, right? Going to have quite a few good parts in it so the boat will probably boogie pretty good. When he wants his motor back, we're actually thinking small block, something to be as cheap to run gas wise as possible, and we have the parts to build a few of those just laying around. Maybe an SE legal motor just for kicks....
    All your mounts, bell housing etc will bolt up to a small block as well as a big block. Your buddy just wants you to run it so you can tune it.......worth it for the engine for a season! Good for both of you.

    As for going with a small bock over a big block..... my theory is this:

    If you have a big boat with a big engine, your going to use a lot of gas.
    If you have a big boat with a small engine, your going to use more then if you had a big engine due to the engine working harder.

    If you have a small boat (like ours) and a big engine, your engine doen't work hard at all, resulting in great fuel milage.

    I have not put a small bock in to see what the differance would be. The engine would work harder then the big block, but I'm not sure how much. It would be interesting to see the differance it would have with the weight and the wake on water for skiing.

    If you could push 400-450hp out of a small block, with aluminum heads, it may just be a great ski machine.

    I like the big block in mine. Hard to beat the torque!

    I used to have a tournament type ski boat with a small bock 350 in it. I would burn $100 a day in fuel with no problem.

    I can't burn $100 in a day with my v drive. I usually run on the bottom 1/2 tanks to keep it light, and I figure I'll burn 15-25 bucks in fuel each time I take it out. That's about 8-10 runs up and down the lake. In my old boat, that would have been the whole tank!

    Good luck, and happy skiing! Love to see others taking advantage of these awesome ski boats!

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    Quote Originally Posted by flatwater View Post
    All your mounts, bell housing etc will bolt up to a small block as well as a big block. Your buddy just wants you to run it so you can tune it.......worth it for the engine for a season! Good for both of you.

    As for going with a small bock over a big block..... my theory is this:

    If you have a big boat with a big engine, your going to use a lot of gas.
    If you have a big boat with a small engine, your going to use more then if you had a big engine due to the engine working harder.

    If you have a small boat (like ours) and a big engine, your engine doen't work hard at all, resulting in great fuel milage.

    I have not put a small bock in to see what the differance would be. The engine would work harder then the big block, but I'm not sure how much. It would be interesting to see the differance it would have with the weight and the wake on water for skiing.

    If you could push 400-450hp out of a small block, with aluminum heads, it may just be a great ski machine.

    I like the big block in mine. Hard to beat the torque!

    I used to have a tournament type ski boat with a small bock 350 in it. I would burn $100 a day in fuel with no problem.

    I can't burn $100 in a day with my v drive. I usually run on the bottom 1/2 tanks to keep it light, and I figure I'll burn 15-25 bucks in fuel each time I take it out. That's about 8-10 runs up and down the lake. In my old boat, that would have been the whole tank!

    Good luck, and happy skiing! Love to see others taking advantage of these awesome ski boats!
    We're on the same page for sure. That's a good point about making the engine work hard. With such a small boat, neither engine is really being pushed, but that extra torque from the BB and the less throttle plate required might make up for the extra cubes- the difference in economy may very well be negligible. But that weight savings, especially with aluminum heads, is like taking one or two people out of the boat, which improves all sorts of things. HMMMMM. Decisions, decisions!

    I just picked up our v-drive cruiser from the upholstery shop this morning, and took it by my buddy's machine shop to show it off and give him a wink wink nudge nudge on getting the motor together- might have been enough to get them to setup the honing machine and do some boat work sooner than later. Good stuff!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 61 Sanger Ski Hydro View Post
    We're on the same page for sure. That's a good point about making the engine work hard. With such a small boat, neither engine is really being pushed, but that extra torque from the BB and the less throttle plate required might make up for the extra cubes- the difference in economy may very well be negligible. But that weight savings, especially with aluminum heads, is like taking one or two people out of the boat, which improves all sorts of things. HMMMMM. Decisions, decisions!

    I just picked up our v-drive cruiser from the upholstery shop this morning, and took it by my buddy's machine shop to show it off and give him a wink wink nudge nudge on getting the motor together- might have been enough to get them to setup the honing machine and do some boat work sooner than later. Good stuff!
    You do realize your going to need to post all your progress now don't you? I can't believe you havent posted more pic's of your new ride!!! com'on lets see some shots. Floors, stringers, rigging, bottom, don't be shy................

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