Preparing a hull for painting can be one of a boater’s toughest jobs—that’s why many marinas or boatyards usually end up doing the work. But traditional powerwashing is not effective against removing bilge-oil film, old paint and blisters—and rougher methods like sanding and chemical treatments can destroy the boat’s thin gelcoat. Blasting the surface with a high-power stream of bicarbonate of soda, the same material that soothes an upset stomach, removes multiple layers of old paint and opens up blisters for repair—in 1/10th of the time.
Employing the same technology used to restore old cars and remove graffiti, sodablasting directs a high pressure (75 to 150 psi) stream of soda and air at the hull. The machines are supplied by SodaBlast Systems LLC to trained operators and private contractors, who easily trailer the units to the job site and move the machine among individual boats. Simple plastic tenting around the boat contains the removed paint and dust, which is then easily collected and discarded.
An added benefit of sodablasting is its ability to expose hidden problems, especially blisters that have been covered by multiple layers of paint. Boat surveyors, working on behalf of prospective boat buyers, rely on Sodablasting to pinpoint problems that could otherwise be overlooked.
For sailors and high-performance boat owners who dislike speed-robbing bottom paint, sodablasting will completely remove all existing paint from the gelcoat in preparation for a final surface buffing. And for new boats, sodablasting removes the shine from the gelcoat before the bottom is painted for the first time.
Cost Effective Hull Prep
SodaBlasting reveals blisters and other hull damage hidden under paint. This can save potential boat buyers thousands of dollars in repairs.
Removing multiple coats of bottom paint by SodaBlasting quickly exposes blisters, without damaging the surrounding gelcoat.
Sodablasting can safely and effectively remove multiple layers of bottom paint and prepare blisters for repair at lower costs than any conventional method.
Antifouling paint suppliers appreciate sodablasting’s ability to properly prepare the hull for a blister-protecting barrier coat. Often overlooked or improperly done, preparing the surface for a barrier coat is an extremely important step that ensures proper adhesion of subsequent antifoul coatings. In this procedure, the sodablasting machine’s pressure is decreased, which allows the gelcoat to be gently etched without damaging the hull. This allows the barrier coat to firmly bond to the surface of the gelcoat.
To remove existing blisters by conventional methods, hundreds of man-hours are often necessary. Sodablasting can safely and effectively remove 500 blisters and feather the edges for repair in only a few hours. In severe cases of blistering, the entire hull of a 36-foot boat can be simply and safely sodablasted in half a day or less. Sodablasting can safely and effectively remove multiple layers of bottom paint and prepare blisters for repair at lower costs than any conventional method.
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