It took me several hours over two days to get our 27' LibertyAnn off the trailer onto stands, but here she is, ready for sanding and new bottom paint. We've had her for two partial seasons and one full season. After last year's full season in the water, she's really ready for new bottom paint, there was stuff growing on her, especially around the swim platform. The pvc frame on top is to support the winter cover.

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I'm an avid do it youselfer, but i will tell you, just pay to have it soda blasted. It will be the best $1,000 you spend.

After trying a belt sander for about 30 minutes, I'm inclined to agree. Can you say "dust EVERYWHERE"? But before that, a guy near me has a DIY soda blaster on craigslist for $70. Can't hurt to try it.

Just be careful - I think damage can be done if someone doesn't know what they're doing with a soda blaster.  I had mine done this off-season and paid $40/ft (that includes prep, clean-up, etc).  They did an awesome job, and now that she's got a new barrier coat, signal coat, and couple coats of ablative, she's smoooooooth.  I figure I'll gain about .5 knot in cruising speed this season!  I think I'll enjoy life at 17.5 knots!

Do you have a big compressor? Those blasters use a Yuge amount of air.

Jim Frens said:

After trying a belt sander for about 30 minutes, I'm inclined to agree. Can you say "dust EVERYWHERE"? But before that, a guy near me has a DIY soda blaster on craigslist for $70. Can't hurt to try it.

Are you taking it down to the gel coat?

When I sanded my Commander last to prep it for new paint (light sanding) I wetted the paint then sanded, rinse and repeat. No dust, way less mess, surprisingly didn't kill the sander. That little $50 random orbital has seen some serious abuse and is still going.

I have a compressor big enough to run a nail gun, not sure if that's enough. I only plan to take it down to the white layer under the blue bottom paint, which I believe is a barrier paint. My goal is to smooth out the finish, not necessarily to get down to original gel coat. I think the new paint I purchased (Pettit Hydrocoat) can go over anything, but I want a smoother surface than what it was.

If you don't have flaking, which it doesn't look like you do, the wet method i mentioned above will work to smooth things out. A belt sander would not be my first choice.


This is what I have, been through a couple boats, whole kitchen and a host of other small projects. Infact I'm going to use it on my railings now. Harbor freight has them too, I'm sure cheaper.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Bosch-2-5-Amp-Orbital-Sander/3735191
If I remember right hydro coat won't go over soft paints, or teflon. Normal ablatives and hard paints should be fine.

I put it on my Catalina, I liked it, though we have low fouling waters here.
Jim how hard was it to get on stands? Before I launch next year I plan on sanding my bottom to the gelcoat and then apply a few layers of barrier coat and then bottom paint.

I didn't take the trailer all the way out from under the boat, but rather moved it around and painted in sections. Worked well.



Steve said:

Jim how hard was it to get on stands? Before I launch next year I plan on sanding my bottom to the gelcoat and then apply a few layers of barrier coat and then bottom paint.

Steve,

It would have been easier if I had bigger bottle jacks. I have one 3 ton and three 2 ton jacks, they were from a house project. Before I put it back on the trailer I will get at least one more 3 ton jack, probably two if they're not too expensive. The basic problem is getting around the two axles and two cross members. That and crawling around on the driveway to move the blocks. So it's not physically hard, it's just tedious. I thought about working around the trailer like Mike did, but decided it would be worth it to not have it in the way.

Mike, is that your 31 on a 2-axle trailer? 

No, that was my 280 Catalina. I tried putting my 31 on that trailer but the rollers were right where the shafts came out so I couldn't get the boat far enough forward for my liking. Plus it was just was too heavy for that trailer. It was only a 10,000lb GVW trailer, minus the almost 2,000lbs for the trailer itself and it was just not up to the task. I've toyed with the idea of building a trailer for it, either a triple with 5-6K axles or a tandem with 8K axles. But it's a lot less hastle to have the trucking co haul it, be nice to be able to move it while it's here though.

Jim Frens said:

Steve,

It would have been easier if I had bigger bottle jacks. I have one 3 ton and three 2 ton jacks, they were from a house project. Before I put it back on the trailer I will get at least one more 3 ton jack, probably two if they're not too expensive. The basic problem is getting around the two axles and two cross members. That and crawling around on the driveway to move the blocks. So it's not physically hard, it's just tedious. I thought about working around the trailer like Mike did, but decided it would be worth it to not have it in the way.

Mike, is that your 31 on a 2-axle trailer? 

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