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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Guys, I'm trying to get started doing boat bottoms exclusively.
I've worked thirty years in boat yards its what I know best. This will of course be a low budget start up(like I said,30 years in boat yards) .My thoughts are to just use crushed glass and rent my air(185) to start out .I guess what I'm looking for is advise on a pot, I see that one of the guys in my area uses a 1.5 Schmidt he's been doing it for years. There are so many options, any advise would be appreciated. Thanks in advance
 

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Bob
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Me too, all I do anymore is boats. You planning to blast with dry media? A 185 can handle a large nozzle that will empty a small pot like that 1.5 in a heartbeat. You'll spend as much time filling the pot as you spend blasting. I dislike shooting boats dry, too easy to screw up those fancy fiberglass yacht hulls IMO though Dyer up in Maine does it all the time. Stripping bottom paint with a wet blast system like a Farrow or Geo is the way to go IMO but if you are on a tight budget a water injection nozzle on a conventional dry blast set-up will provide similar results though not nearly as fast and efficient as a dedicated slurry system. The only time I shoot boats dry is when I'm profiling new or uncoated metal boats for paint prep.
 

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Bob
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You'll have a mix of wet grit and stripped paint directly under the boat which, depending on how you do it, can be easier than dealing with dry, dusty stuff. I like to put down a layer of visqueen plastic to catch the wet drop-off. Clean-up consists of cutting the plastic up into roughly 8' x 8' chunks and folding them up capturing the damp grit & paint into a manageable package that can be tossed in a dumpster or haz mat bin depending on the local rules.

Big benefit of stripping anti-foul paints IMO with a wet system is much better visibility while you are working due to elimination of the dust cloud plus the boatyards hate the airborne paint flying around the yard with anything less than perfect containment when shooting dry. Its really a different blast environment when shooting slurry, pressures are lower, the blast pattern is wider and control over what and how much you are removing is much improved and its fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advise, I will look into it. can you give a sense of how much water it takes to do say a 30 foot boat. Power washing they say, takes a gallon of water per foot of boat, is it about the same?
 

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Bob
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Depends on how wet you adjust machine to. From barely damp to very wet is the range, if removing years of built-up hard antifoul paint I shoot wet to get the wash-off effect so I can see the layers come off and know when I'm at the gelcoat. If I'm doing a light brush blast to scrub off some dead ablative but its not a total strip then I back off on the moisture. In the summer the grit on the ground evaps pretty fast which helps too . . . no run-off which the yards are also touchy about.
 

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Trial and Error Opperator
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I blast boats dry all the time
The cold weather and timing of the boats going in and out gets tricky to do with water.

Just as a note, I have a win nozzle and have done some boats with water but I prefer dry

There's a trick to building a tent around it but after a few times ya learn what to do snd whatnot to do, yes it takes practice at blasting wet or dry

When I start a boat with glass or soda I always start with less grit and psi, turn them up till I get it were I like.

Many types of boat paint out then no to alike.

Big thing I tell the customers is that I can't guaranty that it will look bran new because I don't know if it's been in a shop before, and if someone else may have ground in spots to much befor Cya - cover your a$$

Go with the old Boy Scout moto
I'll do the best I can
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys,I watched some of the wet video, it looked impressive but I think I would run into trouble at yards in my state with new power washing regs Im leaning towards dry. I can see where the tent building may take a few, I've been watching the guys do it in my yard and taking notes. I'm thinking of getting a Schmidt 3.5 any thoughts on it?
 

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A lot of guys getting into blasting boat bottoms as of late.

Prices are half of what they were last season and I had one guy doing boats here in New Jersey for 1/3 the going rate.

No money in boats anymore... market is saturated with cheap blasters.
 

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Trial and Error Opperator
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I agree with everyone jumping to do boats now,
I have had many boat yards doing there own blasting. Cheep labor money kept in the yard of the boat, I say they can have it.
Still got my reg customers that know the value of my work and they now I give a good competitive price, but in the end I have to make a living.

I get calls this time of year for me to drop everything I'm doing want me squeeze them in so they can get on the water before the Holliday.
Ya I'll drop the 6 guys that called a year ago with appointments, to do the guy that I just meet..,
😝 that's funny
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I let some fly by night guy into the boatyard one time, what a mess! I swore I would only let the two pros in my area in the yard ever again. better to pay more than have to clean ten boats.. I say, if you keep the quality high then keep the price where it needs to be , don't lower it for anyone
 

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No money in doing boats in the northeast anymore . Guys doing it as side work have destroyed the market .Boat owner are the toughest people to work with they all want it for nothing .We are seeing people around here doing it for as little as 15 $ ft for a 40 ft boat .Crazy never make money that way .
 

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Boat ---->
B-reak O-ut A-nother T-housand

I think most people are more in love with the idea of owning a boat than actually owning one.
 

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No money in doing boats in the northeast anymore . Guys doing it as side work have destroyed the market .Boat owner are the toughest people to work with they all want it for nothing .We are seeing people around here doing it for as little as 15 $ ft for a 40 ft boat .Crazy never make money that way .
Same here in New Jersey... guys go out and buy a Dustless Blaster because they saw the video on how easy it is to use and make money.

These guys then sell the blasting service for 1/4 of what it's worth just to generate some business to try and pay for the blasting package that Dustless Blaster just sold them.

In 8 months most of these guys are out of business, broke and trying to sell their machines but by then the boat blasting market is already destroyed because of these ridiculous low prices these guys were quoting customers when they were trying to start their businesses.
 
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