Sanding

Since I have some vacation days to burn and I am getting my butt whipped racing, I figured I would take a day to sand the bottom of my boat and make it faster. What is the recommended sand paper to use on the bottom of my boat? I went to Lowe's and the finest I could find was 600 and I doubt that is fine enough. What are other folks using and where are you getting it?

Comments

You should first power wash the bottom before sanding.

You should first power wash the bottom before sanding. I have always used 400 wet sandpaper. I would think that 600 would work just as well.

Hard to say what you should use without more details.

Hard to say what you should use without more details. In other boats I have had that were bottom painted I would start with 400 and progress all the way to 1500. This would take a year or more and end when the bottom paint was shot. Always used wet or dry paper and sanded wet, I get it from the local hardware store. If your boats bottom is gelcoat (no paint) in good condition I doubt you will notice much difference in speed when you are through sanding. I would guess the speed culprit lies somewhere else. My Scot is older (812) with a gelcoat bottom that is not great, I sanded it with 1000 grit. I dont really think my straight line speed is that bad. I havent had the boat long so my learning curve will make the biggest difference along with good sails. Good luck.

You can find finer grits at better hardware stores, or at auto p

You can find finer grits at better hardware stores, or at auto parts stores. Look in the paint aisle.

I sanded the bottom of FS2552 a couple of years ago.

I sanded the bottom of FS2552 a couple of years ago. It was pretty rough because a variety of clear finish had been put on it over the years. I started with 400grit, then 600,1000, 1500, all wet sanding. I finished up with 3M polishing compound that was equivalent to 1800 grit, and Starbright polish to protect it all. The last two were applied with a Black and Decker 9" buffer. I bought all of the materials, except the buffer, at West Marine. They have some good quality materials, and it is worth the price. I used a sanding block made of rubber by 3M to hold the abrasive cloth. The block provides a nice flat surface. Keep the cloth and bottom wet while working. I also hosed it all off between grits to keep it all clean. Stroke the block in the direction of water flow, stem to stern, and keep the pressure fairly light to moderate. To keep track of how well or thoroughly you are sanding the bottom, I was given a tip to use pencil marks before starting. Simply make light squiggly marks 6-12" apart all along the bottom and perpendicular to the direction you are sanding. As you sand, the marks will dissapear, and you will have a good idea of how well you have sanded the area. After completing the job I had a thorough appreciation of just how big the bottom of this boat really is! The upside is in the 5yrs since completing the job all I've had to do is a power polishing once a year to keep the bottom smooth and slick. It is worth the effort!

Oops! Just noticed that I'm three months late to help you out! H

Oops! Just noticed that I'm three months late to help you out! Hope someone else gets inspired!