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Wooden Boat Building and Restoration

Hull Stripped and Cleaned

Stripping the hull of paint, both inside and outside was pretty straight forward... but its a messy and smelly chore (do yourself a favor and wear a respirator if you do this chore yourself). I went to the local Menards store (a couple of times) and ended up buying a gallon and two quarts of paint stripper in total.

The bottom of the inside of the hull was originally finished with a factory applied application of olive green colored anti-skid paint. About 90% of it had worn away over the years and I stripped the last remnants of it, which all seemed to be adhered to the riveted areas of the hull, using a brass brush (if you do this yourself, don't use a steel brush because it will severely scratch the aluminum).

The outside was more involved because most of the paint was still there. The outside of the hull had been repainted over the years and there were traces of the original paint underneath that was revealed in the paint stripping process.

After completing the chore, and all the bare metal riveting was exposed, it was clear to see how well this boat has aged... all the riveting seems to be in very fine condition after 66 years of use.



After completing the messy and smelly chore of paint stripping, I brought the hull to the local self-service car wash and spent about two hours there cleaning it up. First I thoroughly washed it with a solution of baking soda and water to neutralize the paint stripper remnants... I want the hull to be completely clean of any paint stripper remnants so the new paint appropriately adheres to the hull.

Next I used high pressure soap and rinse and gave it a good washing.

Then I thoroughly dried the hull, inside and out in preparation for an application of aluminum cleaner. I purchased a gallon of Mac's Aluminum Brightener at the local NAPA Auto Parts store to use for removing the heavy aluminum oxidation that has developed on the hull over the years. I filled a two-gallon tank sprayer with it and sprayed down the exterior of the hull, gave it a good brushing and then rinsed it of. I flipped the boat over and did the same to the inside.

Last, I gave it a final washing with high pressure soap and rinse. Quite an improvement... now the hull is ready for new paint, polish, and buffing.