Basics of caring for fiberglass boats

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by pawsplus, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    A search on "Removing Paint Protection Film" will provide lots of hints - basically just peel off, perhaps aided by some heat.

    For the packing film, I'd try a plastic scraper, with some help from a hair dryer or heat gun.

    Something like the 'plastic razor blades' that are sold at autobody places or LeeValley will work:
    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=53612&cat=1,43456,43407,53612

    I've used a sharpened piece of plexiglass to scrape foam padding from under kayak decks, so you could try something like that - though I think you could scratch gelcoat with a plexi scraper if you were too aggressive.

    There are also 'erasers' that are made for taking off vinyl logos and tape/adhesives- the 'real thing' is very expensive: Vinyl Zapper. My local sign guy who makes logos for me mentioned it. A search will bring up some nifty videos of the tool at work.
    I saw a knockoff at Princess Auto a few months ago. A local sign place might have one and be willing to use it on your boat (for a price).
    I'd try to get the majority of the tape off the boat before using any solvents. I think the only ones I use that aren't on Dave's list are naptha (lighter fluid or Coleman fuel) and contact cement cleaner. Probably the basement is not the best place to use solvents, especially if you have pilot lights in your gas appliances.
     
  2. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    This video shows how to 'sharpen' a plastic chisel for removing film:


    Those 'film removal' videos show that the film can break down and perhaps cause more problems than one would think.......
    Gelcoat can be polished, so perhaps we don't need that film!
     
  3. Tangler

    Tangler Paddler

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    In the dim and hazy vaults of my memory I seem to remember furniture covered in transparent plastic. You could see the pristine fabric underneath but you had to sit on the plastic cover...
    While the undeniable joys of a shiny new kayak may overlap with the joys of kayaking they are (imho) not the same and the joys of kayaking can be accessed with a beaten up boat and diminished by worrying about scratching a new one.
     
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  4. semdoug

    semdoug Paddler

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    The Findtape helicopter tape does not have to be permanent.
    If you are asking only about removing packing tape (the clear tape used for closing mailing or moving boxes that is sold everywhere) or the Findtape.com helicopter tape I mentioned previously, the above recommendations are overcomplicating the issue. Just peel it off by best means, using light heat if needed. Depending on tape and its age it is sometimes best to peel it back on itself or pull straight up, experiment. Scraping for this type of tape typically is not necessary. Chase the tape scum with a paper towel and Goo Gone or Goof Off and a little diligence. Works well and no need for dangerous chemicals and potential damage to gelcoat from scrapers. Keep it simple
     
  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Agree with semdoug's approach.

    Chasing down residual adhesive is where I think you may need some help. GooGone and Goof Off are both OK. Google up their SDS info for descriptions of their contents. Based on its SDS, GooGone appears to have very low toxicity. I would have to research Goof Off's components to assess its toxicity.

    John mentioned naphtha as a good choice. Coleman fuel is inferior to lighter fluid, in my experience. Coleman fuel is not as refined ... its odor is obnoxious, compared to lighter fluid. Naphtha usually refers to a mix of hydrocarbons, which should be relatively odorless, but the label is often applied to materials based on naphtha which contain minor quantities of other petroleum products. I think that is the reason Coleman fuel is so smelly. Caveat: I do not know how Coleman fuel sourced in Canada differs from stuff sourced in the US. Should be the same.
     
  6. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Yup! Every scratch and ding tells a story of adventure (see 2:05 of this video):

     
  7. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I actually use lighter fluid in the shop in the rare occasion I need it- usually working on a guitar not a boat- not Coleman fuel/MSR stove fuel.
    So just 'Delete' that Coleman suggestion!
    :)
     
  8. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    It depends on how long the tape/film has been on the boat, and whether it's been in the sun a lot. I recently had to remove some logos (which were printed on clear 'tape') from a kayak which had been stored outside for 'several' :) years. It was a struggle, needing 'every trick in the book' before I was finished.
    mini-DSCN5557.JPG
    mini-DSCN5558.JPG
     
  9. dc9mm

    dc9mm New Member

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  10. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    I like the sound of that Klasse stuff! Does anyone else have experience with that?
     
  11. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I do not. Acrylics are pretty tough, though. Not as tough as polyurethanes, but polyurethanes cannot be removed with acetone. The latter piqued my interest because anything you put on there will eventually have to be renewed. Gel coat is tedious to renew, and demands some close color matching. A clear, nonyellowing coating that can be removed after a long period of servicd is good.

    I researched the Klasse site and could not find specs or SDS info, so I gave up.
     
  12. semdoug

    semdoug Paddler

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    Here are a few photos of Findtape.com 8mil helicopter tape applied on two different colored boats.
     

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