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Member Interest in a “Vacuum Sander System”?
February 24th, 2011 @ 11:25 AM EST by admin

from Geoff Hadrill

As the Environment Chair I am often out researching best practices for greener boating from around the North American boating world.

There is nothing nastier than the dirty process of old paint removal. In the case of bottom paint this is a toxic material designed to ‘poison’ living organisms – usually with copper. I have recently uncovered the details for the best environmental practice in the ugly task of prepping a boat’s hull for the application of bottom paint.

In my case I have an old ablative paint, Bottomkote XXX that looks and “tastes” like roofing asphalt. While many boaters use the elegant VC17, many of us are using other products requiring some sanding or total removal of the old coating before applying the new coat.

We have all seen the ‘coal miner’ look of a poor devil who has undertaken this annual spring task.. Despite coveralls and a mask I find this toxic dust in my ears, nose, mouth and on exposed skin. I admit I haven’t totally protected myself in the past. This year I will be wearing full hooded disposable coveralls.

With the use of a regular orbital sander, considerable dust migrates on the winds to other boats, the ground and into the ground water and onto to the lake water itself.

A better system involves using a portable “vacuum” orbital sander. The orbital sander head is simply attached to a “dedicated portable vacuum” much like your common wet/dry vacs.

I am soliciting interest from the membership in sourcing and purchasing a system by the club for free use or rent by members on a sign-up basis. Systems used by several US Marinas I have contacted who are required to use these systems cost $300-$600 each. To date I have not been able to source a local rental system but will keep looking.

If you are interested in protecting yourself, your fellow boaters and the lake when sanding down your “nasty” hull can you send me an email or call me so I can advise the Board of member interest. I know budgets are tight, the interest level and costing would be presented for due consideration. Also indicate what you might pay to rent a system and how long you would need to rent it for your boat work.

Geoff Hadrill
ghadrill@yahoo.ca
416-953-1974