Removing bottom paint from a boat can be a big project, but don’t worry, with a little bit of information and some help from experts, it can be a breeze.
On average, the cost can range from $5 to $15 per square foot for a DIY project using sandpaper or a chemical stripper, to $15 to $30 per square foot for professional services using a high-pressure washer or a specialized paint removal tool.
For example, removing bottom paint from a 25-foot sailboat could cost anywhere from $1,250 to $7,500, depending on whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional.
The cost of removing bottom paint from a boat can vary widely depending on several factors such as the size of the boat, location, and the type of paint being removed.
Removing bottom paint is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and hiring a professional may be a more cost-effective option in the long run.
Here is a list of elements included in the overall cost of removing bottom paint from a boat, along with their estimated costs:
- Paint stripper – $20 to $50 per gallon
- Sandpaper or abrasive pads – $20 to $50 per pack
- High-pressure washer rental – $50 to $150 per day
- Paint removal tool rental – $100 to $300 per day
- Protective gear (gloves, goggles, etc.) – $20 to $50 per set
- Disposal of hazardous waste (paint stripper) – $50 to $100 per container
- Labor – $20 to $60 per hour
Same costs in a table format:
|Labor||$20 to $60 per hour|
|Paint stripper||$20 to $50 per gallon|
|Sandpaper or abrasive pads||$20 to $50 per pack|
|High-pressure washer rental||$50 to $150 per day|
|Paint removal tool rental||$100 to $300 per day|
|Protective gear (gloves, goggles, etc.)||$20 to $50 per set|
|Disposal of hazardous waste (paint stripper)||$50 to $100 per container|
Please note that these costs are estimated and can vary depending on your location and the specific requirements of your project.
Material of the boat
The material of the boat is a big factor determining the cost. It can impact the cost because some materials are more difficult to work with than others.
For example, removing paint from a wooden boat typically requires more labor and is more time-consuming than removing paint from a fiberglass or aluminum boat. This is because the surface of a wooden boat is more porous and irregular, which can make it harder to remove paint and can result in a longer and more complicated process.
Type of paint
For example, hard antifouling paint is more difficult to remove than soft antifouling paint. This is because hard antifouling paint has a harder surface which is more resistant to paint strippers, which can make it more time-consuming and difficult to remove.
Additionally, ablative antifouling paint, which is designed to gradually wear away over time, can also be more difficult to remove than other types of antifouling paint because it may have soaked into the surface of the boat, making it more difficult to remove.
Number of paint layers
Another factor that can impact the cost is the number of layers of paint that need to be removed. The more layers of paint, the longer the process will take, which can result in a higher cost.
Age of the paint
If the paint has been on the boat for a long time, it may be more difficult to remove, which can also result in a higher cost. Additionally, if the paint has been on the boat for a long time, it may have degraded or become contaminated with other materials, which can make it more difficult to remove and can increase the cost as well.
The location of the paint on the boat can also impact the cost. If the paint is located in hard-to-reach areas or in tight spaces, it may be more difficult to remove, which can increase the cost.
Labor and Equipment Costs
The cost of labor and equipment can also impact the overall cost. The cost of labor will depend on the location, experience, and skill level of the workers, and the cost of equipment will depend on the type and quality of the tools and materials used.
Here are 10 examples of approximate costs for removing bottom paint based on the size of the boat and the type of paint being removed:
|Boat Size||Type of Paint||Approximate Cost|
|20-foot fiberglass sailboat||Single layer of hard antifouling paint||$800 to $1,200|
|25-foot aluminum fishing boat||Multiple layers of soft antifouling paint||$1,500 to $2,500|
|30-foot powerboat||Single layer of ablative antifouling paint||$1,500 to $2,500|
|35-foot steel sailboat||Multiple layers of hard antifouling paint||$2,500 to $3,500|
|40-foot wooden sailboat||Single layer of ablative antifouling paint||$2,500 to $3,500|
|45-foot fiberglass powerboat||Multiple layers of soft antifouling paint||$3,500 to $5,000|
|50-foot aluminum catamaran||Single layer of hard antifouling paint||$3,500 to $5,000|
|55-foot steel motor yacht||Multiple layers of ablative antifouling paint||$5,000 to $7,500|
|60-foot fiberglass powerboat||Single layer of soft antifouling paint||$5,000 to $7,500|
|65-foot wooden motor yacht||Multiple layers of hard antifouling paint||$7,500 to $10,000|
How do number of layers and the age of the paint affect the cost?
Here are five examples of the approximate cost of removing bottom paint based on the number of paint layers and the age of the paint:
- 1 layer of paint, less than 2 years old: $500-$800
- 2 layers of paint, 2-5 years old: $800-$1,200
- 3 layers of paint, 5-10 years old: $1,200-$1,500
- 4 layers of paint, over 10 years old: $1,500-$2,000
- 5 or more layers of paint, over 15y old: $2,000-$3,000
This list provides rough estimates for the cost of removing bottom paint based on the number of paint layers and the age of the paint. It shows that the cost can increase as the number of paint layers and the age of the paint increase. These are just general estimates and actual costs can vary based on several factors.
The best method for removing old bottom paint depends on the type and age of the paint, as well as the material of the boat. Common methods include sandblasting, chemical stripping, and mechanical scraping.
To lift the bottom of a boat to paint, the boat must be removed from the water and placed onto a trailer or a boat lift. Once the boat is out of the water, the bottom of the boat can be sanded and painted.
Pressure washing can be effective in removing some types of bottom paint, but it is not suitable for removing all types of paint and can cause damage if not done correctly. Pressure washing is not suitable for removing paint in situations where the paint is old, contains hazardous materials, is too thick, or the boat material is delicate. In these cases, a professional should be consulted to determine the best removal method.