Bottom stripping sounds like a lot more fun if it doesn't involve boats, which is why so many maintenance discussions on this topic eventually digress into lighthearted wordplay. Doug Logan has set a new standard for this with his post Bottom Stripping Basics, which recently went live over on WaterBlogged. I can't remember the last time I read a boating how-to article that started off with a staged marital dispute.

boat bottom with seaweed

Bottom paint is supposed to prevent seaweed from adhering, but once it gets tired nature latches on. Photo: Doug Logan


The reality is, if your (boat's) bottom needs stripping, you're going to be actively looking for ways to put off the ghastly project. And if that leads you to ribald jokes or spouse-icide, so be it.

Like many boat owners, I am (as Doug so wisely puts it) "always somewhere between a new, smooth coat of paint and the misery of a strip-job." I'm not usually a procrastinator, but every spring for the past seven years I've run my eyes over the patches of bottom paint flaking off our boat and come to the same denial/conclusion: "It's not that bad... I'll wait till next year." After all, it's not like she's a race boat. And a fresh coat of paint will keep the old stuff in place, right?

Denial is hardest, I find, when the paint roller pulls off the paint it's supposed to be covering, leaving behind a dry bare patch of exposed hull. But by then the launch data is set, usually for the next day, and it's too late to fix it properly. Sighing, I cover up the offending bare hull as best I can and promise to do better next year.

I'd like to tell you that Bottom Stripping Basics has inspired me to attack this painful project at last. Instead, I'll share the truth: I've already chosen my spring projects for 2014, and once again, bottom stripping has not made the list. So now I'm going to go read Bottom Paint Basics instead. Maybe there's a less sticky type of paint that won't pull so much of the old stuff off with the roller, this year...

Got a bottom stripping/painting story? Share it in the comments below, if only to put off the pain of stripping.