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In response to a post from a fellow Columbia 24 owner on Columbia Yacht Owners Association, here are a few photos I took back in July, 2011…

This is what I started with! I bought the sailboat for $800 without a survey and based on my own 20+ years of knowledge of these boats.
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I half expected Bootstrap Bill to peel himself out of the growth and announce himself!

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Then we power washed as much of the growth as possible… Which took about 45 minutes!

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Here she is, cleaned down to reveal layer after layer of old bottom paint. Pitted, peeling, and oh so rough, doing a simple bottom job wouldn’t be wise. So, I decided on doing the soda blasting project. I wish you could see it, but the buildup of that paint, paint-over-the-old-stuff bottom job after bottom job was thick — thicker than a nickel in most places.

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A couple of days later, the soda blasting team arrived and started prepping everything. Even though soda isn’t an issue, the ancient anti fouling paint certainly was…what chemicals did they use in the ’60s, the ’70s, or in the ’80s? Something nasty called TBT… If you have ancient bottom paint, safely get it off and start fresh.

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Here is Advanced Restoration’s Mobile Paint Stripping and Restoration setup. And for SEO, their website is GotBlasted.com and if you are in Southern California, you can call them at (619) 286-3300.

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Okay, one last look at the “before.”

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About four hours later, after they finished and cleaned up the work area of drop cloths and swept up and bagged – their estimate – 800 pounds of blasted baking soda and pulverized paint.

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A few close ups of the hull…

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Then we started applying three coats of Interlux 2000e epoxy barrier coat; alternating between white and gray.

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Here is what it looked like when all done. Three coats of epoxy paint and two layers of Interlux Ultra anti fouling paint; fresh zinc and the three bladed bronze prop (which Advanced Restoration also soda blasted clean and shiny).

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All done! No longer a drifting sponge, she’s a sailboat once again!!!

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Heading back to her element…

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And ever so delicately, she gets splashed!

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Some final thoughts a year later: I hire a diver to clean the hill every month and they report that the bottom looks great.

As a side note, the day it went back into the water I obviously went sailing! And equally as obvious there was a vast improvement in performance…so much so that in my exuberance, I popped the starboard upper shroud! Well, I didn’t loose the mast as I tacked as I had sea room and I was able use a spare halyard to support the deck-stepped mast. I lowered sail and motored back to the dock. I’ll keep you informed as the third phase of this restoration project takes off this fall: Dropping the mast and replacing all standing rigging; adding fore and aft lower shrouds; moving all chainplates to the hull and removing the through-deck fittings; new sails, et cetera, et cetera…

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