Peel-Away is a two-component system that removes multiple coats of antifouling paint from fiber­glass, wood, steel, aluminum. Manufactured by Dumond Chemicals, (1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036; Tel: (212) 869-6350), it contains no methyl­ene chloride and will not harm gelcoat. Itls available in two for­mulations: Peel-Away Marine Safety Strip for most applications and Peel-Away II for boats coated with an epoxy primer or barrier coat. The manufacturer recom­mends first doing a test patch when the coating type is unknown. It removes up to 10 coats, often in a single applica­tion.

Last spring we attended a demonstration conducted by Tom Pollock of Payne Distributors, the Canadian wholesaler. The test boat was an old steel hulk lay­ered with multiple coats of some unknown bottom paint. Applying Peel-Away is similar to wallpaper­ing. A non-sagging paste with a consistency like mayonnaise coats the bottom paint and then is cov­ered with strips of plastic-coated paper. The paper seals the paste and prevents evaporation.

Peel Away's only drawback is time. Depending on the thick­ness of paint and outside temper­ature, it takes 12 to 48 hours before you can remove the paper and scrape the surface. While it's more expensive than sandpaper or discs, it's a lot less strenuous and definitely less hazardous to your health. Albeit it's a relatively safe product (contains no sol­vents), you should wear protective clothing and gloves and work is a well-ventilated area.

Optimum working temperature is 15.5 C (60 F); below 7 C (45 F) the product becomes dormant.Cost to strip a 7.5m (25') boat using the standard Peel­Away product averages $250. Coverage is 40 to 50 square feet per 3.785L (1 US gallon). The list price of CDN$80/ US$50 per gallon includes strips of laminated cloth.

1.    Remove any flaking or peel­
ing paint with a wire brush.
Apply a thick coating of
paste, about .3cm to .5cm
(1/8" to 3/16"), with a
large brush. Work in .9 sq.m (3
sq. ft.) sections, covering all
traces of bottom paint. Protect
painted bootstripes with a sol­vent-
resistant striping tape.
2.    Cut laminated cloth into
small strips (especially on a
windy day) and cover paste
with the printed side facing
out. Lightly press surface
with hand or a roller. Trim
edges, allowing about .6cm
(1/4") overhang. Wait 12 to 48
hours, depending on the thick­
ness of the coating.
3.    Check a small area to test if
ready. Slide a large paint
scraper under the fabric and
ease paste, paint and cloth
away from the surface in
one piece. Scrape excess paste
with putty knife, being careful not
to scratch the hull.
4.    Remove all remaining
residue with water and a 3M
Scotch Brite pad. Do not let
the paste dry as it hardens
and will require sanding.
5.    A single application
removed all paint on our test