Tercoo Rotating Blaster
Wand'ring Bark is out of the water and undergoing her periodic bottom blacking. This time I have decided to have a go myself but my snag is in the preparation - how to do it?
Tercoo - straight out of the box
The previous boatyard blackings have involved a couple of coats of bitumastic after pressure washing, but no matter how clean it is the new coats don't seem to stick very well. My guess is that it needs taking back to the steel but grit blasting is costly and I wanted a DIY alternative. I considered all the options but none seemed to hit the spot - till I came across the Tercoo Rotating Blaster.
Ready to go
This product is a rubber disc with 12 hard metal studs embedded in it. This fits in standard electric drill which runs at between 1500 and 3000 rpm (4000rpm max) and delivers a hammering action which strips off bitumen, paint, rust and body filler - taking it back to bare steel with a bit of practice.
Having pressure washed the hull, I wanted to clean off the rusty waterline. With this achieved it seemed sensible to strip off all the remaining bitumen so I set to with my two disc Tercoo blaster. I tackled a metre at a time, working down the hull in rhythmic sweeps and after a couple of hours I had the hull clean and with a good key for re coating. With a bit more effort its possible to bring it all to bright steel but that wasn't necessary on this occasion.
Two hours later - and one boat cleaned
The main thing is go gently and not to press too hard. The flat areas are ok but working into the corners and around the old anodes can be a problem. Its easy to slip and the studs get knocked off. By the time I finished I had lost about a third but it was still functioning and delivering the goods.
Close up of those lost teeth
Its a dirty job, and goggles and gloves are a must. Judging by the filth on my face I would suggest that a face mask would be a good idea too.
This is an invaluable consumable item. Don't expect it to last much beyond a single boat stripping, mine dealt with a 42 footer before I worked into the corners and did damage, but with care it would easily cover something much longer. My two disc model cost £40 plus £5 p&p but single and triple disc versions are available for the DIY market (£30 and £50 respectively).
The Dutch manufacturers claim its as good as sand blasting. I'm not sure it lives up to this claim but its probably the next best thing.
The Tercoo Rotating Blaster is available from Peter Coupland at Canal Cruisers .Com: