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Old 08-23-2017, 12:15 PM   #21
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Shipyards and some boatyards now use pressurized water to blast. Depending on what model they use, some come with a pump unit about the size of a portable generator. No idea what they charge, but that would remove the coating w/o damaging the deck. On steel, the finish is similar to sand blasting, no rust or even surface rust.
When I striped my decks, I use a 36 grit, 4" belt on a Harbor Freight sander. I get the belts here: Klingspor's Woodworking Shop | Quality Tools and Supplies for the Woodworker. A good place for sanding and finishing stuff.
I adapt a vacuum hose where the dust bag attaches. Keeps the CG and dock masters happy. Also keeps the sander from plugging.
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:28 PM   #22
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I could argue to paint the aluminum and put one of the teak look-a-like flooring treatments down.

Aluminum makes a lousy floor. You can paint and put a non skid in, but can be tricky.
To paint, one must clean very well, etch and alodyne and use a good quality poly urethane paint. Just like we do in the aircraft world and with a flooring over it should last a long time.

I'm doing a teak project right now, also an aluminum painting job, but unrelated.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:54 AM   #23
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I would be tempted to talk with some of the suppliers of pickup bed coating materials as well as industrial nonskid people. Also with such a large doing it in discontinuos sections would keep the work manageable. The aluminum challenge always seems to be getting the proper primer down before the surface is contaminated or oxidizes.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:36 PM   #24
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You can explore the non skid paints and coatings, which are quite common. I don't like them because they seem to "gritty" at times. We use them for aircraft wing walk, which is fine for a small area.

Interlux does make on that could be used for boats.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:58 PM   #25
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Thank you for all the input. The paint is probably the best solution after some kind of blasting. I tossed the old, bent danforth that was chocked to the deck and ground off and polished where they were, it took ages to cut, grind and smooth the are but so far I don't think the finish is any use for bare feet. The jury is still out.

I'm contemplating renting a compressor, gun and a sack of sand and go anchor somewhere and blast it.
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Old 08-25-2017, 05:10 PM   #26
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I just went out and looked at my alum disc and Zirconium is the rock of choice. I would clog up a regular disc in 2 feet. I switched to these and you can use them for days with out the loading up on the grit. I have been using the epoxy with the powder dusted in and it works good, but stinky and 4 coats min prep. gs
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:51 AM   #27
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Go with the KIWI GRIP , its water based, but dont be fooled it works great and has a long life, looks like a manufacturers finish even applied by a novice, but yes you will need to apply an epoxy primer first, have seen this applied on Aluminium decks 10 years ago and still looks new,

KiwiGrip | Application Instructions
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:01 AM   #28
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I recently stripped and painted my deck, I used a 4" belt sander and 40 grit, with a jury rigged broom handle attached, which saved my knees from being destroyed and made the job go a lot faster, I fastened a foot long strip of alloy between the lower part of the broom handle and the sander which added strength and more directional stability, worked pretty good and I had some control over the pattern it made, ending up with a cross hatching effect, painting it however was a pain, so in the end I put down cork panels shaped to fit, expensive but looks good and will outlast a paint job.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:13 PM   #29
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Cork panels? You guys are full of great ideas, I like the belt sander idea although I loaned mine to a friend and it might be trash by now!
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:15 PM   #30
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Have you looked at soda blasting, much less damaging on the surface than shot blasting which can leave the shot embedded in the Alu.. and much kinder to everything around it...

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Old 08-26-2017, 06:56 PM   #31
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I had looked at soda blasting but I do want a gnarly non-skid surface...
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