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Chemical-free traction mat glue removal (Pink Eraser)

CrankyGypsy

Jet Boat Addict
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Tampa, FL 33615
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SeaDoo
Year
2008
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Challenger
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18
#1
New-to-me boat, old Hyrdo-Turf garbage. Preparing for SeaDek install.
No trick to getting the mats up (aside from tedious brute force), but figured out something for glue removal. I tried a bunch of the standard recommended chemicals (plus heat) and didn't find any that worked to my satisfaction. For most of them, best results came after letting them soak in then also using a razor blade to thin the glue down enough that I could actually wipe it up clean with more of the chemical ...and it still took several go-overs. The razor was also removing the grit of the traction areas.

IMG_20190108_171624.jpg

I tried rubbing the glue with my latex-gloved finger and found it rolled the glue right up so I could just brush it off. This was killing my fingers, so I considered ordering one of those "eraser wheels" for decal removal. Then I thought, "why not a pink eraser then?" Compared to chemicals, this is awesome. It actually seems to work best when the glue is thicker, rather than thinner - the glue pulls on itself.
UPDATE: decided to order the "eraser wheel" mentioned below.

IMG_20190109_102759.jpg

IMG_20190109_102840.jpg

My picture shows the eraser after I had successfully used it on several areas ...I'm going to need to buy more (Paper Mate 12-packs can be found for $5). No risk of damaging the gelcoat or removing the traction grit. Won't work if the surface is damp.

Other notes:
- Adding heat to the mat in an attempt to facilitate removal only caused the glue to let go of the mat and stay on the deck. It wasn't night and day easier, either. So for me, I preferred wearing myself out tearing the mat off rather than leaving so much glue behind to erase.
- I didn't try icing the mats first - didn't seem practical. Plus, pulling up mat that was in the shade didn't seem any easier than stuff in the sun.
- Some recommend spraying the underside edge of the mat at the deck as you lift it off to help the next portion let go. Add in the spraying time and this doesn't seem to make it go any faster ...and made the mat edge slippery if it tore off.
- The Barkeepers Friend didn't work here, but it worked really well to remove silicone I had scraped down thin during the AR230's intake duct reseal. Maybe the traction grit was causing issues? It is still the non-soap cleaner that I use the most on the boat.
- I might still try an eraser wheel if this becomes too tedious (some complain of burning their gelcoat, but I'll chalk that up to user error).
 
Last edited:

Beachbummer

Jet Boat Junkie
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#2

CrankyGypsy

Jet Boat Addict
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2008
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#3
Well...
The pink eraser worked great on the small areas I had remaining on the swim platform. But after lunch, I started working on the helm and decided to order the wheel @Beachbummer mentioned.
I swear it was working way better earlier today! haha.

Overall, I think the pink eraser is about as fast as the chemicals, but with way less mess. It does require a lot of elbow grease, though. Guess it'll work in spots I can't get the eraser into.
 

Mainah

Jetboaters Admiral
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#4
What a timely post. I am replacing some seadeck after three seasons because we love our dogs to boat with us and after installing a new side accessory set could see the wear and color difference. We also had the parabolic effect in the bow. Just one question on the wheel. There are two kinds ... one smooth and softer looking one from 3m amd another that looks like a paddle wheel with many differnt brands stmped on it. Which one did you guys use and which one would you buy if had to do it again?
 

CrankyGypsy

Jet Boat Addict
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2008
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Challenger
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18
#8
I ordered the ABN and will post my experience here.
 

Beachbummer

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#9
I don't want to overhype it, but it's a before and after tool for the job you are doing. Like a chop saw vs a hand saw for wood work...the magnitude of the assistance it provides is impressive!!!!
 

Mainah

Jetboaters Admiral
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#10
I ordered the whizzy wheel, pink erasers, and a natural rubber belt sander eraser. Going to pull up the seadek, then pressure wash, then use rubber tools, then goo gone, then simple green, and finally acetone to prep for the new SeaDek. Will ise rubber wheel like for tint to press down the new seadek.
 

Sbrown

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#11
If you really want to "get 'er done!"
 

WilCo

Well-Known Member
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2013
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AR
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#12
To give everyone a visual. See photo after probably a 1 minute pass with the drill eraser.

Wow! Wish I had tried this earlier.
I used a drywall spatula to lift the majority of the pad but it left a lot of residue. The eraser takes it off with ease.
 

Attachments

CrankyGypsy

Jet Boat Addict
Messages
295
Ratings
222 13
Points
103
Location
Tampa, FL 33615
Boat Make
SeaDoo
Year
2008
Boat Model
Challenger
Boat Length
18
#13
So, [expletive], [expletive], mother[expletive]!
I finally got back to work on the HydroTurf after the cold snap (<60*F).
I did not have this much trouble on my last removal. This turf is on there with some WWII-era glue that probably causes cancer in California residents if they simply look at it. It has been brutal - my hands and fingers can't take more than a few hours a day. The technique I seem to favor is to use a metal paint scraper to get under the mat then use brute force to pull it up, trying to keep it in the fewest pieces.

This is how much I finished in 2 hours:
IMG_20190204_165330.jpg

This is how much I got up with an additional hour. This area has been exceptionally difficult!
IMG_20190204_174549.jpg

The rubber wheel DOES work, but I certainly wouldn't call it a "game changer" (I actually hate that phrase. haha). It's the easiest/quickest option I have tried, but it is still somewhat tedious. Again, I think this is much tougher than my previous hyrdo mat - which most likely has to do with this type of subtle grit antiskid compared to my AR230 with the raised dimples (far less contact area). I am definitely going to need at least one more wheel to finish the job on this 18' footer. I have to move from left to right, otherwise rubber dust blocks my view. It's also not the easiest thing to keep steady and doesn't pull the glue up consistently enough - I'm vacuuming the dust and then going over the missed spots a second or third time.

IMG_20190204_165335.jpg IMG_20190204_165454.jpg IMG_20190204_165526.jpg

I'm going to concentrate most of my glue-removal efforts on the edges. If the rest has thin/small spots of glue, I am going to leave them.

I can see that @WilCo is having the same experience above: a lot is coming up, but there is still a bunch left behind.
 

Beachbummer

Jet Boat Junkie
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#14
Ah, I only had to remove the rear pieces....Doing the whole boat seems a MAJOR pain the rear...Have you tried heating it with a heat gun before pulling on it? It worked wonders for me, when I had to remove something similar from another boat.
You are almost there.
 

Mainah

Jetboaters Admiral
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#15
I highly recommend using a pressure washer to remove as much of the mat as possible without damaging anything. I gave the whizzy wheel a quick try when taking some measurements at the boat. It is going to work quite well on the top texture but will get destroyed fast trying to remove in between the texture. I also tried the belt sander dressing natural rubber block and that thing is going to work well once the wheel has done its job. The pink school/art erasers will work to get the finest spots.
 

FJRmann

Well-Known Member
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#16
i found putting the boat in the sun and letting the old mat heat up really helps removal. i am replacing the rear swim area mats on my 2013 SX190
 
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NYC
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2014
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AR192
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#17
I used a torch to heat up a painter's tool and then scraped it up with that. I used chain degreaser for the left over glue because it doesn't evaporate like other chemicals. Then you can go around with a fresh razor blade to scrape it all up. I've done a lot of these and I don't think there is a better way.
 

CrankyGypsy

Jet Boat Addict
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#18
i've not had much ambition with this lately due to the difficulty and frustration. today i went to the car wash and tried the "pressure washer" there since i've somehow never found the absolute need for one. this is about 30 seconds of it at the higher pressure with the tip at the transition. soaking myself aside, i was not the least bit impressed. granted, it's not going to reach a pressure washer's psi, but even if it doubles the speed of these results (which are slower than doing it by hand), i would question the value due to still being left with glue cleanup and wasting a lot of water.

pressurewash.jpg

i believe these are my biggest issues: this "texture" is not the raised oval dimples of my 2005 AR230 where the mat only stuck to about 40% of the surface - this surface is nearly flat (it is very easy to slip on), so 100% of the glue is making contact to the gelcoat. my mats have shrunken to a thickness where they are thin enough to rip fairly quickly, but not thick enough to scrape off easily (even with heat). compared to the swim deck, the helm areas seem exceptionally difficult - probably due to higher foot traffic stamping them down. the glue may have aged very tough since this mat has more than likely been there for a long time.

@Mainah do you think an actual pressure washer is going to do substantially better, given the above hurdles?
 

Mainah

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#19
My 3100 psi gas pressure washer with a 10 degree nozzle took off small remaining seadek foam bits with ease. It did not do much to help with the glue. Beyond seadek they are great for cleaning the boat and new seadek. A pressure washer with foam blaster and chemical guys homeydew snofoam does wonders for normal cleaning jobs on the boat and cars. Number one thing to be aware of os that they have the power to wear away concrete, cut into fencing/siding, unintentionally remove paint, etc. so just be careful not to use too narrow of a nozzle too close.

As for helping with a super stubborn foam deck removal job I don’t know how effective it will be without damaging something.
 

Mainah

Jetboaters Admiral
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Location
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#20
I completed my seadek removal and install this weekend. The factory hydroturf over the glove box easily too the longest amd was much harder then seadek from JBP to remove. Three wonder/wizzy wheels worked wheel to get up thick psa. My tip with these is dont run them too fast or with too much pressure. Slow speed/higtroque setting on a cordless drill gets her done. This wont get me everything done though. Pink earsers helped but I think the harder brands will work better than the softer. The belt sander cleaning block worked the best in some places. The end all be all was most certainly a full gallon of acetone. L

It is without a doubt a sucky job regarless of what tools you have. It will take lots and lots of elbow grease. It will make a gigantic mess. A pressure washer does come in handy. A hard working kid comes in more handy.

Sorry I forgot to take photos but I got everything like it was just out of the mold. The traction areas took more work to get like new and the only thing that worked deep down in the traction was towels, lots of acetone, and lots of patience. It was almost sad putting the new stuff down especially when you compare how fast it goes down to how long it takes to come up.
 
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