Removing paint from fiberglass

I am in the process of repairing an old Mad River Malecite that has been thoroughly abused (i.e. bullet holes and several coats of paint)with homemade plywood decks, seats and pine gunwales. Got all the old wood out and just installed new Aluminum gunwales from Mad River with a middle portage thwart. Now I am attempting to remove the layers of CAMO paint that were applied to the fiberglass hull. Is there a safe chemical that can be used to aid in removing the paint? So far my only success has been to VERY carefully and SLOWLY scrape it off with a 1.5" wide steel chisel used for scraping wood. It might take a year using this method. Any ideas out there?

citrus stripper
The citrus based paint strippers will work, though any paint removal method is slow and requires patience. You have to let any paint stripper work, just apply per instructions and go away for awile. Covering the stripper and the paint with a layer or two of paper towels (from your kitchen) will help keep the stripper from evaporating as quickly. Nice thing is the citrus strippers are less toxic, won’t hurt the glass nor you. Still wearing latex gloves, mask etc. is worthwhile since while the stripper isn’t seriously toxic, the disolved paint often is.

Bill H.

yes , use the citrus stripper …
… the gel type as opposed to the liquid .

You’ll need a gallon or so to start with and expect a second coat after the first round .

You’ll be needing to protect those new alum. gunnels now that you’ve already installed them … maybe you should have put them on last .

Given that the boat is almost certainly
gelcoated, you have some margin for error when using mechanical assist after the stripper has worked its magic. After removing the junk paint, you can decide whether to have a car paint shop put on some hard urethane coat.