|The other section written here
very comprehensive but a bit hard to follow.
This is a simple quick version. It is about basic restoration of smaller plywood boats - here a Mirror Dinghy which uses glass tape rather than wood to hold the structure together.
See these three articles for the full text if the information below is not detailed enough. Big restoration of a Cadet Dinghy
Repairing a racing dinghy part 1
Repairing a racing dinghy part 2
Repairing a racing dinghy part 3
Also if the repair is large you may get some hints from here
Article on repairing modern plywood boats
Removing Paint and what about damaging the fibreglass tape.
What you probably don't realise is that I always partially agree with you!
If not using epoxy to recoat.
Hot air gun - perfecto. But if you want to preserve the integrity of the glass tape I would keep the heat an inch or so away from the tape.
Fried resin doesn't work particularly well in any way at all.
Just sand the tape areas to remove most of the paint - don't try to remove ALL the paint or you will have removed too much glass!
Is Epoxy worthwhile to coat an old boat
If using epoxy to recoat"
ADVANTAGES - It will reduce maintenance significantly - saves money
DISADVANTAGES - Initial Cost - though there is not much extra labour if it is applied wet-on-wet in one process.
COUNTERINDICATIONS - if the ply is badly checked - ie top veneer cracking - over a significant proportion of surface - it will continue to check even with epoxy over the top. You can stop it with some very light glass (<2oz woven cloth - NOT CHOPPED STRAND MATT - heavy and weak)
it is probably worth removing the glass tape too (from one side of each join at a time - ie the inside or the outside! The glass is all that holds a Mirror together!) as it can be replaced with very little labour when the boat is coated with epoxy.
How much work is too much
Which way to go?
It depends on the boat and yourself.
There are two logical ways to restore the boat
Minimally - just get it going with as little work and expenditure as possible.
More than that - invest in the boat to keep maintenance down to a minimum in future.
Perhaps there is an in between course of just doing the minimum now and see how the boat fits into your lifestyle - if it is frequently used then it is worth spending more after you have owned it for a year - or to look at getting a different boat if it is not quite suitable.
If the boat is worth money - considering epoxying - but if you have bought a $500 mirror and repaint it you will almost certainly get your $500 back after a couple of years of use. Don't overcapitalize in any way. Only replace cheap things like stainless steel rigging and paint. Get second hand sails from the racing guys if they are needed at all.
If the boat is going to be kept in the long term - I would strongly recommend epoxy.
If you want to use the boat now - if the boat is a goiing concern - why mess with it too much - a lick of paint and use it rather than start taking it to bits and making it into a longer project than it needs to be.
If the glass tape needs replacing - I would probably epoxy - as you really are delving into the nuts and bolts of the boat anyhow.
If you are the sort of person who enjoys having a project to do - consider epoxy.
There is quite a bit of relevant info in my FAQ
Also read the article there about sailing fast without too much effort - it gives an example of a boat I did a minimal restore on so I could go racing.