One other tip - if you do use a wire wheel (worked great for me and if you use a decent grinder - it'll work so much faster than a electric drill version), make sure you use stainless. My welding associate says that regular steel is not compatible with aluminum.
The only time I strip a hull down to bare aluminum is either if it's been painted poorly and is peeling, or there's corrosion that needs to be dealt with.
Otherwise, just scuff and prime only the bare metal areas.
For those that I have stripped bare, I get good results with the 4" 3M Scotchbrite discs on an air sander at moderate speed. A wire wheel is most likely far too coarse to use on a thin hull, not to mention that it'll leave the surface far too rough to get a good finish. Also be very careful around the rivet heads, its not hard to dislodge or damage an old rivet and create a leak.
Alright well I tried the wire brush aswell and as you said it scratches the haul a little.
I guess Im going to have to go the messy chemical route...
In the picture you cant see it but the paint is very bumpy and it dosnt stick well.
I paint cars in the shop now and again aswell but I was trying to figure a less messy way of stripping down the aluminum.
The boat will be on Great Slave Lake, North West Territories in no time...the trip is planned for June, arctic char and the 15 lbs walleye better beware!