Saturday, November 19, 2016

A big milestone, the decks get the gloss paint.

I finished the taping and masking yesterday at 3:30 PM yesterday. Even though I was pressing to get the boat ready to paint today, part of the day was taken up with conferring with the rigger. He and his partner showed up at the yard around noon and we went over the mast. He’ll get back to me with options and pricing for the work. Which is just the way I like it. We traded boat disaster stories which is always fun.

Last of the taping.

Masking done

After getting home I had some dinner and the spent the rest of the evening getting all my gear together for painting. This morning I went over to my friend’s house and picked up his generator.

Arriving at the boatyard around 9:00 AM  today I started laying out the materials and equipment. As I suspected, the shed ceiling was dripping with condensation and the decks were moist, to put it mildly. I set up a couple of fans to help with airflow and wiped all the surfaces with rags to speed drying.

Sill, it wasn’t until 10:30 that I could start in on the pre-paint deck prep. I vacuumed the decks for the millionth damn time, made a few quick repairs to taping mistakes  and then started in on the two-rag solvent wipe-down. After that it was time to mix up the Awlcraft 2000 and let it induct.

By the time I jacked the spray gun in and started at the bow, it was 12:30. I knew right then that I’d be finishing near sundown.

I started out pretty nicely. Easy to lay down the first coat with no problems. Man, I thought I was gonna breeze right through this job.

Yeah. No.

Started well...

First gloss coat

What with the fact that I had to contort myself in weird positions without ever being able to stand up straight, my back started to spasm. Oh joy. Add in me wearing these damn booties that kept pulling off my feet and the quality and ease of the work began to fade. If I had a dollar for every time I looked down after stepping in fresh paint, well, you know...

Anyway, I kept at for for three passes. Finished up around 4:30, cleaned up the gun and policed the job site and that was that. Took a few photos in the dimming afternoon light and headed home as the front started to move through. I managed to get the paint on before the season shut me down.

I was pretty happy about that, getting a major task finished. Pumped really.

Next up is to take a day or two off, eat something other than chili or bean soup, meet my wife who’ll be coming back from three weeks in Barcelona. After that I’ll start in applying the non-skid paint areas.

Final product.

Better than before

Coat three on stern

View from the bow

Whats with the orange

I’m going to take some better photos tomorrow. You know, the ones showing the shiny glossy paint. With the bugs and footprints in it...


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pushing to beat the cold front.

Looks like this coming Saturday will be D-Day for getting the gloss topcoat painted. Weather forecast for low to mid sixties followed by a cold front. I suspect that the cold front will finally signal the end of our warm weather.

I’m pushing pretty hard most days to get the taping and masking done. I figure that I’ll be done with that by Thursday evening, early Friday morning at the latest. That will give me Friday to do a final clean of the decks, clear away the area around the boat and get all the gear running and tested prior to shooting the Awlcraft on Saturday.

With the cooler nights every morning there is a fair amount of condensation dripping off the ceiling of the boat shed. Temperatures warm up pretty quickly once the sun is out so I should be able to safely start spraying by around 11:00 AM on Saturday.

There’s no cushion in my schedule but I’m confident that the first gloss coat will be on by Saturday afternoon. After that I can “leisurely” roll on the non-skid surfaces. Of course that involves more re-taping and masking those areas. Which is not a simple job as I’m finding out.

Some photos from the last three days.

Starting at the bow

Track placement

Starting to tape the upper deck structures.

First pass on upper deck

Spent all of today placing and outlining the hardware fitment.

Scattered bits

Pushing into the afternoon

For some reason I became concerned about some chips in the upper port side of the companionway entrance. I had ignored them because I mistakenly thought that the new teak surrounds that I made last winter in the shed would cover them. Nope.

I mixed up some Awlfair, slapped it on and put the heat lamp on it. It will get a basic fairing job which will not be ideal but will have to do. I can come back next Spring and fix it up as need be. 

Fitment looks okay.

Checking new surrounds

Back at it early tomorrow.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

I think I'm done with the sanding.

With the weather cooperating and after getting back from helping my brother and sister-in-law put on a 3-day, 100-mile endurance race in the Shenandoah Valley, I’ve been pushing to get the deck ready for the gloss topcoat application.

Over the years I’ve surfed the internet for examples of others painting their boats in order to get some sense of what I’m up against and how to go about it. It seems to me that all those guys get their tasks done pretty quickly and efficiently. That is not what I am experiencing.

I’ve spent two or three days just block sanding and machine sanding the primer with 320 grit for the final surface. My fingers are raw from digging into the corners and along the toerail. I finally started to “cheat” and use my Mirka sander because time is running out with the onset of the Fall season.

Protection is key.

Tired of finish sanding

With the final sanding complete I did a quick vacuum and then pulled out the masking supplies box and got to work. I started with the cockpit sole because I was tired of grinding sanding dust and yard dirt into the clean sanded primer and wanted it protected with some sturdy paper.


This took an afternoon

What to me seemed a quick and simple job took an entire afternoon. I knew right then that I was not going be spraying the gloss coat after three days of taping as I had planned. 

Okay, I decided to take a deep breath and go into Zen mode. The prep work will get done when it gets done. The ace up my sleeve is that I called my brother and asked if I could borrow his 125,000 BTU diesel fired radiant heater.  Confirmed. Just in case the temperatures dropped out before I could pull out the spray gun...

So, every day I get up, get breakfast, drive to the yard and start the very, very slow process of taping out the gloss areas with 3M 218 Fine Line tape. Lay it down, draw out the outline, cut out outlines for each stanchion base, cleat and mounted hardware. Incredibly time-consuming. It will take many days of this process. And my knees are wrecked.

I hauled the pushpit over to the yard and set it on the stern. With that in place I could outline the stanchion feet, flagpole base and an area for some miscellaneous wiring for the stern light and GPS antennas exiting the deck.

Why does the stern looks so small?

Tiny butt

Old habits are hard to break. Every damn time I would climb up the steps to start into the cockpit I would grab the top rail of the pushpit for support. And every damn time it would start to rock back off the stern. You’d think I would learn...

More taping.

Starting to mask

Tape is expensive

Expose the gloss areas

After about 3 days of work I am just finishing up running the tape up the starboard side. Lots of stops along the way to figure out the outlines for the gloss areas for the rest of the stanchion bases, diesel and water deck fills and the head pump-out deck fitting, a plate for the chainplate and the channel sides for the deck scupper drains.

Now, full disclosure; I have no one but myself to blame for this. None of those cutouts and fancy curves existed in the original deck layout. C&C simply sprayed non-skid over 90% of the flat deck areas. It was me that decided to sex it up a bit and add the gloss cutouts and line along the toe-rail. Some of the impetus for that was to make sure that any fittings were sitting on smooth surfaces so that there would be a good seal when I stared to put the deck fittings back on. And mostly because I just thought given all the time I’m putting into this effort I might as well make it look like a Hinckley.

Yeah, good luck with that...

One day’s worth:

Running the starboard side

Sophisticaled tools

As part of the project I’ve gotten in touch with a local rigger. He’ll be out in the next week or so to go over my list of tasks for re-doing the rigging. Looks like new rod and most certainly new running rigging, wiring and coax.

Sad old mast.

Tired old rig

And I wished that we would just stay on Daylight Savings Time...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

If I never see another pinhole it will be too soon.

I’m trying to spend more time on the refit project especially with the favorable weather that we’re having. After getting back from the Dominican Republic I have redouble the final effort to put on the Awlquick primer and sand it in preparation for applying the topcoat.

I knew before leaving that there were some serious mistakes that I had made fairing nicks, gouges, cracks and glasswork in preparation for the gloss topcoat. The number of those mistakes were a bit depressing. Especially after I came back and and filled them with Awlfair. I sanded all the builtup fairing compound and applied more Awlfair, let that set up for a day and then sanded again. After doing this I mixed up another batch of Awlfair and spot sprayed.

Fix those cracks and scratches.

Awlfair touchup work

And lo and behold, more pinholes appeared. Some in areas that I thought I had fixed and some new ones. Frustrating.

Too tiny to see in the photo but they’re there.

Awlfair failure

One section of the port scupper drain showed another set of holes that had blown open next to an area that I filled. Closer investigation with a sharp knife revealed yet more glass layup failures. I should have really tested the entire length of the affected area to ensure that I repaired everything prior to spraying the primer.

Bad layup blown open.

Another set of layup failures

The voids in the scupper drain required something more industrial. Out came the West System mixed with colloidal silica shoved into the opened cavities. This area would not be ready for sanding and painting within the day but I’ll just do that in the next day or so and “paint” that area with primer.

So, with just enough of the original gallon of primer left I tried a different tack with the pinholes. 3M Arcyl-White Glazing Putty. I should have used that earlier. It is easier to apply in small amounts and has the benefit of being ready for sanding after 30 minutes. I did a closer inspection of areas that I knew were suspect, smoothing on the glazing compound as I went. Sanding with 220 grit sandpaper was enough before painting.

Glazing compound. Should have used it sooner.

Glazing putty to the rescue

While waiting for those areas to set up I started in on final sanding the surfaces that will be painted with the gloss topcoat. I had already machine sanded the entire first primer coat on the decks with 320 grit sandpaper. The key to getting a nice finish with the Awlcraft 2000 is to final sand those areas using 3M Dry-Guide and more 320 grit sandpaper. Block sanding by hand.

Hand sanding the primer isn’t very hard and the results using the Dry-Guide are sublime but it does take time. I anticipate several days of that coming up.

Smoothing the surfaces.

Dry guide sanding section

Once the glazing compound set up and sanded I fired up the compressor, mixed the last of the Awlquick and applied covering coats.

More primer needed.

Final spot repairs

So, at the end of the day I am 99.99% done with applying Awlquick epoxy primer. Next installment, after I get back from four days of helping my brother and sister-in-law run a 3-day Endurance ride in Fort Valley I will finish the block sanding and start in on masking the non-skid and gloss patterns.


Awlquick touchup pass


Thursday, October 6, 2016

An actual accomplishment. With an assistant...

September proved to be yet another pretty warm month. I just used that as an excuse to screw off and do other stuff. Spent a week in Top Sail Island for a destination wedding. More motorcycle riding. I spent some time helping a friend with an offer on a used Post 42’ but unfortunately the offer was not accepted.

When the temperatures broke the rain moved in. On the reasonably good days I continued to work on small fairing jobs, mostly stuff that I had missed initially. I do that quite a bit. Think I’ve covered everything when I haven’t.

In late September I started to ready the boat for the Awlquick Epoxy Primer shoot. While it was raining outside I busied myself with washing the entire deck surface with a 3M Scotchbrite pad and cleanser. The next day I came back and vacuumed the entire surface.

Got a fair amount of water down below

Washing the decks

I ran 3M Masking Film along the inside edge of the toe-rail and left it wrapped up to be pulled down over the hull right before I started to paint.. After that I started masking the ports and hatch openings. With those items done and ready to go I waited for a clear day with low humidity.

3M products everywhere...

Masking start

Nifty tool

Stern paint protection

The next day I came back to finish up a few more Awlfair spots that needed sanding and discovered that a helper had climbed up on the boat and was waiting to give me a hand.

I’m not sure how he got up there.

Found the next morning

I was glad to have the company. I let him make sure that I completed all the items on my work list.

I think he had a hard time read my handwriting

Helping with the lists

Tuesday, October 4th provided the right conditions here in the Mid-Atlantic. I had all my tools and supplies in crates and boxes ready to go. Threw all that into the truck, hitched up the trailer with the generator and compressor and headed for the boatyard early.

Although it was a beautiful early Fall morning I quickly discovered that it was “raining” inside the shed. There were large amounts of condensation on the ceiling of the shed that were dripping onto the deck.

I put on an old foul-weather jacket and went along the deck smacking the fabric trying to get most of the moisture to fall off. Which it pretty much did but I still had to wait for a a couple of hours for it to become completely dry.

Off to a late start for the day

Morning condensation

Next on the prep list was to wipe the surfaces with Awlprep Plus Wax & Grease solvent using the infamous two-rag method. That accomplished I went back, starting at the bow and working aft, and vacuumed the surface. That was followed by a complete wipe-down with tack-rags. Burning through the day though.

With everything ready to go I suited up, put fresh NIOSH filters on my respirator, mixed painted and prepped the spray gun and ran the air-hose in carabiners suspended overhead on the centerline of the shed so that they would drag along the deck.

Painting commenced and pretty much went well. Shooting primer doesn’t take much technique so I was safe there. It did however take longer that I thought it would. I waited 1 hour between coats to go back and apply another coat and that was too long. Thirty minutes would have been fine for walking on the previous coat.

Anyway, I didn’t finish the second of three coats until 6:30 PM. With the amount of time that it would take to wait and then shoot the final coat I would have been working in the dark. Time to go home.

I cleaned up the tools and materials, closed up the shed and pulled the trailer home with the plans to start in early the next morning.

Waiting for the shed ceiling to dry

Paint mixing setup

Wednesday was another nice day. Without the condensation issue from the previous day. I quickly got things set up and finished the third coat.

The results were fair. I knew that I would find areas that showed slight imperfections but there were more than I anticipated. Mostly pinholes that blew open when I ran the spray-gun over them.  I mentioned that to my friend who painted the hull and he smiled wryly and said that was why he shot two primer coats...

I’m off to fly over Hurricane Matthew to the Dominican Republic for our regular medical mission work for the next week so round two of the sanding, fairing and primer work will have to wait for week and a half.

Although I approach this project as a hobby, it feels good to get the big things done.


Drastic change

Job done

Looks good from a distance


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Just gotta sweat.

Well, I’ve not had much to post in some time. The weather here on the East Coast has been brutal. A prolonged heat-wave for most of the time. It has been just too hot to work on the boat, either in the boat shed or at my shed.

Which provided me with enough of an excuse to go ride to Ohio and fly out to San Diego and ride my bike in Northern California. Where it was just as hot or hotter. But, “it’s a dry heat…”.

Since the last post I have, over a period of weeks, sprayed the Awlgrip High Build Epoxy primer on the hatches. After letting it cure I sanded with 220 and 320 grit sandpaper prior to bringing out the topcoat. After cleaning the surfaces I masked and taped the non-skid areas in preparation for spraying.

It took awhile but there was finally a morning where the temperatures were in the mid-80’s. I mixed up a small amount of Awlcraft 2000 Matterhorn White and set it aside. After doing the two-rag wipe down of the surfaces I started to spray the exposed gloss surfaces.

The results were okay. There was a minor amount of orange-peel, a couple of sags which I was able to polish out and some small areas where the paint did not flow out enough.

After researching it and showing it my to friend who painted the hull, it is almost certainly the result of too little air-pressure at the gun and not enough material flow.

A week later I re-taped and masked over the gloss coat and prepped the exposed non-skid areas. This time I used a roller to apply the first coat. After about 10 minutes I “salted” the area with a 50/50 mix of fine and coarse Griptex. After letting that sit for about 30 minutes I removed any excess Griptex with air pressure and rolled on a second coat of Awlcraft 2000. Another “Salting” with the Griptex mixture to get an even distribution of particles. After another 30 minute wait and excess Griptex removal I rolled on the third and final coat of Awlcraft.

The non-skid areas came out pretty nice. Just the right amount of grip but not too rough.

Prep work.

Find the low spots



Gloss coat done

Finished products.

DSC 0078

DSC 0080

Out in the rain

And trial fitting...

A bit different

Hatch cover test  

DSC 0077

Now I wait for a break in the weather to start in on the deck. Looks like September...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gotta sweat the small stuff.

Been a few weeks of small work. Filling and fairing. Finding spots that I missed even though I marked them for fairing. I’m fairly confident that this part of the deck painting project is pretty much done. Even so, without my lists I’d be lost.

Remember to do what?

Gotta have a list

The decks have been left alone since removing all the non-skid last fall so I spent a day or two vacuuming and cleaning. One item that never occurred to me is that all the empty screw holes, bolt holes and cutouts needed to have the sealant and butyl removed. That took an entire day.


Chainplate cuts

Other items that I hadn’t considered would need attending to also. All the deck fill openings exhibited dried out core from previous water intrusion so I cleaned them up with the Dremel tool and filed them with Awlfair to seal them.

Cleaned, filled and curing.

Deck fill destruction

Keep the core dry

At the same time I became concerned about how the main hatch was going to be remounted. It’s only held in by large screws and has been out at least once before. I decided to fill the screw holes with West System and colloidal silica so that when I remount the hatch there will be a better purchase.

Sand and fair...

Redo the old screwholes

Another forgotten item was replacing the foamed-in filler for the starboard opening port. C&C used some sort of filler to fill the space between the cabin laminate and the interior liner. This had given up the ghost and fallen out. I worked up a small piece of wood and expoxied it into place.

Clamps are your friends.

Goop replacement piece

Attaching skins

With most of that taken care of I started getting things ready back at the shed. I pulled all the hatches and took them home. I serviced and prepped the compressor, added connectors to the new 3/8” air hose that I bought and started in on sanding, filling and fairing. There are those words again...

This should be the last of it.

First hatch prep curing

New work area.

Shed workstation

Some time back I had contacted a fellow C&C list member about buying a new Lewmar Ocean 60 hatch to replace the original Atkins & Hoyle hatch that I had stupidly destroyed removing it. The new hatch arrived early this week and I dry-fitted it to make sure that it would work and that I had prepped the area effectively prior to painting.

Looks like it will work well.

Prep for new hatch

New hatch positioning

With all the prep work close to being finished, I worked up my materials list, gave it to my buddy Charlie at Jennings and two days later I have, I hope, everything that I need to start in on painting the decks.

Awlgrip and 3M fanboy.

Christmas presents

Next step, attempt to be half-way decent spray painter. Oy!