Monday, January 21, 2013

Sanding and Sewing

Since this is our first blog post of the year, a “Happy New Year” shout out to everyone, even if it is a few weeks late! We completed priming the hull as described in the last post. As the even color of the primer slowly became the norm, it was easier to see that the surface of the filler over the patches where I removed thru-hulls just wasn’t even, “fair” in nautical terms. Despite sanding and filling numerous times, the different colors tended to mask the unevenness. After coming this far, I wasn’t willing to settle so I went back at them, sanding through the meticulously applied primer to sand down the high spots, and adding a bit more filler in the low places, sighting down the hull in several different directions each time, before re-applying several coats of primer to bring everything back to even.

We managed to get the first finish (shiny) coat on just before the New Year, and marveled how the books are right: those reflections really make it easy to see every imperfection in sanding, fairing, or painting! We realize that as a first time DIY job it’s not going to be perfect, so we concentrated on refining our technique with each coat and are improving our painting technique, as well as learning to ignore the small spots we missed filling, or the small humps where filler wasn’t sanded down perfectly. The goal is to get to a “10 footer”, a job that looks shiny and great from 10 feet away.
After sanding out our worst mistakes and giving the boat an overall sanding, we were ready to apply our “final” coat this weekend. Saturday was rainy, a non-starter. Sunday was dry and cooler than usual, perfect for the paint to flow out smoothly. We got the port side painted in the morning shade, and returned in the afternoon to complete the job. About an hour into our “final” pass down the starboard side, a 10 minute rainshower passed over and decimated our work. It looks like we have another few days of sanding out the texture, washing, wiping, and painting in our future. Oh well, another chance to perfect our technique!

Water beading up is fine after you're done painting, not so nice while you're painting!

While we were sanding and painting, the guys at TechNick finished welding the new davit/arch, and installed it along with the new cockpit enclosure frame. I’ve managed to fish most of the wires through the arch legs and have reinstalled the stern light, radar, TV, VHF, and GPS antennas, and still need to complete the WiFi and Sirius antenna installs. We still have some minor additions/changes, so the welders will be back to run the “punch list”.

While wiring the new arch, I took the time to route some of the cables at the helm through the pedestal leg, and install a proper watertight seal for the radar cable, removing the putty and filling the old hole with epoxy. Typical boatyard job creep!

With the new enclosure in place, Linda was able to finalize measurements and order Sunbrella, screen, and window material for the new enclosure, including the snap hardware and zippers we’ll use to assemble everything. The fabric, batting and pillows for the new settee arrived so she has been busy covering the settee cushion foams she had cut by Nabela, nearby here in the industrial park. I’m sure each of these projects will get their own posts in the future. For now, back to sanding!

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