Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ahh paint... ( or, Please excuse the long rambling post...)

After that primer had dried I was left with a very irregular surface, more so where the stripping was done. I investigated about a dozen different brands of fairing compounds and found none of them cheap. I ended up with regular “Bondo” from NAPA auto. As anyone with a boat can tell you, adding the 'marine' designation opens up a whole new world of cost. Occasionally it's justifiable. It required a couple of coats to get the surface to a workable state but the end result is a pretty even surface.
Following this was more primer and more sanding, then, more primer and more sanding, then a little more primer and just a bit more sanding to end up with...wallah...a surface that actually looks good!

A note on sanding... The products will all tell you to sand with progressively finer paper ending somewhere in the 200's or 300's. Follow their instructions. If you decide to skip a step you will end up with the sanding marks in your work. If you like that, well OK then. If you don't you will need to fill it with something that requires...SANDING. Don't skip the grades.

The final coat of primer went on beautifully and the end product is very satisfying. I found myself muttering “I love paint” all the while applying it because paint has this trans formative quality unlike any other product.

Also during the past couple of weeks I started to touch up the handrails for the cabin top in preparation for their re-installation. The various caulks left behind on their bases were reluctant to come off to the point where I ended up scraping them right off and sanding them down to bare wood. One of them splintered up badly and needed to be rebuilt. Epoxy and and some additional work has returned it to a usable state. I plan on lightly bedding these when I put them back on to avoid destroying them when they come off for the cabin top work in a year or two.

I also sanded and primed the top of the cabin where I had filled the previous mounting holes. Here again , even though it's only primer, paint makes a world of difference.

And then there is the toilet. Astute readers will notice this as the first mention of an item contained on the “to do” list composed at the outset of the project. This is true, but none of the installation can occur until the prep work is done in the head area so that led to the scraping , sanding etc... Since the boat was previously used in waters where you could discharge over board, there was only a small buffer tank on the boat. Its placement made the door completely inoperative and as a result, it went directly into the dumpster.

For a replacement I chose a Jabsco marine toilet and Moeller holding tank. The hoses that connect these two is an area where the 'Marine' designation really does make a difference. Because of the placement of the tank, the hose that connects the toilet and the tank has the possibility of having black water sitting in it. A super duper ultra deluxe hose was put in here to avoid the possibility of odors seeping out. I have chosen the same grade of hose for the fresh water intake to keep the install uniform and tidy.

When the top of the base was removed before the painting started, I noticed that the water that had been dripping down from the one leak in the ceiling had accumulated in the box designed to hold the toilet level. There was a considerable amount in there but surprisingly there was no damage.
The top is being refinished now and will be installed with the toilet.

The other surprising thing that showed up during this phase of the work was the fact that there was no way for the water that accumulated in the chain locker to find its way into the bilge, I had to drill a hole in the bulkhead in the front of the V berth to let the water I used to wash it down escape. With this done I watched the water drain out of the chain locker but it never made it to the bilge. Hmmmm. The only place it could be (other than outside on the ground) was under the V berth; a place currently inaccessible. Not for long. Out came the jig saw and soon I was looking at 5” of missing water. Another hole finished the job of draining the locker.

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