Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bottom and boot stripe painting

Boy it has been too long since I've updated this blog. Between being gone most of September on a mountain bike trip, and starting a new position with the San Juan Preservation Trust, my time for sailing and boat projects has been much reduced. Still, there is plenty to report.

I've been hauled out at our local boat yard, Jensens Marine, for the past week or so. It had been two years since I last hauled and painted and the Petit Trinidad SR that I'd used before has done just fine. But needing to paint and replace my zinc and my desire to paint the boot stripe all made doing it this fall a good idea.

After endless review of Practical Sailor and other internet sources, I decided to go with an ablative paint this time around. Bottom paint has become crazy expensive, but the West Marine PCA Gold, which is Petit Ultima SR repackaged, is still a relatively reasonable $180. Beats the hell out of the $280 prices for most other highly regarded paints. I'd rather not build up too many layers of hard paint over my epoxy barrier coat.

Anyway, the big news is that I found no blisters at all. Hoorah! I scraped the hull to remove any loose stuff and sanded a few rough spots and she was good to go. I got 2.5 coats on with 2 gallons of paint. After the bottom dried I taped to sand and paint my bootstripe.

My entire hull is still gelcoat and the bootstripe, like the white hull, is oxidized beyond repair. I've buffed and waxed the hell out of it and it still just oxidizes over. Plus, I'v never liked the soft blue color of it.

So I decided to paint the stripe with Interlux Brightside Dark Blue. I sanded, painted, wet sanded, painted another coat, and then wet sanded, and painted a third coat. Good enough for this sailor. I tipped with a cheap foam brush, which does a way better job than even a moderately expensive bristle brush. I added just a bit of Interlux Paint thinning liquid too, to improve flow at our cool 50 degree temperatures.

After I put her back in the water I'll tackle the hull. I've bought a nice 6" random orbit sander/buffer and will go to it. I will also paint the top stripe the same color.

One of the pleasant surprises of this haul out was meeting a fellow sailor with a sort of sister ship in spirit. "Barefoot Contessa" is a one-off built in Canada by a now defunct yard, and her owner, David, has to be a Michaelangelo of sailboats. He has been in the yard some two months and entirely stripped the bottom, epoxy barrier coated her, bottom painted her AND painted her entire hull a very nice blue. Guy is a perfectionist. Not a bad line on her. Hats off to him and he's a swell fellow to boot.

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