Sunday, 31 May 2015
Sanding, Filling and Fairing, but a Plan formulates
Its been a while since the last update but in fairness there is only so much I can tell you about filling and fairing......
The job has been made much easier by the use of a 100 litre air compressor which a friend has kindly lent me, which means I can use air tools and the palm sander attachment is so much lighter than an electric sander.
Hopefully the end is in sight for this part of the project and another two days work should do it by which time the hull should be ready for painting.
So this is the filler which I have been using, although there is no alternative as the repairs are below the water line, I have used around 7 boxes of this stuff and am now a filling expert!
The frustrating part about filling and fairing is that every time I go over the hull I find parts I have either missed with the sander or missed with the filler! So I started inspecting the hull armed with a black marker pen so I can circle any areas that need filling and then go back to them.
So I have been researching long and hard on how to progress with regards to painting, both the topsides, deck and cockpit areas and have now formulated a plan, I have decided to go with a 2 pack polyurethane paint system which although not the easiest to work with should provide the best results and durability as I do not want to be doing this all again in 2-3 years!
Painting over gel coat is usually sacrilege, but in some circumstances it is the only option, and I have looked at all available options including using flow-coat which is a gel-coat mixed with wax that allows it cure in the open air, I have spoken to a well known supplier who agrees that although fine for small areas I could spend the next 2 years trying to get a reasonable finish!
Whilst waiting for filler to dry I have begun sanding back the paint on the Topsides and revealed why the gelcoat had previously been painted
As you can see in some places it is so thin the fibreglass is starting to show through and this is the same story on the deck and cockpit areas.
I was pleased with how the paint sanded as it wasn't especially hard going and suspect I could get the topsides sanded in a couple of days.
So back to the plan.....once the filling and fairing is complete on the hull I will apply several coats of epoxy primer which will seal the hull and hopefully help prevent any further Osmosis, then a final coat of primer which I will then be able to leave until a few days before launch day which is when I will apply several coats of anti-fouling paint.
The topsides, deck and cockpit will get 2 pack primer followed by 2 pack top coat sanded between coats which should hopefully be completed by September and give me a very nice finish.
I have found a blog for another contest 33 based in Germany whose owner has completed a similar restoration job to mine and his results were impressive although he used a single pack paint which whilst easier to apply will not be as durable as a 2 pack for the decks and cockpit.
It is amazing what can be achieved with brushing these days, and if Hermione looks anything like this afterwards I will be over the moon.