Friday, May 30, 2008

2nd coat

I put a second coat on the hull, cabin house sides and cockpit sides.

There was some wind yesterday and I think that is why the primer was setting up so quickly. Today was a no-wind day and I had much more time to work with the primer before it set up. The second coat looks much better than the first. Lesson learned.

It looked good when I applied the primer but when I went back this evening to cover the boat (tomorrow is a rainy day) I could see just a hint of the undercoatings, namely the dark spots where the fairing filler was. It was faint and I had to look a bit but it was there. Because of that and the fact that my first coat went on a bit rough I am thinking I am going to order some more materials and put on a third coat. That will give me enough to sand down through to a smooth surface. That is what I think tonight anyway. I might try some sanding first and see how it goes. At $120 for a gallon of each of the two part primer parts I really don't want any more extra sitting on my shelf than I have to.

The sun was out while I was lightly sanding the primer in preparation for the second coat. The sun on the bright white primer was really burning my eyes. That, and applying the shiny second coat made me wish for my tinted safety glasses. Painful.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Different day, different color

First coat of 545 primer is on.

When I got to the boatyard I uncoved the boat and immediately started finding small flaws in the high build primer coat. I was toying with the idea of an additional high build coat since I have about a gallon of material still left. What I decided to do was walk around the boatyard and take a real close look at some other Awl-Grip paint jobs I had admired in the past. What I found is that from a foot or two away those really great paint jobs looked worse than what my boat looks like now -defect wise. That was a good exercise and I canceled any thoughts of an extra high build coat or additional filling and fairing.

This time, I chose not to do the entire deck cabintop and cockpit all at once. I may be a bit clumsy but I found trying to work myself along the cockpit well, decks and cabin top without bumping into wet paint to be quite challenging. With the final primer and hopefully just a little more sanding to do I chose to do the decks and cabin sole separate. That is going to slow down the whole operation in the short term but hopefully it will save me time by not having to fix as much later.

First impression. This stuff is thin. It goes on like water. Within a few seconds though it sets up. Seems like when the right thickness is reached it gets gummy immediately. The instructions call for rolling and tipping but I found the tipping part to be impractical. Once I rolled it out thin enough the stuff kicked off. Even when I tried working with very small 1 foot sections I wasn't quick enough to tip before it started setting up. I did keep a brush handy for when the primer started running which it did frequently when I was painting the cabin top. I only had a 9 inch roller with me and it was really too big for the edges and sides of the cabin top. I kept getting too much on and the primer kept on running. Tomorrow I will have my three inch roller.

Speaking of rollers, I started off by using a relatively clean roller handle I had on the workbench. Seems the solvents in the 545 primer are quite potent and the little bit of paint that was still on the handle started getting into my fresh primer coat. I had to stop and run to the store for a new one.

Finally, with primer as thin as this, when you put a freshly loaded roller on the underside of the counter and press a little too aggresively the primer flies off dramatically in all directions. I hosed myself down a few times until I learned to go very gently until I had worked a lot of the paint off of the roller. Luckily I was wearing safety glasses. I soaked one arm at one point. This stuff is very runny even before thinning. Within ten minutes though it was dry to the touch. Interesting stuff.

The one coat didn't cover everything. I didn't really expect it to. Another coat should about do it.

Now I have to wait 24 hours before a light sanding. The weather outlook is looking pretty good.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nope. Check back tomorrow.

On a good note I hit my point of 'Good enough' today. It seemed everything I was doing was starting to cause or highlight other problems. Filling in a low spot highlights two slightly less lowspots right next to it. I made use of the long board but it seemed to be doing as much damage as help. The paper is supposedly 120 grit, just like the rest of the paper I have used on the hull to this point, but the longboard was leaving deep scratches. The point was to make sure the areas I filled in weren't too high and identify areas that didn't blend well with the surrounding hull. The board did the job but then was causing more problems. At this point anything I do on the hull is like playing whack-a-mole. Take out one problem and two immediately jump up.


I declare the hull fairing done.

Now that would normally mean I would apply the final primer. Unfortunately one of the joys of working out of a boatyard is that I have to manage my jobs around other boat owners. Today, the neighbor next to me was sanding his bottom. Tomorrow, another neighber wants to hose down his boat and do some final cleaning before launching. I am going to have to work around these issues. I was tempted today to just open a can of the Awl-Grip primer and let the toxic smells clear everyone out. It would have worked but it wouldn't have made any friends and I was feeling that I have probably been on this ice with all the dust I have been generating anyway.

The washing highlighted my bottom that I sweated over for nearly a month 3 years go in the middle of the summer and greenhead (big biting flies) season. There used to be a super heavy flaking mess of 40 years worth of bottom paint below the waterline. The black tends to hide my efforts but the wash reminded me of my nice bottom...


Maybe tomrrow. Maybe the day after. Very soon.

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bringing up my mood

Funny, I was still a little bothered today about my imagination.

That and I had several other pressing projects and the weather was a bit iffy so I postponed hull and deck primer until tomorrow.

So today I did a little more varnishing. That always helps.

And here is a closeup up the block that extends the little teak piece on the bow so that the anchor roller has something to mount to. In the background is the forward hatch. Someone spent some time building it. It might not be the perfect forward hatch but it is much better than the chintzy looking all fiberglass standard Triton hatch. That thing is just an embarasment.

Why I chose to varnish the original spice rack / electrical panel is beyond me. What a pain getting into all those nooks and crannies.

Finally, I put some primer on the panel that goes behind the toilet and covers up the (majority) of the head plumbing. This fir beadboard looks okay in houses but its kinda crummy when you start looking closely at it. I am not complaining. I was well warned. This might turn into a pattern for the real panel later. I put two coats of boiled linseed oil on both sides and the interior is painted with bilgekote. The exterior has prime-kote on it now (and will probably get another coat or two to hide some of the heavy fir grain) and I will finish it with Interlux premium yacht enamel. all in the hopes of making it look better than it is. The teak boards and little doors that are in the varnishing picture are installed on this panel. Should be a nice look. Hopefully the varnished teak will lead your eyes away from the questionable beadboard.

Other projects today were to finish up some details on my jeep that I need to sell. Selling the jeep is going to pay off the credit card balance I incurred from the new standing rigging and roller furler I obtained over the winter. Anyone looking for an older jeep? Its lots of fun but every time I see it I want to turn it into a project and I am not allowed to until the boat is declared "done". That won't happen any time soon.

I really need the cash too...

Later Gators.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I can imagine

I am not saying this happened to me today but I can imagine it.

I can imagine in my excitment about putting on a coat of final primer that I would hastily open the truck door. In that haste, a fresh one gallon can of Awl-Grip 3001 545 primer converter might fall out onto the pavement. When this container falls out the lid is sure to pop open disgorging its contents in a microsecond. I can image an empty can of 3001 converter.

I can also imagine the mess on boatyard property and the lengths it would take to clean this up.

I can imagine that it wouldn't be a BIG problem since my local autobody supply shop has a brand new can of 3001 for only $112.83 after taxes.

I can imagine that after such an incident I might be a little fed up and not in the mood to tackle a new skill with an unknown product. I might have found the Awl-Fair I applied yesterday not quite ready to sand either. I might also have used a few minutes to take care of some minor drainage issues that have been highlighted by the scattered rain showers and my boat tarp not always smartly deployed. A few discreet drainage holes in the settee fronts and a hole each in my new battery trays that have been found to gather a little puddle underneath would help make me feel better if I were to have a bad day.

Good thing I am only imagining all this...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Never ending

Its never ending.

Actually, I just can't help myself and the more I look for defects, the more defects I find.

I applied fairing filler today to some very minor blemishes- pinholes, a few slightly low spots, that sort of thing. The threat of rain made me put off finishing the cabin top so I came back this morning and did the cabin and decks. And then before I thought about it I started on a few small spots on the hull I had missed. That is going to make sanding tricky since most of the filler is dry but I am going to find the fresh stuff I put on this morning... I wasn't thinking.

I started to sand after waiting the 24 hours but it wasn't quite ready. On the filler I applied thinly I could hand sand quite easily. Other areas I had built up a little heavier (too heavy undoubtedly - more learning opportunities) and it was gumming up the paper. I will try again this afternoon.

I was a little concerned because I only bought a quart of each of the two parts that make up the Awl-Fair fairing filler. Turns out this is going to be more than enough. I have done 90% of the fairing I need to do and I have over half of the product still left. A little goes a very long ways. When I applied it correctly (thinly) it goes a very, very long ways. Nice stuff to work with too.


I went back and hand sanded the hull. Where I applied the fairing filler correctly it sanded very nicely. Where I was a little careless and applied too much (think too thick) it was still a little soft. Another learning experience: apply thin.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wax on, Wax off

Wax on wax off.

It seems never ending sometimes.

First, before the pictures, let me say that I had a moment of learning. Not like last fall, this was a minor moment of learning. The instructions from Awl-Grip say to let the high build primer sit overnight (12-24 hours) before sanding. What they really meant to say is only a fool would let the primer sit more than 24 hours before sanding. This stuff hardens up fast. Hand sanding was out of the question. The primer almost fell off laughing when I approached it with my palm sander. The only viable option was the DA sander; not the best tool for final fairing but it was the only thing that would work. Well, my belt sander would probably have done a job too but that would have been rediculous.

So I went at it aggressively with the DA. I burned through in places but not too bad. The hull looks and feels fair but I need to check it more carefully before I call it 'Done'.

Okay, pictures. Oh, one more disclaimer, I only put two coats on the non-skid areas of the deck as the non-skid paint really doesn't need primer. I just wanted something down to highlight any issues and provide some UV protection. Most of the non-skid areas are pretty opaque after sanding which is fine. It might look worse in the photos but I am happy with it. The edges I sanded with the palm sander but I still burned through quite a bit. It was tough finding the right mixture of aggresive caution required to remove some primer but not too much. I will be doing a detailed inspection tomorrow and if I need to I can apply another coat (now that I am so much better learned) but I am thinking I am okay. The high build primer is not the final pre-paint primer so I am not terribly concerned yet. Even if I do decide to coat again it should go quick.


By the way, I have no idea what I am doing. I read what I can and I experiment. If someone sees me making a gross error please feel free to correct me. It is tricky doing it 'right' the first time when I really don't know what 'right' is supposed to look like. I am just winging it and hoping for the best and expecting to learn along the way.

The high build did the job of highlighting a few areas I missed or needs a little more attention. Tomorrow I plan on spending a good deal of time slowly and patiently going over every inch and writing down what needs touching up. That way I won't forget until I am coming by with the paint roller.

There were a few minor fairing spots but not really anything to worry about. Some areas with pinholes but the high build did a good job of covering up most of them. I found a few dings I had forgotten about. And then there were the outer edges of the deck. Getting the cracked gelcoat off without damaging the underlying laminate was pretty near impossible so I decided to grind aggresively and rebuild the edges with fairing compound. For the most part it worked but that leaves a pretty soft corner to sand and with the primer sanding so hard it was pretty tricky sanding it smooth without gouging the lip of the deck edge. I really should have taken a picture to explain. There is a slight raised edge all around the late model Triton deck where the toerail attaches. The inner edge is a curved shape that is tricky in the best of times to sand well. I may or may not take the time to make this pretty. In the big scheme of things it really isn't a big deal and with paint I might not even notice and I really doubt anyone else every will.

Now it is all about deciding how fussy to be. At some point I will say 'good enough' and move on with the final priming. That should happen by the end of the week. That will be nice.

em tasol

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Best Girlfriend Ever

I have the best girlfriend ever!

Today, we had an anniversary, and in my usual way had no idea about how to celebrate. If I am not talking or thinking about Tritons I can be a bit lost. This has been known to cause some friction in the relationship. Since I had no good ideas beyond sanding the remainder of my high build primer, the girlfriend, completely unprompted by me, suggested we drive to Bristol, RI and spend the warm sunny day at the Herreshoff museum. Oh my god I love this woman!

The museum is great. No one designed or built boats better than the Herreshoff factory and there are many examples and ideas to admire and absorb for later projects (Triton daysailor anyone?)

Making it even more special, I have been told that the Pearson factory had leased the same building the museum resides in now and that my Triton was built in that very building. I tried to confirm that rumor but the curators on duty were a bit vague and were not sure. The facility definitely could have been used to build Tritons and I could envision it. It was a strange feeling to think my boat was born on that very spot were I was standing; that the concrete floor once had drips of polyester resin from spillover from my boat being laid up in the mold or that she once sat like a fresh newborn taking its first breaths as a complete boat. Definitely a moment to relish.

I am weird. I already know that.

In retrospect, I have a growing suspicion that I am being duped. I keep hearing heavy sighs and comments about Herreshoff 12.5's and how nice they are and how nice it would be to own a nice small daysailor. I attempted to thwart these thoughts by showing a Cape Dory Typhoon. No luck. She wants the real deal.

What can I say, she has class...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Good-bye ugly green...

Good-bye ugly seasick green,

Hello... creamy beige?...

Not too much to say really. I put a 3rd coat on the deck where the white awl-grip will be. Then I solvent washed the hull and put three coats of high build primer on the hull about 3 hours apart. After seeing ugly green for so long it is a nice feeling to see something even a little better.

Now I have to wait a day and then I have a marathon of sanding to do. Today is all about building my strength.

Oh, and I had one little problem...

I had the brake light come on in my mobile pickup/workshop. I said to myself, "Self, I have yet more electrical gremlins to track down". Then, as I drove to the boat for the final coat I lost my brakes. Well, they got real mushy and I got scared. I pulled into a local hardware store and filled up on fluid and gingerly drove to the boat. From there I decided it wasn't worth it and abandoned the truck to the boatyard. Luckily I have three vehicles to chose from at the moment.

In this photo I captured the drip.

From the looks of things I am pretty sure there is a steady stream when I step on the brake pedal. I found the problem too. Seems every brake line has been replaced except this one. That is today's project while I wait for the primer to set up.

Oh, and sadly, I had several phone calls yesterday about multiple job interviews. I really don't want to work yet. There is too much to do on the boat. On the other hand, I don't have the money the boat needs either. I think if I can put off a new job for about two weeks that will give me time to finish up the priming job which is really the biggest thing I need to do this year.

Time to go watch paint dry...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Once more into the breach

I sure hope it works this time.

I didn't get as early start as I wanted. I started by washing down the decks, then wiping them to remove the last traces of dust, then solvent wiped. I only managed to get two coats down comfortably. I had hoped for three coats but I am a bit gunshy about rushing things. As it was the deck was a bit sticky underfoot on that last coat. I will put a final coat on the sections that will be white tomorrow if I think it needs it. I really don't know how much it needs as I have no idea what I am doing really...

Earlier this week I primed the interior overhead liner. The effect was immediate and gratifying. I have been looking at that splotchy liner ever since I bought the boat and I cringed every time. Now, as I climb up the ladder into the cockpit I catch a glimpse and I smile...

I also did a little more varnishing and painting (paint still isn't what I want it to be) On one of the rainy days I finished up my deadlight ports. All bright and shiny now. I am gettng much quicker too. Hopefully that will translate to the opening ports I need to clean up next.

Priming in the sun all day and worrying about whether I was doing it right really wore me out. I think it is nap time.

Lukem u wantok

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Perfect varnishing conditions

The weather was perfect for varnishing. Not too cold, not too hot, not too moist. I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I also continued in my futile attempt to paint with Interlux Brightsides. This time I added some Penetrol on the recomendation of a chemist friend of mine. It definitely helped. I am not sure if I got it right yet but it helped.

Speaking of Brightsides, it is not only tough to apply but it was quite tough to sand off too. My sliding hatch was painted with Brightsides. It looked okay but since I want it to match the rest of the deck I sanded it down and will prime it with the rest of the boat. It took quite a while to sand off. At one point I went to pull off the sanding disc and found that the center of the hook and loop pad on the sander had actually melted itself to the sanding disc. No, I was not leaning into the sander particularly hard. It was quite hot outside in the direct sun and it was slow going so the pad evidently got too hot. No big deal I thought. The discs continued to stick to the pad so I carried on.

Well today, I went to start some sanding and I couldn't get the sanding discs to stick at all. Apparently, the little grabbers on the pad melted enough and after it cooled will no longer work. I had a spare so I was able to continue on but I am done with hook-and-loop discs. When I order next time I am going to switch to sticky pads. Funny, I have been using these hook-and-loops for the past three years of heavy sanding with no problems and in the past six months I have started going through pads. Three actually. Strange.

Anyway, after varnishing and painting in the morning I was out at the boat. I spent some time fitting the mahogony block that the deck water fitting will sit on. Curiously, the fitting didn't look quite right sitting perfectly vertical against the camber of the deck. It just looked better with a touch of lean to the outside.

And, because I love sanding so much and will miss it so terribly soon enough, I sanded the interior overhead liner in preparation for applying a primer coat. I also finished sanding up the taffrail, cockpit lids and a few other spots that I applied fairing filler to yesterday. Of course I found more little spots that could use some fairing. I suspect it will never end. At some point I may have to just say enough is enough and call it good.

Now I am late for a home cooked meal.

I'm outta here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I Promise...

I promise to not push the weather minumums when applying primer. When it is about to rain, I will not prime. When it is getting chilly, I will not prime.

I promise to read the primer application directions fully and when they say the product may be thinned with the appropriate thinner I will definitely thin.

I promise that just because it is high build primer I will not attempt to lay the thickest coat possible.

I promise never again to say "oh, its just primer, it will be okay".

I am so very very sorry...

Well, now I am back to where I was last October. All I need is a good weather window and I will apply the high build primer.

Curiously, there was a section on the cabin top that bubbled up a little. The green non-skid seems okay but the white stuff underneath had bubbled up a bit. Last year I thought I had ground out any area that showed signs of this bubbling. Maybe, since this area will have new non-skid applied which is pretty tolerant of minor blemishes, maybe I said 'good enough' a bit too early. I know it was smooth last fall though and this spring I could feel the little bumps. I attacked it aggresively with the sander and it is all smooth now. I guess I could remove ALL material except the raw fiberglass but I am not that big a masachist. I feel pretty comfortable with the level of preparation so far.

The final sanding turned up some minor areas to touch up with filler. The taffrail damaged the substrate when I removed it and I have been building up the top edge in stages. One more application should do it. I also decided not to remount my compass where it was installed on the aft cabin face so I need to fill those holes. I decided to fill the holes on the cockpit locker hinge attach point too. Just in case the replacement hinge doesn't have the same hole pattern. The forward hatch somehow got overlooked and the cockpit hatch lips are a little beat up. I am not sure how far to go with the cockpit hatches. One could get obsessed and spend a month trying to make them look good. With the lids down they look fine. I just don't want anyone to faint when they first lift the lid up and see how thin the cosmetic veneer really is...

So, to end this blog, here is a picture of the fine looking transom. One of the better shapes on my shapely boat.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Drat! Foiled again...

Today was the day I was going to announce the conclusion of my sanding preparation prior to applying the first coat of high build primer. The last few days of rainy weather foiled that plan. A dry shelter is key to making lots of progress on these projects. The weather has been a tremendous impediment and next time I will secure better cover before I start. Actually, I thought I did but it fell through. Oh well.

I remained productive today.

Nothing too exciting. I cleaned up some of my wood bits on the deck and oiled them in preparation for some varnishing weather. The wood bit in the picture extends the little scrap of wood at the point of the bow. My anchor roller needed a bigger platform to mount to so that was my solution.

The half window frame represents an hour and a half of work. The deadlights and opening ports were heavily bedded in silicone. Nasty stuff. Almost impossible to remove. I scraped and scraped and wire brushed it off eventually. One frame down, 7 more to go. Then I can start on the opening ports...

I am getting a little worried. When the boat comes back from the paint shop I need to get the deck stuff on relatively quickly to keep the weather out of the boat. I really don't want to be dragging tarps on and off my new paint and I really don't want to build a full cover in the middle of summer because of the heat buildup. Nothing is easy.

The early parts of the week were consumed with large grit sandpaper, removing the last traces of failed primer from last year. I just need to go over it again with 120 grit. Last fall I attempted to long board a few sections of the hull to see if I could clean it up a bit. There were some wavy bits from the original construction and a few spots where I messed up with the course sanding. The long boarding was not very successful. Truth be known, I created more scratches than I faired smooth so in total it was a step backwards. The trick/solution was taught to me by a fellow boat restorer. A palm sander. I wasn't too sure about that but by working the palm sanding at right angles to the scratches and sanding marks I was able to smooth up the hull quite a bit. Not enough to consider making the entire hull glass smooth but enough to cover my errors. It was a good tip. I will remember that.

Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy again. Monday is looking much better. I guess I better make sure I have my priming materials in order...

Vi sees!