Friday, September 12, 2008

First impressions


I was looking for a color that was somewhat unique and I think I got more than I bargained for.

The goal was a unique hull color; preferably dark. Blues and greens are good but have already been done often. Dark green has actually been my favorite boat color for many years but I have been seeing too much of it lately. Green is the most popular color in my boatyard- after white of course. Reds are nice but they really aren't 'Me' I guess. It was close. My backup color was claret. Most of my friends in the know were pushing me to make claret as my first choice. Instead I called Awl Grip about making a custom color like a really dark 'eggplant' purple. It turns out they have a stock color in their Awl-craft 2000 line called Aubergine that seemed to be perfect. I wanted an almost black with a little 'something' to it that might be hard to identify right away.

My first impression on seeing the boat after the hull painting was that I had hit the jackpot. It was exactly what I was hoping it to be. As I walked around the boat though, it appeared as though the color was a much lighter and bolder purple. This appears to be a color that changes a lot depending on how the light strikes it. Overall, I think it is a lighter shade than I had envisioned but still very nice. It is less subtle than I had expected and it makes a stronger statement than my meek personality is really comfortable with. This is a color that doesn't hide but rather expresses itself rather strongly. It is purple and it doesn't apologize. Strange as it might seem though, it is a very pleasing shade of purple. In some lighting conditions it retains the very dark, subtle shade that I was looking for. All in all I am very happy with it and I am happy to have found a very unique and pleasing color. I could continue to try and describe it but it is really tough. Even looking straight at it, it just makes you stop and stare and dares you to define it. Both the painter and I spent a good hour or two just walking around saying 'hmmmm...' It is very striking and unique.

The pictures so far are not very good. The boottop is being painted today and will really help set off the hull. The toerail really needs to be there to help define the deck too. And then there is the plastic covering over the deck to protect from overspray. The overspray on the deck covering is a very light pink and purple which makes seeing just the hull difficult. More pictures coming soon.

The plan had been for me to do all the prep work before sending the boat to the paint shop. Then I would stay on site to do all the grunt work like taping, sanding, solvent washing, ect. so the painter dude would only have to spray. This was done to help support my failing finances. The first issue that came up with the deck priming. When the 545 primer is applied by brush or roller, each coat has to sit for 24 hours and then be sanded between coats. This makes it tough to build up any kind of thickness, especially on the rounded corners and sharp edges that tend to get over sanded anyway. We decided to re-apply the primer with spray equipment. That made a HUGE difference. Not only does the spray gun lay down a much more even coat that doesn't require much sanding to make smooth, but all three coats can be applied 45 minutes apart thus sparing the sanding between coats ordeal and guaranteeing a much thicker buildup. That made all the difference. Maybe Awl-grip and the like can be rolled and brushed but it is clearly designed for spraying and when sprayed it is a totally different ball game. There is no comparison between the two methods and I am convinced that spraying is the only way to go. At least as far as the priming is concerned.

With the deck primed, I spent half a day sanding it smooth (compared with 2.5 days for each coat when I rolled it on) and the second half of the day was spent taping and covering the non-skid areas. The following day the deck topcoat was sprayed.

A year's worth of grinding, filling, sanding, fairing, priming, re-priming all covered in a day by shiny bright white topcoat. It is head spinning how fast it all comes together right at the end.

Then of course came the hull which I have already talked about. The priming was decent and didn't require any extra work other than washing off the bugs that got mashed into the bow on the road trip to the paint shop.

Today was boot top day. There was a bit of a head scratching moment when we realized the original scribed in waterline was hogged by about 2 inches. It rose up in the center to an unacceptable amount. It looked okay by eye but when we tried to strike the top edge something was clearly wrong. This meant spending some time getting it straight and going through some old photos to see where the boat liked to float and lining up an entirely new waterline. This turned out to be about 3 inches higher than the scribed line and right around the top edge of the original scribed in boot top which was also hopelessly not straight. I had to leave for home to pay bills and open my 167 emails that I hadn't read since I left for the shop. As I was leaving the painter was just getting the equipment warmed up for the painting of the boot stripe.

And now a plug for 'the painter dude':

Most people involved in boat restoration have heard of Tim Lackey and his Triton Glissando. If you haven't please go right now to my links section and check it out. Don't waste your time here if you haven't read Tim's thorough website detailing the rebuilding of his Triton. Really. Go now. That website is why I am here today with my own boat project. As some have figured out, Tim is 'my painter' that I keep refering to. He is really more of an overall boat guy that paints rather than strictly a painter but 'painter' is easier to write than 'overall boat guy who paints boats too'. Anyway, Tim had a couple of weeks between major projects and he was willing to allow me to work alongside him in his shop to cut down labor costs. He made a professional spray job affordable to me and let me tell you again, spraying is the only way to go unless you have a lot more natural ability than I do when it comes to paints. Tim also happens to have an incredible eye for small details that I would never have thought about and he kept me out of a lot of trouble. There is no way I could have come close to achieving the great results I have had without him. I suggest you also check out his business site where he posts details of his projects. The link I posted last week is the project page he set up for my boat. Really, he does great work and he has an eye for details few can match. More of a 'boat artist' in fact. Check him out.


ariel414 said...

Britton, as you well know, I'll gladly "second" everything you said about your "Painter Dude" AND the indoor workspace!

PS. I've got a great color suggestion for you if you'd like to paint your window frames...

brushfiremedia said...

Here's a "third" for the painter Dude. Mostly he's just a great dude. The fact that he's such a boat resto artist is a bonus.