Thursday, February 25, 2010

Topsides: aplying Interlux Perfection

We sprayed on three coats of interlux epoxy primer and sanded it down with 220 grit paper to get the topsides ready for the application of the Perfection coating.  Jessie, Noah, and Jared did the bulk of the hand sanding and a good deal of the DA work as well. After the sanding was completed we spent a couple hours vacuuming the boat, the shop, and every surface we could to try and contain the dust. The following day we wiped the topsides as usual and followed it up with a final wipe with tack cloths just prior to painting.
We mixed up a batch of the paint base with the catalyst and let it sit for the twenty minute induction time while we got our painting supplies ready.
We started at the bow and applied the product as directed on the can using the rolling and tipping method; one person applying the product by rolling out a small area with a foam roller and a second person following behind and using the tip of a paintbrush to lightly brush the surface to remove the roller texture and little bubbles.
It went well but we did lay it on a little too thick at first and got a couple of runs in the finish and I was not completely satisfied with the results. In some areas the paint did not blend as it should have and when you look at it closely you can see brush strokes in the surface. It was a good trial run and we are going to sand it down with 220 and use it as a base coat and do it again in a few days after the paints hardened up well.
Next time we will thin it a little and try using a foam brush to tip it out with. I've had good success in the past using a foam brush for tipping, albeit not with a urethane paint. This is the first time I've personally applied urethane paint and am still getting the feel for it.
 We do a lot of bottom paints and fiberglass and gel-coat work in our shops but we avoid topside urathane or fine finishing coatings. Our two shops are located on a short dirt road and its impossible to keep the dust situation to a level that is acceptable for commercial workmanship of fine finishes. We did the best we could to mitigate against dust but some still found its way onto the finished surface. For the next round we will mist the floor, walls, and everything else we can with water prior to painting to try and hold the dust down a little better.

Paint dry but not perfect.
Shop reflecting in dried paint

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nonskid deck paint

The time has come to get some paint on the deck!
We vacuumed and wiped the nonskid areas, taped them off and wiped em once more with awlprep for good measure. We are using Kiwi Grip nonskid paint, a product I have never used before. I called the paint Rep to find out what undercoat primer I needed. I told him we had areas of bare fiberglass, epoxy, and gel coat, all sanded down good with eighty grit paper.
He laughed and said what we'd done was overkill and none of it requires a primer...... paint away! He went on to state that the stuff would stick to a cars windshield and if you left it on for a week you'd need a razor blade to get it off. 
I took the gallon can on deck, opened it up and was surprised to see what looked like a gallon of cream colored mayonnaise. I scooped some up with the paint stir stick and it clung to it even when I inverted the stick. No wonder they recommended spreading it on deck with a notched trowel! The directions tell you to work a couple square feet at a time so I started at the bow and placed several dollops of paint onto the deck and spread it with a notched trowel. Once I had it looking pretty evenly spread out I took thier special "loopy goopy" three inch roller and started rolling it out. The roller covering looks like the loose weave of an old style copper pot scrubbing pad. The concept is to roll over the area about four or five times which incorporates air into the loose weave of the roller then into the paint making paint bubbles. After the fourth or fifth rolling the bubbles burst and the paint forms little peaks, gravity takes over and the peaks fall and soften into the nonskid texture.
The rolling out procedure takes only a few minutes and the texture seems to level and even itself out very nicely. The paint has a working time of twenty five minutes and the rep said if you want a more aggressive texture then wait about twenty minutes or so and roll it out once more. It stands the peaks back up but this time they wont fall over. Be forewarned that after it cures for a couple months it gets harder and harder and we call the aggressive texture bloody knees nonskid cause that's what you'll get if you fall on it.
I liked the way the texture looked and decided to pass on the more aggressive "bloody knees" method.
I must say I am very impressed with the stuff. It hides imperfections like nothing I've ever seen before, they just disappear under this stuff and it levels itself nicely when you roll it out. Its a one part, one coat product and as long as you roll it out as directed and take the tape of the masked areas within a few minutes of rolling it out its the easiest product I've ever used on a boat. My only complaint would be that its perhaps a little too easy and with products like this people don't need shops like ours to put it on! All kidding aside.....I really wish we had more products like this; it goes on easy, looks good, and stays where you put it. Oh, and it blends right in if you have to roll on a little more the next day because you (cough) stuck yer finger in it when you peeled the tape off (cough).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bulkheads: Thru-bolting

I was thinking about the bulkheads and the loads they might be subject to in a storm. They had several layers of cloth tying tying them to the hull but the bulkhead is made of plywood with the final ply being two millimeters thick. I could imagine that thin ply shearing from the rest under a severe load. The more I thought about it the more I felt I'd better "beef" em up. Drilling through the glass tabbing and thru-bolting seemed to be the logical thing to do, even if it wasn't necessary I'd sleep better at sea knowing it was done.
So it was I found myself scrunched in lockers with drill in hand, boring holes in the bulkheads.
The plan was I'd bore several holes along the bulkhead, vacuum up the dust, then push a 5/16" cap screw (bolt) through the bulkhead with some 5200 and a big fender washer on it. My helper  would place another big fender washer on his side of the bulkhead and then finish up with a nylock nut and tighten it down.
This procedure was going along very smoothly, after all I had built the interior so I knew were everything was and could just go along drilling without checking the other side of the bulkhead for wires, obstructions, etc.
Imagine my surprise when I drilled through the forward settee bulkhead, pulled back the drill, and out  poured a geyser of water! The look on my face must have been priceless, there were no tanks there and the water system was dry, having never been filled. How could there be water!  My helper took one look my expression and burst out laughing and yelled "shes taking on water! abandon ship!" as he dashed off the boat for some rags and a bucket.
I'd forgotten I had placed a row of one gallon water jugs in the locker to ensure they would fit and had neglected to remove them and drilled right into one. Fortunately we had made the locker water tight and sealed the wood so the water was contained and all we had to do was mop it up and run a fan on the bolt hole for a day to dry it out. The rest of the bulkheads were bolted without issues.....I looked before I drilled.


After we hung the blue tarps it became noticeably darker in our space and the tarps cast a blue hue on the boat making it difficult to see when painting. We needed better lighting.
We had several duel tube eight foot florescent fixtures in the shop that were not in use so we rounded em up and put plugs on em and hung em around the boat. It lit the port side very well and half the starboard side. A trip to the hardware store for one more fixture and a couple of flood lights and we had the area well lit.
After that we taped off the new stripe to protect it and hung more plastic to protect the Hull from over spray.
Then we gave our work space a good cleanup and got organised. It was getting a little messy, we had a lot or hands doing a lot of sanding and masking and all sorts of debris was tossed over the side and wound up underfoot.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Boot Stripe

Things have been clicking along so nicely we've gotten ahead of our stock of supplies.
We are awaiting the arrival of more epoxy paint and the appropriate thinners for spraying.
We could proceed with finishing fairing in the hull & deck joint but decided that since we have the hull nicely cleaned and prepped we might as well get the boot stripe on the ol' girl. We mixed up some epoxy paint and brushed it along the waterline to build up a nice undercoat for the boot stripe. The next day it was sanded with 80 grit as recommended by the paint manufacturer and wiped down. I had been flip-flopping between red or gold for the boot and cove stripe, I liked both and couldn't make up my mind. Our painter said; "you know,...we've got some Pettit Vivid anti-fouling paint leftover from a job, plenty of red and plenty of white." Ohhhhh, red it is then! Pettit Vivid anti-fouling paint comes in nice bright colors and fetches a high dollar, getting some free paint definitely was the deciding factor on the color.....and I didn't even have to go dumpster diving for it  >:-P
We masked off the paint line with 3/4" 3M fine line tape and applied some 1-1/2" 3M 2080 over that to give us a little more room to over-brush without hitting the hull. (see previous post for measuring the boot stripe) Three coats of the Pettit Vivid White were applied with a foam roller, one each day with a light sanding between coats. After the final coat was nice and dry we masked over the bottom of the stripe with 3/4" 3M fine-line tape. We'd peel this off later to reveal the 3/4" white accent stripe.
The remaining stripe was lightly sanded and wiped down then two coats of Pettit Vivid Red was applied with a foam roller allowing four hours dry time between coats. Thirty minutes after the final coat was applied the tape was removed and voila, we had a stripe! Black hull, white accent stripe, red boot stripe, all in high quality anti-fouling paint.