Page published 21 January 2021

Go to Top Paint Shop Preparation: Part Two

15 Jun 2011

So much for getting Imagination polished off in a single session. It's been a fortnight since I've found time to get back to the boat and today it was two rushed sessions. The first, at lunch time, saw me trying out the P.38 filler that I had bought.

The Smoothed Bow

A blurry picture taken too late at night, without flash! It shows I was right in believing that the filler had sagged. It will need some further filling.

I mixed a little too much for an experimental session. The filler was more liquid that I expected, perhaps that was because it was quite warm at around 22° and when I slapped it on the bow it ran more than I expected. As a result I spent some time smoothing and re-smoothing it as it sagged. That meant I spent too much time before moving on to other dents and chips and so it started to go off before I get round to all the places that needed attention. I then started to sand it down a little too soon. At that point Tim came by and confirmed the problem, so I went home for lunch

By the time I'd been to the dentist, visited Tesco and picked up the new curtains it was time for my next meal. However, given the poor weather forecast fore the rest of the week, I finally decided I didn't dare miss returning to Imagination.

The second session didn't start until around 20:30 and went on till 21:45. I managed to take most of the surplus filler off most of the areas that I'd filled with only a little hand sanding. While I'd taken the ladder to get inside the cockpit so I could make an inspection of any other areas that would need attention, it would have been better to take the "Mozzie", so I could have done it a little quicker.

Grainy Filler

The filler went grainy as it went off. Here is the aft end of the starboard gunwale before any attempt at sanding.

My worry was that I won't be able to get smooth the areas where I used the Detail sander with a coarse abrasive. That is somewhat relieved now, given how soft the filler is, at least in the warm! I should be able to fill even the smaller scratches without leaving too much surplus filler on the surface to have to sand off again. Here's hoping, anyway...

Go to Top Paint Shop Preparation: Part Three

21 Jun 2011

After months of it being possible to tackle the boat any time I wanted, I now find the weather is stopping me. That is a bit of an excuse, but when I see a forecast for showers I plan on doing something else. Then I find that Plan B seems to become the priority and, even if the showers don't look like hitting Wayford Bridge, I still carry on with it in spite of the fact that Plan A would have been fine anyway. I was annoyed with making yesterday one of those Plan B days hat needn't have been. So I decided that I really had to grab some time for the boat after seeing Dad this afternoon.

The bow after re-filling

The bow, with a fresh application of filler, so it will need to be sanded again.

This evening seemed to be a rather repetitive session. In my first attempt at filling some of the chips in the gel coat last week I had not been generous enough with the filler - or rather some of it had sagged. This was certainly true of the bow, so it needed another treatment.

After the bow I worked my way around the rest of the boat, re-doing some areas. In a couple of small areas I had been a little too vicious with my sanding and cut into the gel coat. In some places there were small bubble holes revealed and these needed filling

Bubbles in the gel coat

This is last week's work, where I missed some of the bubble holes after cutting too deeply into the gel coat.

Some areas I had not tackled before. The first of those that I tackled were the lower cabin sides and side decks below. Here I needed to pull some filler over the surfaces to fill the scratches that I'd made by using the coarsest of disks with the Detail sander. Then there was the cabin roof, cockpit and bow on deck. In this last case I wanted to fill some of the existing holes, as I plan to re-site some of the forestay halyard fittings. (Should I call it that? I mean the extra length of line that is attached to the forestay which I use to safely lower and raise the mast.)

Filling the bow deck

Again the filler is beginning to grain by the time I get to the bow to fill the holes where fittings are to be moved.

After my experience last week I made no attempt to do any sanding tonight. I am hoping that, in spite of the forecast showers, I will have a chance to get to the boat tomorrow and get the last of the sanding done. I am hoping that I can get time both the sand off the surplus filler and give the whole boat a quick running over with the 240 grade disk so that Tim can inspect it and give any final instructions before it goes to the shed.

Go to Top Paint Shop Preparation: Part Four

22 Jun 2011

Rain stopped play again. I was ready to get the final rub down completed today. At the very least I was hoping to get Tim to give the boat the once over and confirm any final things to be done. However, it didn't work out that way. I woke to reasonable weather, even a bit of sun, but by the time I was dressed there were dark clouds overhead and rain was clearly on its way.

Sure enough rain did come, followed by dark clouds. During the few periods when the sky cleared, it was obvious that more heavy clouds were on their way. So it wasn't until 17:00 that I finally found myself on the way to the Imagination, more out of desperation than a hope that it would stay dry.

I started immediately with the Mozzie. I was keen to see if my further dabs of filler on the bow had been enough to fill the pits that had been left after the original filler had sagged. A few minutes later and I found myself pleased with the result. For the sake of simplicity I stayed with the hull, and zoomed along each of the psuedo-planks on each side, in turn. The few filled chips I encountered in the hull were ground down and smoothed off, and where I found small areas old paint in the "steps" under each plank I did my best to clear them. As soon as I started on the gunwales the rain came down!

The Stern after smoothing

My second attempt at the starboard gunwale had satisfactorily dealt with the small bubbles in the gel coat.

At first the drops were large but only occasional. When it got heavier, I took shelter in the car. The shower passed within five minutes then it was back to work. Their must be a special technique for wet sanding with a power tool, but I don't know it! Whenever I try, either I find myself spraying water everywhere and getting filthy or I seem to work with a surface that's too dry and all that happens is that the sanding disk clogs and you can't pat the disk to shake of the dust.

Then I thought that I ought to fill the two more chips that I had found in the hull before any more showers came. I didn't want another to come and force me to abandon all work for the day as my experience, the other day, had taught me that it might not be practical to fill a chip, allow time for it to harden and then sand in the same session. I really did want this to be the last day I would be putting filler on the boat.

The bows after sanding

I am pleased with the sharp end of the foredeck. I filled some of the holes that I won't be using again as I want to make a couple of minor alterations to my forestay.

With the holes filled I returned to sanding. Being damp, my disk was showing signs of clogging so, to avoid having to use too many disks, I tried to avoid the damp bits. As a result the areas I chose to polish off became a bit more random. To work under the cabin window, I even switched to manually rubbing down. Then it was back to the sander for the foredeck.

I suppose I could have gone on working for a little longer, but I realised that I had forgotten to bring my camera. Under the clouds it was quite dark and I wasn't confident about using the camera in my new phone, so I did pack up, go home and come back with my camera. It was 19:50!

Go to Top Paint Shop Preparation: Part Five

23 Jun 2011

The plan had been to get to the boat this morning and then visit Dad in the afternoon. Once more, the weather put paid to that idea. The morning was full of showers, so I stayed at home, in a constant cycle of pegging out washing, only to take it in again 20 minutes later. Ever the optimist, during a more slightly prolonged sunny spell at the time I should have been leaving to see Dad, I called him to put the visit off till the evening.

I went upstairs to change into my work clothes. Five minutes later I was down again, it was pouring once more and the clothes had to come in again! I waited for the rain to stop, hung the washing out once more and set off for the boat.

Preparation Nearing Completion

Actually, this shot was taken yesterday, but I thought one more close-up of filler would be asking too much!

There were two more very heavy showers while I was at the boat, so my clothes were pretty damp when I got home, but I did manage to get a number of things done at the boat. One of the first jobs was to fit the anchor bolt back on the bows and re-secure the winch arm. I could then tie the boat to the trailer and be safe when working at the back of the cockpit.

With that done I set about rubbing down many of the bits of filler I had applied yesterday. I also did more smoothing of various rough areas, but I cannot honestly say I went about the task methodically. The trouble was that the showers not only caused a stop-start effort but they also meant the surface got wet and the filler dust didn't blow away but just got spread over the boat, sometimes drying into small masses that dried to lumps. It was confusing and dis-spiriting. The other significant thing achieved was to speak to both John and Tim.

I asked Tim for his view on whether the boat was ready for the paint shed. His response was mixed. On the one hand it was "We'll paint her when you say she's ready", on the other he ringed various blemishes, which I would have happily ignored. My view was that this is a virtually a forty year old boat. I don't want her to look pristine, merely tidy. I know she'll probably suffer knocks and bumps from the moment she is launched, so I feel that over fussiness is pointless. My main concern is that the paint will look smooth, with reasonable gloss and won't flake off as it did to me last time. I also came away unsure about what Tim planned about the water line. I fear he has the wrong understanding about the waterline and how it should be treated. I need to go back to him tomorrow.

John gave me an idea about price for the job, but also made me wonder whether spraying wouldn't be better after all. John seems to prefer to do a spray job. That may simply reflect a desire to up-sell me, or it may just be that he doesn't see the point in having anything but the best possible shine, especially as I have spent so much time has been spent in the preparation.

One job I didn't get done was the baling. The boat was full of water again. This time it hadn't reached any of the internal wood, but I do need to go equipped to bale out the bilges tomorrow. Let's hope the weather matches the Norwich forecast for tomorrow and not the one for Great Yarmouth, which suggests that we'll have showers all afternoon again.

Go to Top Paint Shop Preparation: Part Six

24 Jun 2011

It's Friday and I have a little time to work on the boat. Normally, I'd either be cleaning the house or getting ready to go to Kenilworth, but today was different - another gig for the Proper Jobbies at the Nelson Head at Horsey meant that I'd be staying in Norfolk till Saturday.

More Smoothing

It was time for a photograph in good light. This one was taken on returning to Imagination after lunch.

In fact, I managed two sessions in the day. The first was in the morning. I was taken by surprise by the arrival of Ian and Jan at the point when I was thinking of taking a break for lunch. We had a brief chat. Ian referred to an earlier post in this blog when I was wondering about the correct way to use my sander for wet sanding. "Electricity and water don't mix", he said and, of course, I should have said I knew that. Mind you, he did say it was acceptable with an airline powered sander. Jan was with him because she's been declared unfit for work by her doctor. It wasn't that she felt sick but a shoulder problem meant that she must not lift anything if it was to recover. She did recognise that she'd never avoid lifting if she was at work, so she had to be kept away.

As for the work done - well, it's all getting rather repetitive. Every time I look at the boat I seem to find more minor blemishes that need filling and filling then means I have to wait several hours, before the filler is hard enough to sand. Never mind, progress is definitely being made and I am very close to being ready for the shed.

John came over in the afternoon, to firm up on his earlier estimate for the paint job and to say he's expecting to have me in the shed for painting next week. I really am almost there.

Go to Top Paint Shop Preparation: Part Seven

28 Jun 2011

As ever, Monday was a bad day. It took me 4hr 50m to make my return from Kenilworth, a journey that normally takes me 3hr 10m. The whole of south Norfolk seemed to be snarled up because of an accident on the Elevden stretch of the A11.

Tuesday was also unusual. With the end so near I was ready to put in time to do a morning stint. Not only that, because Dad was not so good in the afternoon, I put him to bed in his nursing home and managed to find time to do a little to the boat.

The Stern after smoothing

Another "cheat" photo. This one was actually, taken at around 17:30 on Friday.

Unfortunately, the afternoon session got cut short by rain. Really heavy rain. I gave up and went home. Dad called me after his sleep and asked me to return, so that put paid to the evening work that I had originally planned. It was annoying too, as the rain had gone by then.

At the end of the day, it left me with half of the fillings I had done still to be smoothed down and yet more holes discovered that I will have to have a go at tomorrow.

Go to Top Paint Shop Preparation: At Last! It's Finished!

29 Jun 2011

Wednesday, and there's a record three visits to Imagination. In the morning I need both to finish the smoothing off of the filling that I hadn't managed to do yesterday when work was stopped by rain. I also plan to fill the additional blemishes that I found yesterday. Then an afternoon session is fitted in to smooth off the new fillings.

The final day smoothing

The cockpit lockers are returned to Imagination as she is made ready for the move to the shed.

Thank goodness the weather is fine, with good sun in the morning and although there are a few spots of rain in the afternoon, it doesn't stop work at all. The only problem is that as I smooth off the morning's work, I discover yet more holes to fill. I make up a little more filler and fill them, planning to return in the evening to sand it off. I end up making a little more than I need and offer it to the guy on the yacht Latrigg. He takes up my offer and returns a few minutes later with a neatly cleaned off putty knife.

The only trouble is, by the time he returns I've discovered yet another invisible hole hidden on the underside of one of the hull's "planks", not to mention the realisation that there's an imperfection on the cabin doorway that I meant to fix. However, I'm so fed up with finding more holes by that stage that I decide enough is enough and I declare the job done to myself. I'd even finally got round to clearing the last of the paint on the inside of the cockpit lockers, something that I'd not got round to doing back on 11 May.

After an evening meal I do return and, at just after 21:30 take what I expect to be the final photo before Imagination finds her way into the paint shed. However, it's a bit dark so the one posted here was taken at 18:14 at the end of the afternoon session.

Now the boat itself is ready, the next steps are looking over the cockpit lockers to see how they have stood up to last year's season. I also need to take a decision on whether to stick with sacrificial wood for the gunwales or whether to go to the expense of some rubber fendering.

Rubber appeals because it ought to be pretty well maintenance-free. Wood appeals both because it will match the cockpit lockers, and while I've got the brush out to retreat them, I might as well slap on the same stuff on the gunwales. Rubber's disadvantage is that will add yet another colour and texture to the boat and cost a lot more. Wood also appeals because it has a more natural look. The debate continues...

And while I'm looking for fendering, there is the business of sourcing the non-slip pads that I want to add to the boat, to give it a more original look. They'll be a lot more to report, before Imagination returns to the water. For example, there's the cabin to spruce up after getting rather damp over the winter. There's new conduit to fit for the solar panel cable and the switch panel to fix again after the resin bond failed.

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