Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Like Frosting on A Cake.......

Okay, not really...... But looks similar. While waiting for the varnish to completely cure and dry, we could move our efforts elsewhere. The best move for us was to the cabin top. Originally we were planning on simply filling the chipped gel coat and polishing out the cabin top. Once stripped of all the hardware and everything else that had been glued down; it was very clear we needed to take a more drastic approach. All the hardware seemed to come off a little harder then I had expected. Even the wood handrails pulled the gel coat off down to the fiberglass below. Next to the jib leads someone had placed white non-slip tape to cover the divots in the gel coat from the blocks hitting it. At one point in time the boat had a second set of organizers that served as turning blocks. Those since have been removed and the holes patched. Too many issues to just fill and polish. So that leaves us no other choice then to just refinish the entire cabin top.

We started by sanding the gel coat. We do not really have the time to put a coat of fairing compound over the entire cabin top, but we could use the gel coat and then add the fairing compound in just the low spots to build them up. We then sanded everything smooth with 180 grit sandpaper and tapped it all off for painting.

We first sprayed two coats of Sterlings, linear polyurethane primer and allowed it to cure overnight. The following morning applied 3M spot putty to any pin holes and spots that we missed and allowed it to dry. An hour of shooting the shit and cleaning up the mess around the shop, the putty was dry and we could sand the cabin top with 220 grit; preparing for the final gloss coats.

Using Sterlings, linear polyurethane (Three part) top coat. Sterling is a high solids, low VOC sprayable gloss coat; that in the past we have great luck with. We sprayed one tack coat, allowed to dry for 60 mins. and then applied a heavier second coat for color. After about 30 mins. the paint is cured enough that we could remove the tape and allow it to dry to the touch overnight. Below is a picture of the cabin top the following morning.You can not really tell in this picture, but our janitorial crew played havoc again. They must have come in just after we left for the night and swept the shop, because there was a ton of dust in the paint. In most cases, this particular top coat continues to shrink for some time as it cures, and most of the dust will just pop out. Seven days later, we decided to bite the bullet and color sand and polish out the cabin top. Not exactly what we wanted to waste our time doing, but a job worth doing is a job worth doing right.

First you sand the entire cabin top with 600 grit, then followed by 1000 grit, then by 1500 grit and finally with 2000 grit. Four coats of rubbing compound, followed by four coats of polishing compound, about 3 days and this is what you have...............

Not too bad for a couple of beginners......... So, this may not be the first boat that we have rebuilt; but nevertheless we are very happy with the way that this portion of the project turned out. Next up; the phenolic is here, and a couple more coats of varnish, then put everything back together and head below the waterline.

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