Monday, May 31, 2010

Painting: Top-Coat

This is a big post.  Big as in:  Holy Baloney Batman, we're getting close to the end!  Goat Island Skiff, activate!

After priming my boat, I had to leave for work.  I got home 5 days later, gave it a good smoothing sand job, and then cleaned up the dust with the shop-vac blower to vacuum to rag soaked in denatured alcohol.  The denatured alcohol was a tip mentioned on the Wooden Boat Forum-- it will help soak up and evaporate any water that had absorbed into the primer as well as clean up dust.  After that, it was time for painting.

The paint was Interlux Brightside, a one part marine paint.  It's expensive, about 40 bucks or so a quart depending on where you purchase it.  I decided to use the pricey stuff as opposed to Behr Porch Paint or Rustoleum Enamel because I figured I've spent so much money on this boat already, I might as well use good paint on the exterior as well.  It's just a bit more anyway, and it was well worth it, as you will see.

I used a roller, which left behind little bubbles, and then "tipped-off" with a bristle brush.  I would generally roll vertically and then gently tip-off with a brush horizontally.  Then I let it dry.  The instructions recommend sanding with 320 before the second coat, but I only had 220 and used that, with little ill effect.  A second coat then was applied, and the results are spectacular.  Behold, my painted boat:

Not bad!  Check out the reflection of the towel!  It looks like gel-coat!  I am the painting man, thanks to Interlux Brightside and it's easy-to-apply-million-dollar-finish qualities!

Next up, the interior, and sailing.

For the super vigilant, they will notice I still do not have rudder hardware on the stern.  This is bad news, and there will be a post devoted to rudder hardware, Duckworks (awesome), and West Marine (awful evil disgusting chain store I will never frequent again).

Let me just say this, if my boat gets finished and I don't have rudder hardward and this impedes me from sailing, I am going to freak out.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Painting: Priming

We are now in the finishing stages of this particular Goat Island Skiff.  She's coming down the home stretch, I tell you!

To be honest with you, dear intrepid reader, I am several posts out of date with the current going-ons.  Work has been a killer recently and I just can't get on top of it.  Back to work tomorrow to boot, and I still haven't done my laundry.  Let's just say time at home is at a super mega premium.

The boat, once faired, was ready for priming.  To accomplish this, I wanted a good sanding job over her so the primer would adhere real nice like.  Using stacks of 120 grit discs on my random obit sander (ROS) I spent a bulk of a day sanding her down to a nice matte finish.

 You can see the Quick Fair that I gushed about in the last post.  Also notice the buckets, without the towels on them.  This was a slip-up on my end, and they ended up gouging the transom.  Smooth-move Ex-Lax!!!  I'm such a moron.  The boat is taped up, including the ends of the ply.  These are kind of critical since they are exposed ends of ply that will be submerged at times.  They are well encapsulated in epoxy and I will paint them as well.  This adds protection, and a classic look.

Then, for the first coat of primer!  I used a quart of Interlux Pre-Kote primer, slightly thinned with Interlux 333, a thinning agent.  This stuff is mega-not-cheap, as in 34 bucks a quart, or 136 bucks a gallon, if you're the type that enjoys heart attacks.  It is a high-build primer, which means it will fill small irregularities in the prepped surface.  In practice, the painter will apply one coat, sand it down leaving the crevasses filled with primer, and then throw on another coat of primer, lightly sand it smooth, and then top-coat.

Initially the primer went on rather thick, I didn't thin it at first.  A few drops helped things along immensely.  I used a roller, and the roller would apply the paint unevenly, heavy where the roller initially absorbed the paint and then thinner on the other sections, leaving a speed-bump appearance to paint coverage.  Later research at the paint store revealed some roller tricks, which I will cover later.  Here is the boat, with the first coat of primer.

Then, it's time to sand away!  Again, using the ROS and 120 grit discs.  I sanded outside, as this stuff tends to blow dust everywhere, which it did.  My father-in-law has a little car in the garage that he fawns over, I didn't want to get it dusty.  Fortunately, I had good weather, and was able to charge ahead.

She's looking like a proper work-boat now.  This took a few hours.  I used many sanding discs, about one every three to four feet initially, and then in subsequent passes a increased the acreage with a disc.  The point is to get a good clean cut and not be pressing down trying to get a filled-up worn-down disc to grind away, smooth is the point. Speaking of smooth, this primer, albeit dusty, was quite smooth to the touch, surprisingly so.  After this, I de-dusted her by blowing with a shop-vac, vacuuming with said shop vac, and then rubbing down with cloth soaked in something flammable or toxic, like 333 or de-natured alcohol.  After that dried, the next coat of primer

WOW!  She's coming along now!  AND THEN I had to leave for work, and I left her for 5 days.  This was not necessarily good, because this primer can absorb humidity, which can then prevent adhesion of the top-coat.  For 5 days I chewed my fingers down to bloody stumps pounding on Intellicast looking for possible bad weather.  I left explicit instructions with my parents-in-law about when to have the garage open or closed.  Fortunately, things turned out great weather wise!

More on painting later.  I'm also varnishing my mast.  My wife is helping and she is doing a fantastic job.

Notice the tree is green.  This means GO, as in GO SAILING, as in FINISH THIS BOAT.  I'm trying!  I'm trying!

When I got back from my trip, I immediately set to sanding the second coat of primer.  Again, same as before, but a little less aggressive this time.  I wanted to keep the primer, but wanted to smooth it out.

That's not my dog.

The paint and the sun illuminated some things on my boat.  When I faired the boat with Quick Fair I was absolutely anal to make sure I got smooth chines.  I wanted to make sure I had the fairest boat I could possibly have.  I actually spent hard-earned days off fairing and then waiting for it to cure so I could sand it and then fair again before I started the long painting procedure.

So imagine my surprise when I get her out in the sun after she was painted in something that shows shadows really well, like, let's say, a white primer.

OH THE PAIN!!!  WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?  I'm heartbroken, a little bit.  I put in the ruler to help you judge.  It's a 16" ruler.  I swear on whatever holy tome of your choice, that I did not notice this when it was in the garage.  I even used setting-sun light to grab inconsistencies like this on the boat, and didn't see it.  It happens sporadically on the port chine, specifically.  The starboard came out pretty bitching if I may say so myself.  Needless to say I'm disappointed.  My friend Matt who is always swatting away the mental flies that cloud my judgement was good enough to say something that went like this:  "I'm sure I won't notice it, just add it to your laundry list of items you want to take care of next winter, they're going to rack up anyway as you sail it this year."

He's right.  If I was home every night I would take my time and lollygag around and be able to fix this.  Time for me is at a premium.  Every day I spend on details like this could translate into weeks and/or months of delays for me.  I screwed it up, I have to live with it for now.  It's actually not that bad, in this picture it looks horocious (new word), but in reality it's not that bad.  Surface scum will obscure it anyway.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cutting holes into the bottom of the boat

There comes a time when every man needs to pass through some hurdle and move from childhood to adulthood.  There's a small period in between called "limbo" by various anthropologists.  In the course of building this Goat Island Skiff that rite of passage is the cutting of the daggerboard slot in the bottom of the boat, the limbo is staring at the hull and imagining what you are about to do.  Translation for the non-boat crowd:  I have to cut a gaping hole in the bottom of my boat, and it's gotta be dead on with the case on the inside, or else gallons of water will pour into the hull and my expedition is over.

The intrepid reader will remember the positioning of the case in the interior of the boat.  Now, I have to cut the hole on the other side.  In an ideal world, I would have drilled two pilot holes before I glued in the case, so I wouldn't be hunting around in the blind.  However, the way my case was built and how it fit (badly) this was not possible without severely complicating matters.  It was in my best interest to install the case and figure out the slot later.

So I carefully measured the exact middle of the boat from edge to edge, then again opposite, then again from the runners.  I knew that the seam between the two pieces of ply that comprise the bottom fall where the slot is, so I only needed to make lateral measurements. Then, a small pilot hole:

Success!  I hit it on almost perfect!

Then, thanks to my very good friend Peter who takes pity on me, I was able to route out the slot with his amazingly slick router.  He has to give me a primer on how to use it everytime, but that's ok.  I drilled a 1/2" hole, and then began the terrorizing task of cutting a mondo sized hole into the bottom of my boat.  I used a flush-bit.  If there is ever a time for a man to get nervous this is it.  This is where I left boat-building childhood and became a man.  I stuck the router bit into the hole and routed away.

It smoked some, but in the end, the result was mega-awesome.  Precision slick.  Slot, accomplished!

So this is all very awesome.  Sailboat now she is, for sure.  This is the one unmistakable sign of a sailboat, a slot in the bottom.  Vindication and satisfaction is seeing that the slot lines straight up with the centerline drawn on the bottom of the boat from days long gone. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quick Fair is amazing!

HOLY BALLS it's been a long time since my last update.  Work has been eating me alive, folks, eating me alive.  I'm actually home now for more than one day, so I can update this blog, and work on the boat, but in the reverse order because the boat comes first.

Several weeks ago I ordered some Quick Fair from the fine folks at Duckworks.  This stuff is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  It's well worth the money.  It mixes easily, quickly, with little fuss.  It applies itself with astonishing ease, especially using a plastic spreader.  It dries quickly.  It sands easily.  I made several corrections over time as I got used to the stuff and ended up with a chine that is-- wait for it-- very fair.  It filled in the little weave bumps left over from the fiberglass tape, it nestled into the ridge between the tape and the hull that hadn't been filled with epoxy, it filled in some holes, and it faired out the gap between the hull and the stem-dowel-thingie.

I am in love with Quick Fair.  To boot, it even looks like chocolate pudding, except if you ate it, you would die.  The smell tips you off to this.  It smells, bad.  I used my respirator.

I also bought a little digital scale for twenty bucks at the local pharmacy.  It's a "The Biggest Loser" scale, named after the TV show, I believe, I wouldn't know because I've never seen it in my life, but the box talked about it.  This made mixing the Quick Fair in the appropriate manner mucho-easier, because frankly, there's no way to tell how much you have.  It doesn't pour into a graduated cylinder or anything like that.  I am also using this little scale with my epoxy, and it cuts down on waste.  Another "should've thought of this a while ago..." moment.

Here's my chine, needing some serious fairing, including little holes in the fiberglass tape that sanded out because there was air trapped underneath and Hand of God seriously pissed:

And bingo!  Quick Fair to the rescue!

Here's a progression of working around the stem.  Slop it on, spread it out, sand it, touch up, presto!

Oh boy!

For all your fairing needs, Quick Fair is the way to go.

I watched this video for some very good tips.