Refit:  Winter 2008-2009

Winter 2008-2009 Refit | Saturday, December 6, 2008

It was time to start the preparations for repainting the hull.  With the boat now installed in the "real" shop bay, I hoped to complete the job in short order.

One might wonder why I felt the need to repaint the hull.  The existing paint--Awlgrip which I applied in September 2000--was still in good shape with plenty of life remaining.  It didn't look new, but it still had depth and shine and cleaned up pretty well each spring. 

However, the paint no longer "popped" the way I wanted it to, and I thought the boat deserved to look her best.  There were some factors from the original paint job upon which I knew I could improve now.  Also, I had never been thrilled with the repair I made to the starboard bow in 2002, after the boat was damaged at her mooring when the CQR anchor (and entire anchor platform, for that matter) broke free during a spring storm.  The patch I effected hid the damage well from any distance, and I lived with it for 6 years, but it was time to make things right again.

In the end, I decided to redo the hull just because I wanted to, and because it would make the boat look better.  It wasn't a desperate need, but since I did this work for a living, I was frankly jealous of the fresh, sparkling boats leaving my shop, and it was time for Glissando to sparkle once more.



I began by taping off the rubrail along its bottom edge, and then covering the decks with plastic to protect from dust and overspray during the process.  I heavily taped the plastic in place, hopefully ensuring that all folds and gaps were properly sealed. 

I also taped the top of the boottop, since I didn't want to sand away the line, which I was happy with, and since the boottop was sound and in good condition, I planned to repaint that in a separate operation once the hull was done.  The tape would prevent me from oversanding the boundary and losing the line.

Finally, I removed the name and hailing port, using a heat gun on a low setting to peel the vinyl away.  It felt rather odd to do this, as if I were depersonalizing the boat, but I knew it was temporary.



The Awlgrip was sound, well adhered, and in good condition.  Therefore, I didn't need to remove it all, as the new primers and paint could be applied directly over properly-prepared Awlgrip in good condition.  To help resurface the hull and make up for some of the minor preparation errors from my original job, I planned to apply high-build primer over the old paint, followed by finish primer and eventually topcoat.

To that end, I sanded the hull with a vibrating palm sander equipped with 80 grit paper, followed by a pass with 120 grit.  The 80 grit broke the paint's hard surface (Awlgrip is extremely tough) and began the smoothing process, while the 120 grit relieved the sanding scratches from the 80 and further smoothed the surface.  Since the hull was basically fair--as fair as it was ever going to be--I made no attempts to "correct" the surface; the thickness of the existing paint and primer coats beneath it provided more than enough substance to subtly make the surface  just a little better.  The high-build primer would improve upon it even further.



At the starboard bow, it took just a bit more sanding to smooth the paint over the repaired area.  Later, I figured there might be a need for some minor fairing here, but I left that analysis for a little later, once I'd completed the sanding.

In all, it took about 1.5 hours to sand the hull with 80 and 120 grits.  120 grit was the recommended grit over which to apply the high-build primer, so there was no need to sand beyond this point.

Afterwards, I wiped down the hull with solvent to remove the dust so that I could look for, and repair, any minor inconsistencies in the surface.  I hadn't noticed much that would require attention as I sanded--the hull was in good shape--but I'd look at it with a fresh eye a little later on.


Total time today:  5 hours

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Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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